Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Dr. Rebecca Jones

Second Advisor

Dr. J. Scott Duvall

Third Advisor

Dr. Doug Sonheim

Abstract

In order to learn about Jesus’ communication method, I decided to study the Sermon on the Mount. After doing an in-depth study of Jesus’ method (how he taught, the devices he used, and his structure), I realized his method is only a part of his effectiveness as a speaker. Without credibility and integrity as well, Jesus’ teaching would fall flat and cease to have authority. This realization especially struck me because, in the field of communications, method is emphasized over integrity and character. I decided to compare Jesus’ method and character with what the communication field teaches about public speaking. Within Christian circles, I found that the character of the speaker is valued, while in secular circles it is hardly spoken about. In this study, I follow Jesus’ method of teaching in the Sermon on the Mount and his credibility as a speaker. Then, I compare principles of Jesus’ teaching with principles of the communication field to draw practical conclusions about how Christian speakers and preachers should model Christ’s example. This study is a sampling of my own journey of trying to wed communications and following Christ, and my hope is that this study will better my own walk as well as the walks of many other Christians.

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