“Why should an evangelical mission organization (such as Norwegian Lutheran Mission) own and operate a university college (such as Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication) with an emphasis on educating journalists and other media communicators?”
I am constantly encountering this critical question in Norway and beyond, both inside and outside Christian circles.
Usually, my answers to this question include one or more of the following reasons: (1) the biblical cultural mandate also includes the whole media sector; (2) historically, academic and vocational education started within a Christian context; (3) in principle, any faith community has a right to start any such education; and (4) contemporary mission work needs qualified media workers, both for awareness and production.
This leads to the main point in this blog post: We need to emphasize the validity and value of Christian media presence in the major news and entertainment media, whether these are local, national, regional or global.
Such media presence presupposes professionalism and includes a number of complementary roles:
- Christian journalists and documentarians – introducing neglected stories, cases and angles
- Christian commentators – introducing neglected ideas, values and perspectives
- Christians in the creative media and the arts – introducing new ways of imagining Christian truths
- Christian apologists in media opinion and debate fora – arguing for the credibility of biblical truth over against questions, objections and worldview alternatives
Evangelical churches and ministries should give freedom to talented Christians to enter such pluralistic media fields with courage and wisdom. We need to grow young Christians with integrity who are committed to biblical truth, personal holiness and media professionalsm – and who are equipped with a holistic Christian worldview.
Equipping such talented Christians for these significaant media roles is definitely a key missional task within the media field for the future!