“Christian communicators need a formation which enables them to work effectively in a media environment. Such a formation will have to be comprehensive: training in technical skills; training in ethics and morality, with particular attention to values and norms relevant to their professional work; training in human culture, in philosophy, history, social sciences and aesthetics. But before all else, it will have to be a formation in the interior life — the life of the spirit.” – St. John Paul II
Prior to 2015, the last two major academic units established at Seton Hall were the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences created in 1987 and the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, with its inaugural class in 1998. In the past 10 months, we have been blessed to announce two major additions to our colleges and schools. After revealing plans for a new school of medicine in January — a project that continues to move forward — Seton Hall proudly launched a College of Communication and the Arts this past summer.
The new college, which had existed as a department in the College of Arts and Sciences, was created to build upon Seton Hall’s strengths in mass media as well as the fine and performing arts and to take advantage of opportunities offered by the University’s location in the New York metropolitan area. It is the culmination of years of planning and collaborating with our faculty and alumni with the goal of enhancing and elevating the prominence of Seton Hall’s communication and the arts offerings as outlined in the University’s strategic plan.
Now more than ever, society needs strong and ethical leaders in the information, digital and cultural domains as new communication tools rapidly reshape the day-to-day lives of people around the globe.
On the individual level, modern technologies offer students the ability to speak their minds or showcase their artistic skills to an unlimited audience in almost any way they desire, on almost any topic and without anyone to filter what is presented. At the national and global level, how the United States is regarded around the world is a function of how well the nation communicates on various topics: political, economic, artistic and financial.
To successfully train the next generation of servant leaders, Seton Hall must prepare its students for productive and ethical involvement in the emerging communication and artistic paradigms. How well are we training them to communicate via multiple methods and technologies? What 21st-century models are we developing to guide them? How proficiently are they able to assess the ethical quality of their creations?
The College of Communication and the Arts will be a dynamic and essential participant in addressing these emerging questions. It will harness the power and proximity of the nation’s largest media market and expose future communicators and artists to a top-notch faculty, leading-edge curriculum and the University’s time-honored values-based instruction.
I hope you share my excitement as we welcome Seton Hall’s new college, which signifies our growing involvement in the arenas that create and transmit our shared social culture — whether through a single theatrical performance or a webcast that is viewed by millions of people. I am confident that the College of Communication and the Arts will foster graduates whose vigorous and conscientious exercise of their professions will help improve the lives of people around the world.