Dr. Stephanie Bennett has accepted a three-year appointment to lead Wordship, President Dr. Debra A. Schwinn’s initiative to promote respectful conversation that heals and brings people together.
Bennett, professor of communication and media ecology, now has an additional title: director of Wordship. In October she led four Tuesday evening lecture/discussion sessions on campus to explain the Wordship concept.
“Dr. Bennett got us off to an excellent start,” said Schwinn. “She’s a great communicator, and she’s devoted to the need and practice of using our words in a way that honors God and edifies all those around us.”
Shortly after becoming PBA president in May, Schwinn introduced this initiative for godly conversation, coining the word Wordship much like the University’s founders named the community service program Workship. Divisive political rhetoric spurred Schwinn’s effort, but she sees Wordship lasting far beyond the election season and encompassing much more than political issues. The craft of using our words wisely is one way we can worship God, she said.
“Ultimately, Worship, Workship and Wordship should become the foundational three-legged stool upon which the integration of faith and academics rests at PBA,” Schwinn said. She has commissioned Bennett to organize events throughout the school year to “bring Wordship increasingly alive in the fabric of our community.”
Bennett said Schwinn’s enthusiasm for Wordship “renews my own hope and dedication to best practices in communication – practices that can help restore and maintain a greater sense of civility throughout our nation.”
As director of Wordship, Bennett hopes to plan workshops, symposiums, book discussions, panels and lecture series “and then expand to provide communication tools and encouragement to our neighbors in Palm Beach County and beyond.
“Our culture has been overflowing with a multitude of communication technologies, but as a nation we are long overdue in discussing how to use them well,” said Bennett. “Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are not solutions; in fact, these platforms often contribute to the lack of civility we have been experiencing so intensely. Now is the time to focus on using our media wisely, ethically and to the glory of God. This is the area of my own research and teaching; it is also my passion. I’m honored and thrilled to step up to the task.”