Craig Mattson

Professor of Communication Arts; Department Chair; Co-Director of the Honors Program

Education

Ph.D., Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 2003

Associated Academic Programs

Communication Arts

“Most of the time people talk about the meanings communication carries, but I hope our students come away from our department’s classes with a strong sense of what actions communication takes.”

Dr. Craig Mattson is a rhetorician, and he studies how messages work, how they form relationships, how they create worlds, and how they open possibilities. Recently, he has been studying corporate rhetorics of social responsibility—rhetorics that work collectively, extra-personally, and communally. “Although we tend to think of Christian engagement in late-modern society on an individualistic basis, Trinity compels me to think collaboratively, to practice disciplinary border-crossing, and to constantly seek out the strong but subtle connections that appear wherever humans congregate. I think it’s a significant part of the Christian scholarly vocation that we make these connections apparent.”

What drew him to Trinity:

When Mattson visited Trinity for the first time, a soon-to-be colleague told him, “The talk is good here.” And the first time he heard faculty conversation, he knew that was true. “I remember thinking, ‘I want to be a part of that conversation!’”

Research interests:

Mattson conducts teaching and research at the intersections of business and activism, with special attention to minority-led community-based organizations. His two most recent books focus on workplace wellness and community development. “There’s an enormous explosion of socially minded companies out there at the moment, and I’m finding that they’re the kinds of companies our students love to work for. I’m curious about the best ways to build not only better conversations within these organizations, but also wiser collective problem-solving across all sorts of cultural lines.”

When he’s not teaching:

“I go for runs. I read novels aloud with my son. I play basketball with my daughter. I work in and around our backyard raised beds with my wife. I’m actively involved in my church.”

Courses

Persuasive Speaking
Communication Theory
Foundations of Human Communication

Oral and Digital Communication
Social Entrepreneurship as Civic Engagement

Papers Published and/or Presented

Books

Why Spiritual Capital Matters: Activating Latent Resources in Your Organizational Community (Wipf & Stock, 2021)

Rethinking Communication in Social Business: How Re-Modeling Communication Keeps Companies Social and Entrepreneurial (Lexington, 2018)

Articles, Papers and Presentations

“Woo-Woo for Gainful Good? A Critical Examination of Social Entrepreneurs and Spiritually Invested Storytelling,” Journal of Communication & Religion (2021).

“Stop Talking That Way! An Affective Approach to Uncanny Speech in the Christian College Classroom,” Christian Scholar’s Review, XLV. 2 (Winter 2016).

“From Wimsey to the Wire: Distracting Discourse and Attentional Practice.” Quarterly Journal of Speech. (March, 2014).

“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.

“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.

Honors and Awards

Sabbatical, spring 2017 to write a book on the new corporate social responsibility for Lexington Publishers, a subsidiary of Rowman and Littlefield

Invited lecturer for the Association of Reformed Colleges & Universities for 2015 & 2016: lectured at Covenant College, Redeemer College, LeTourneau University, and Trinity Christian College

Professional Society Memberships

National Communication Association
Religious Communication Association

+ Expertise

Dr. Craig Mattson is a rhetorician, and he studies how messages work, how they form relationships, how they create worlds, and how they open possibilities. Recently, he has been studying corporate rhetorics of social responsibility—rhetorics that work collectively, extra-personally, and communally. “Although we tend to think of Christian engagement in late-modern society on an individualistic basis, Trinity compels me to think collaboratively, to practice disciplinary border-crossing, and to constantly seek out the strong but subtle connections that appear wherever humans congregate. I think it’s a significant part of the Christian scholarly vocation that we make these connections apparent.”

What drew him to Trinity:

When Mattson visited Trinity for the first time, a soon-to-be colleague told him, “The talk is good here.” And the first time he heard faculty conversation, he knew that was true. “I remember thinking, ‘I want to be a part of that conversation!’”

Research interests:

Mattson conducts teaching and research at the intersections of business and activism, with special attention to minority-led community-based organizations. His two most recent books focus on workplace wellness and community development. “There’s an enormous explosion of socially minded companies out there at the moment, and I’m finding that they’re the kinds of companies our students love to work for. I’m curious about the best ways to build not only better conversations within these organizations, but also wiser collective problem-solving across all sorts of cultural lines.”

When he’s not teaching:

“I go for runs. I read novels aloud with my son. I play basketball with my daughter. I work in and around our backyard raised beds with my wife. I’m actively involved in my church.”

+ Courses, Publications & Research

Courses

Persuasive Speaking
Communication Theory
Foundations of Human Communication

Oral and Digital Communication
Social Entrepreneurship as Civic Engagement

Papers Published and/or Presented

Books

Why Spiritual Capital Matters: Activating Latent Resources in Your Organizational Community (Wipf & Stock, 2021)

Rethinking Communication in Social Business: How Re-Modeling Communication Keeps Companies Social and Entrepreneurial (Lexington, 2018)

Articles, Papers and Presentations

“Woo-Woo for Gainful Good? A Critical Examination of Social Entrepreneurs and Spiritually Invested Storytelling,” Journal of Communication & Religion (2021).

“Stop Talking That Way! An Affective Approach to Uncanny Speech in the Christian College Classroom,” Christian Scholar’s Review, XLV. 2 (Winter 2016).

“From Wimsey to the Wire: Distracting Discourse and Attentional Practice.” Quarterly Journal of Speech. (March, 2014).

“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.

“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.

+ Awards & Memberships

Honors and Awards

Sabbatical, spring 2017 to write a book on the new corporate social responsibility for Lexington Publishers, a subsidiary of Rowman and Littlefield

Invited lecturer for the Association of Reformed Colleges & Universities for 2015 & 2016: lectured at Covenant College, Redeemer College, LeTourneau University, and Trinity Christian College

Professional Society Memberships

National Communication Association
Religious Communication Association