Seton Hall University Launches Institute for Communication and Religion

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New Jersey’s First; Among First in the Nation

Monsignor Dennis Mahon, Ph.D.

Our work will focus on exploring how communication and religion are integrally connected.

Seton Hall University is proud to announce the launch of the Institute for Communication and Religion within the College of Communication and the Arts. The first of its kind in New Jersey and one of the first in the nation, the Institute will provide a nexus for ongoing scholarly exploration of communication topics critically important to religion and society.
The Institute will enhance the University’s and the College’s sustained leadership in fostering open, clear communication between the Catholic Church and the broader public. The University’s tradition of and ongoing commitment to ecumenical and interreligious dialog uniquely positions the Institute to serve as a powerful conveyer for this purpose.

With a home at one of the nation’s oldest diocesan universities, the Institute is an interdisciplinary effort between the College of Communication and the Arts, Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Seton Hall University enjoys a long and distinguished history of advancing interreligious dialogue,” said Deirdre Yates, M.F.A., dean of the College of Communication and the Arts. “The formation of an interdisciplinary Institute for Communication and Religion is a simple, yet powerful way to make a positive contribution toward elevating the University, the College, and the external community by improving public discourse on religion in society.”

The Institute will provide opportunities to surrounding communities and the University to discuss age-old questions of values, ethics, tolerance, and social justice in the context of our emerging digital society. Under the leadership of Monsignor Dennis Mahon, Ph.D., associate professor of communication, the Institute will enrich and engage the public by hosting scholarly panels, organizing curriculum development workshops, and conducting outcomes-based research. The Institute’s inaugural event Speaking Truth: Religion in the News Media will be held on November 2. For event and registration details as they become available, please visit the College’s website at

“Through various initiatives, our work will focus on exploring how communication and religion are integrally connected,” said Monsignor Mahon. “The Institute will seek to ensure the University’s students and broader community are informed and equipped to communicate about religious topics with responsibility, passion, and excellence.”

Monsignor Mahon brings to the Institute more than 40 years of experience as a communication faculty member and administrator at Seton Hall University, The Catholic University of America, and Catholic Community Services. After receiving his B.A. from Seton Hall University and S.T.B. from The Catholic University of America, he was ordained for the Archdiocese of Newark. He later went on to earn his M.A. from Fairfield University and Ph.D. from Syracuse University.

Curriculum development workshops and a large-scale, interreligious event are also scheduled for the Spring 2018 semester. To learn more about the Institute for Communication and Religion and donor opportunities, please contact Monsignor Dennis Mahon at dennis.mahon(at)shu(dot)edu or (973) 275-2794.


One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall has been developing students in mind, heart and spirit since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 rigorous academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall embraces students of all religions and prepares them to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. In recent years, the University has achieved extraordinary success. Since 2009, it has seen record-breaking undergraduate enrollment growth and an impressive 93-point increase in the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen. In the past decade, Seton Hall students and alumni have received 24 Fulbright Scholarships as well as other prestigious academic honors, including Boren Awards, Pickering Fellowships, Udall Scholarships and a Rhodes Scholarship. In the past five years, the University has invested more than $150 million in new campus buildings and renovations. And in 2015, Seton Hall launched a School of Medicine as well as a College of Communication and the Arts. A founding member of the Big East Conference, the Seton Hall Pirates field 14 NCAA Division I varsity sports teams.

The University’s beautiful main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles from New York City — offering students a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. Seton Hall’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark. The University’s new Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus in Clifton and Nutley, N.J. will open in the summer of 2018. The IHS campus will house Seton Hall's College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences as well as the Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine.

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Laurie Pine
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