Rod Light | June 19, 2020

Dr. Jim "Kimo" WalzUniversity graduates face a competitive job market and employers with high expectations. At Life Pacific University, faculty and staff seek to prepare students with the knowledge, character, and skills that exceed these expectations. One of the growing job markets, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, is the field of mass communication, particularly digital media and technology.

This fall, LPU will launch a completely reimagined degree program in mass communication with three new concentrations to give graduates career and ministry paths, according to Program Chair Jim “Kimo” Walz, MBA, Ph.D. who also chairs the B.A. in Business Administration program at LPU. These concentrations include Public Relations and Integrated Marketing, Event Planning and Promotions, and Digital Journalism and New Media.

Based on demands in the marketplace and student and employer feedback, Kimo believes most students in the program will pursue one of these three career paths. These fields are predicted to show solid job growth and the program aims to position LPU graduates to be fully prepared for success in the career fields.

Director of Enrollment Management Matthew Tapp, MBA, points to Bureau of Labor Statistics projections that show employment growth in the media and communication fields. Further, he believes there is a growing need for Christian leaders in this arena. “I am excited that we will be equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed for successful careers and also with a biblical foundation needed to minister and make a difference in the world of media and communication,” Matthew says.

With a strong background in communications and management, Kimo says church and community partnerships will be key components of the program. “We are developing new partnerships to provide student internships and future employment opportunities,” he says. “In addition, we are in discussions to develop strategies for new facilities and resources to support the program.”

With an extensive background in business, media, and entertainment, Kimo is well suited to lead and teach in this unique program. Throughout his career and ministry, he has worked as an actor, radio personality, television producer, and as a business executive in both secular and Christian music. He managed the 4-time Grammy award winning Christian group, The Imperials.

As an ordained minister with The Foursquare Church, Kimo is deeply committed to the next generation as they emerge from college and change the world. He says the new degree program in mass communication is designed to equip students to be effective communicators in a broad variety of settings as leaders prepared to serve God in the church, the workplace, and the world.

Building upon the current communication program, LPU is increasing its relevance in preparing students to contribute to society in ways that reflect their faith, their passions, and their gifting. The academic team reimagined the existing communication program to ensure that the university prepares students to be competitive in the job market and be leaders in their field.

“The redesign is more than a name change,” Matthew says. “It’s a commitment to equipping students with what they need to serve God in the field He has called them.”

Kimo says that students will gain an understanding of how organizations send messages through channels of communication to large groups of people and other organizations. These channels of communication include broadcast television, radio, social media, digital media, and print. He says graduates will find opportunities to influence creative and critical thinking, global awareness and civic engagement, while embracing biblical integration.

Technology is ever evolving, and leaders need to be equipped with the necessary skills to meet the demands of a rapidly changing market in the church and in the workplace. We often think of communication as merely a method to convey meaning to someone else. From years of experience in the field, Kimo knows that the power of communication and digital media to influence thought and action has never been more evident then in today’s culture.

Many of us have discovered how difficult it is to determine real news and accurate information from fake news and biased information,” Kimo explains. “This has led to confusion in the lives of millions of people, thereby affecting our ability to make sound decisions.

“In today’s world we can all be digital missionaries while also being employed in a great profession,” Kimo says. He believes the B.A. in Mass Communication will allow students to engage the communication process and bring some sense of order to information that is produced by focusing on the discipline of mass communication within a biblical framework.

Full details about the new B.A. in Mass Communication are available here.