Lee News

Finch Earns Doctorate in Communication

Dr. Michael Finch, assistant professor of communication at Lee University, recently earned a doctorate in communication from Regent University in Virginia.

His dissertation, titled “Identity and Culture Maintenance Among Soviet Evangelicals: A Resistance Study,” analyzed the memories retold in the stories of 15 Soviet Evangelical Christians, seeking to establish thematic commonalities.

Dr. Michael Finch
Dr. Michael Finch

According to Finch, these commonalities provided significant evidence that stories establish individual and group identity, becoming tools to maintain a resistance culture.

Finch's doctoral study material has been used in sermons and presentations at several churches. He discusses the many lessons to be learned from Christians who endured persecution. Finch is a “member at large” of the Eurasian Communication Association of North America, and will present at the Russian Communication Association in the fall.

Finch studied at Elim Bible Institute for a bachelor’s degree equivalent in Bible with an emphasis in missiology, later obtaining his master’s in journalism from Regent University. He was then accepted into the Poynter Institute as a fellow, interned and worked as a journalist at a local daily newspaper and at a weekly national paper before working as a youth pastor for four years. During this time he met his wife Paula, whom he married shortly prior to leaving the ministry to pursue his doctorate. Finch taught several journalism classes at Regent University while studying for his doctorate, and now teaches journalism and social media courses at Lee.

Finch also acts as the student media advisor at Lee, supervising 18 student workers who make up the staff of the Lee Clarion (student newspaper), Vindagua (yearbook), the student photo team, and the new student-produced web show that he developed called iGnite. Finch takes these student workers to the College Media Association conference in New York City every spring.

Finch restructured the journalism curriculum at Lee so that it will develop multimedia journalists who can excel at both traditional and digital forms of reporting and media presentation. He led a three-week Global Perspectives trip to Ukraine in 2012, and will soon lead 19 students on a three-week trip to Australia in partnership with Hillsong College this summer.

He plans to publish material from his dissertation in academic journals, and is working on an undergraduate level social media text for his class that he plans to publish by 2017.

Finch and his wife have one son, Levi, and a cockapoo named Bella.

For more information about Lee’s Department of Communication Arts, call (423) 614-8341.

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