Professor of Communication Arts
Honors Program Director
on faculty since 2002
Fax: 708. 239.3987
Ph.D., Regent University, Upland, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 2003
M.A., Pensacola Christian College, Pensacola, Florida, 1996
B.A., Pensacola Christian College, Upland, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 1994
Professional and Personal Interests
A lot of people think it’s important to know what you’re talking about. Dr. Craig Mattson is convinced that happens when you know what talk itself is about. For 14 years, the long-distance radio broadcaster and on-air personality has enlivened readings, meditations, and a variety of music programs carried by 50-plus stations for Rejoice Broadcast Network, based in Pensacola, Florida.
Since joining Trinity’s faculty in the communication arts department in 2002, the professor of communication arts has infused his classes in fundamentals of human communication, public speaking, communication theory, rhetorical criticism, and persuasive speaking with the excitement of performance art. His repertoire includes two original one-man shows based on the lives of Martin Luther and Oswald Chambers, as well as interpretive performances working with excerpts from authors ranging from Shakespeare to Twain; Auden to Richard Wilbur.
Mattson’s educational trajectory led him from the broadcast world into the classroom. He earned a bachelor of arts in speech communications and a master of arts in interpretive speech while teaching as a graduate assistant and part-time instructor. After more than a decade of radio work, Mattson pursued doctoral studies and gradually moved toward deeper involvement with teaching and learning. In 2003, he earned a Ph.D. in communication from Regent University.
“I was initially drawn to Trinity because of the conviviality of the faculty. I appreciate the way that Trinity navigates the tensions between historic Reformed commitments and contemporary questions. [The College] tries to avoid being either doctrinaire or doctrinally vague, [and offers a] blend of historic Reformed confession with contemporary evangelical commitments,” said Mattson.
Mattson’s philosophy of teaching explores the link between the historical and the contemporary; he believes that “good teaching connects contemporary experience with longstanding conversations in classical, biblical, and other historic texts.” He identifies his greatest satisfaction in the classroom as the moment “when dialogue with students enables both them and me to discover something about our shared discipline.”
A native of Adrian, Michigan, Mattson finds time for running and enjoys reading, particularly the novels of Walker Percy. He now calls Midlothian home, where he resides with his wife, Rhoda, a Trinity faculty member, and their four children: Emma, Annalee, Alexandra, and Winston. The Mattson family worships at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Hinsdale, Illinois.
- Communication Criticism
- Communication Theory
- Foundations of Human Communication
- Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Professional Society Membership
- National Communication Association
- Religious Communication Association
Papers Published and/or Presented
“Buying Stuff, Saving Lives: A Critical Account of Product (RED)’s Economics of Attention.” Southern Communication Journal. 77.3 May, 2012
“Eros at the World’s End: Apocalyptic Attention in the Love Stories of Graham Greene and P.D. James.” Renascence LXIV.3 Spring, 2012.
“Impossible to Say: Walker Percy’s Moviegoing Epideictic in Crisis Conditions.” Communication Ethics and Crisis Communication. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. 2012.
“Response to James Olthuis.” After Worldview. Eds. J. Matthew Bonzo and Michael Stevens. Dordt College Press, 2009.
“Never at Home in Glome: A Rhetorical Account of C. S. Lewis’s Last Novel.” Journal of Communication & Religion. Vol. 31 (April, 2008): 82-105.
“Peter Wimsey & Precious Ramotswe: Castaway Detectives and Companionate Marriage.” Christianity and Literature. Fall 2007.
“Brave New Performance Space: Castaway Pedagogy in the Age of Caliban.” Christian Scholar’s Review. XXXV:4, Summer 2006.
“Politics and Petunias: Wayne Booth Reconsidered.” Books and Culture. January/February 2006.
Three articles for Encyclopedia of Communication and Religion. Routledge, 2007.
- “Media Activism.” Encyclopedia of Communication and Religion.
- “Sacred Communication.” Encyclopedia of Communication and Religion.
- “Symbol (semiotics).” Encyclopedia of Communication and Religion.
“How Faith Happens: A Winsome Memoir of Doubt and Perplexity and Blessed Assurance.” Review of Patty Kirk’s Confessions of an Amateur Believer in Books and Culture’s “Book of the Week” on Christianity.com. www.christianitytoday.com/global/printer.html?/books/features/bookwk/070129.html
“Thinking Aloud in Public: Michael Polanyi as Public Intellectual.” Review Essay. Christian Scholar’s Review. XXXVI:1, Fall 2006: 77-86.
“Professor or Poulterer? Cultivating Religious Higher Education in the Postmodern Turn.” Christian Scholar’s Review. XXXIII:3, Spring 2004: 333-334.
“Telling Beauty and Tacit Truth: A Polanyian Schema for the Rhetorical Criticism of Visual Imagery.” Journal of Communication & Religion. XXVII:1, March 2004.
“Wisdom and Eloquence in the Tacit Dimension: Polanyi and Vico on Knowing and Making.” Tradition and Discovery. XXXI:2, 2004/2005.