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Our Faculty

Mark Ward, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Communication

Contact

Phone: (361) 570-4256

Email Mark Ward

Building: University West Room #: 268

Biography

Mark Ward Sr earned his PhD in rhetorical and communication studies from Clemson University and joined the UHV faculty in 2010.

In 2018 he was named the university’s scholar of the year when he received the Research and Scholarly Activity Excellence Award. Dr Ward uses ethnography of communication to research religious organizations and media, and serves on the Executive Council of the Religious Communication Association (RCA) and Editorial Board of the Journal of Communication and Religion.

His work has been published in numerous journals and book chapters, and his ethnography of evangelical media was named 2014 Article of the Year by RCA. He is editor of the two-volume series, The Electronic Church in the Digital Age: Cultural Impacts of Evangelical Mass Media (Praeger, 2016), for which he received the 2017 Clifford G. Christians Ethics Research Award, and author of The Lord’s Radio: Gospel Music Broadcasting and the Making of Evangelical Culture (McFarland, 2017).

Dr Ward has been quoted by The New York Times, Politico, Bloomberg, ABC News, Associated Press, Religion News Service, and other media outlets as an expert on televangelism. His interest in organization studies is also seen as coauthor of the textbook Organizational Communication: Theory, Research, and Practice (FlatWorld, 2015) and author of Deadly Documents (Routledge, 2014), an organizational ethnography of the Holocaust through analyses of Nazi bureaucratic documents.

His professional memberships include RCA, the National Communication Association, the Southern States Communication Association, and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Before entering academe, Dr Ward was communications director and journal editor for several national and international nonprofits and industry trade associations, and he continues to write regularly as an independent business journalist. His media experience ranges from local radio announcer to national radio syndication.

Education

Ph.D. in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design – Clemson University, 2010

M.A. in Communication – Spring Arbor University, 2007

B.A. in English Language and Literature – University of Virginia, 1980

Publications

Dr. Ward's seven books include The Electronic Church in the Digital Age, as well as books on media history and professional communication, plus the newly released textbook Introduction to Public Speaking: An Inductive Approach and a coauthored a textbook on organizational communication. His latest book, God Talk: The Problem of Divine-Human Communication, is due for release in the fall of 2022.

Books

Ward, M., Sr. (2017). The Lord’s radio: Gospel music broadcasting and the making of evangelical culture, 1920-1960. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Ward, M., Sr. (Ed.). (2016). The electronic church in the digital age: Cultural impacts of evangelical mass media, Vol. 1: How evangelical media shapes evangelical culture. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Ward, M., Sr. (Ed.). (2016). The electronic church in the digital age: Cultural impacts of evangelical mass media, Vol. 2: How evangelical media engages American culture. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Wrench, J., Punyanunt-Carter, N., & Ward, M., Sr. (2015). Organizational communication: Theory, research, and practice. Boston, MA: FlatWorld.

Ward, M., Sr. (2014). Deadly documents: Organizational discourse, technical communication, and the Holocaust. New York, NY: Routledge.

Articles

Ward, M., Sr. (in press). “Men” and “ladies”: An archaeology of gendering in the evangelical church. Journal of Communication and Religion.

Ward, M., Sr. (2018). “Head knowledge isn’t enough”: Bible visualization and congregational culture in an evangelical church. Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, 14(11), 1-33.

Ward, M., Sr. (2018). Digital religion and media economics: Concentration and convergence in the electronic church. Journal of Religion, Media, and Digital Culture, 7, 90-120.

Ward, M., Sr. (2018). Are evangelicals having their #MeToo moment? Communication Currents, May 25. [online journal]

Ward, M., Sr. (2018). Billy Graham and the power of media celebrity. Communication Currents, March 15. [online journal]

Ward, M., Sr. (2015). Organization and religion: Ontological, epistemological, and axiological foundations for an emerging field. Journal of Communication and Religion, 38(3), 5-29.

Ward, M., Sr. (2015). The PowerPoint and the glory: An ethnography of pulpit media and its organizational impacts. Journal of Media and Religion, 14, 175-195.

Ward, M., Sr. (2015). Cognition, culture, and charity: Sociolinguistics and “donor dissonance” in a Baptist denomination. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 26, 574-603.

Ward, M., Sr. (2014). Give the winds a mighty voice: Evangelical culture as radio ecology. Journal of Radio and Audio Media, 21, 115-133.

Chapters

Ward, M., Sr. (in press). “From a Christian perspective”: News/talk in evangelical mass media. In A. M. Nadler & A. J. Bauer (Eds.), News on the right: Studying conservative news cultures. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Ward, M., Sr. (in press). Air to the Kingdom: Religion and the soul of radio. In J. A. Hendricks (Ed.), Radio’s second century: A reader. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Ward, M., Sr. (2018). Martin Luther: Avoiding the use of “othering” to construct Christian self-identity in a pluralistic society. In R. H. Woods Jr. & N. K. Wood (Eds.), Words and witnesses: Communication studies in Christian thought from Athanasius to Desmond Tutu (pp. 76-82). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.

Ward, M., Sr. (2018). The woman they love to hate: Hillary Clinton and the evangelicals. In C. A. Kray, T. W. Carroll & H. Mandell (Eds.), Nasty women and bad hombres: Gender and race in the 2016 U.S. presidential election (pp. 175-188). Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.

Ward, M., Sr. (2018). Increase your faith: The domestication of black televangelism. In O. O. Banjo (Ed.), Media across the African diaspora: Content, audiences, and influence (pp. 18-34). New York, NY: Routledge.

Ward, M., Sr. (2018). The dangers of getting what you wished for: What do you say to evangelicals? In S-L. S. Chen, N. Allaire & Z. J. Chen (Eds.), Constructing narratives in response to Trump’s election: How various populations make sense of an unexpected victory (pp. 61-81). Lanham, MD: Lexington.

Ward, M., Sr. (2018). Television transcendent: How the electronic church constructs charismatic leadership as a norm of American religious life. In C. Murray (Ed.), Leadership through the lens: Interrogating production, presentation, and power (pp. 131-149)Lanham, MD: Lexington.

Ward, M., Sr. (2018). Segregating the dial: Institutional racism in evangelical radio. In O. O. Banjo & K. M. Williams (Eds.), Contemporary Christian Culture: Messages, missions, and dilemmas (pp. 45-56). Lanham, MD: Lexington.

Ward, M., Sr. (2016). Televangelism, audience fragmentation, and the changing coverage of scandal. In H. Mandell & G. M. Chen (Eds.), Scandal in a digital age (pp. 53-68)New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

Ward, M., Sr. (2016). In spirit or in truth? The great evangelical divide, from analog to digital. In M. Ward Sr. (Ed.), The electronic church in the digital age: Cultural impacts of evangelical mass media, Vol. 1 (pp. 193-218). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Ward, M., Sr. (2016). What if? A counterfactual reconsideration of the electronic church. In M. Ward Sr. (Ed.), The electronic church in the digital age: Cultural impacts of evangelical mass media, Vol. 2 (pp. 1-28).Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Ward, M., Sr. (2016). Chronology of the electronic church. In M. Ward Sr. (Ed.), The electronic church in the digital age: Cultural impacts of evangelical mass media, Vol. 1 (pp. 239-254) Vol. 2 (pp. 253-268). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Ward, M., Sr. (2016). Major networks and personalities. In M. Ward Sr. (Ed.), The electronic church in the digital age: Cultural impacts of evangelical mass media, Vol. 1 (pp. 255-284) Vol. 2 (pp. 269-298). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Ward, M., Sr. (2013). Managing the anxiety and uncertainty of religious otherness: Interfaith dialogue as a problem of intercultural communication. In D. S. Brown Jr. (Ed.), A communication perspective on interfaith dialogue (pp. 23-43). Lanham, MD: Lexington.

Ward, M., Sr. (2013). The “God Problem” in interfaith dialogue: Situating divine speech in the seven traditions of communication theory.  In D. S. Brown Jr. (Ed.), A communication perspective on interfaith dialogue (pp. 195-213). Lanham, MD: Lexington.

Ward, M., Sr. (2013). Air of the King: Evangelicals and radio. In R. H. Woods Jr. (Ed.), Evangelical Christians and popular culture: Pop goes the gospel, Vol. 1: Film, Radio, Television, and the Internet (pp. 101-118)Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Honors and Awards

2022 Outstanding Scholar Award, Southern States Communication Association Communication Theory Division

2021 Top Paper, Southern States Communication Association Language and Social Interaction Division 

2020 Digital Religion Research Award, given by Network for New Media, Religion, and Digital Culture Studies

2020 Article of the Year, Religious Communication Association 

2020 Outstanding Article, National Communication Association Spiritual Communication Division

2020 Outstanding Book Chapter, National Communication Association Spiritual Communication Division

2020 Top Paper, Southern States Communication Association Language and Social Interaction Division

2019 Article of the Year, Religious Communication Association

2019 Outstanding Article, National Communication Association Spiritual Communication Division

2019 Top Paper, Southern States Communication Association Language and Social Interaction Division

2018 Scholar of the Year/Research and Scholarly Activity Excellence Award, University of Houston-Victoria

2018 David R. Maines Narrative Research Award, given by Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research

2017 Clifford G. Christians Ethics Research Award, given by Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research

2014 Article of the Year, Religious Communication Association