Ripley Smith

Job Titles

  • Professor of Media Communication, Department Chair
    Communication Studies , College of Arts and Sciences


Smith has research interests in social networks and socio-cultural adjustment, trust development in partnerships across cultures and organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international crisis intervention processes, and prophetic rhetoric.

Started at Bethel



  • University of Dubuque - B.A. in Speech Communication, 1986
  • University of Minnesota - M.A. in Intercultural Communication, 1990
  • University of Minnesota - Ph.D. in Intercultural Communication, 1996

Courses Taught

  • Communication Technology & Society
  • Group Communication
  • Inquiry Seminar
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Media Communication
  • Perspectives on Communication
  • Storytelling
  • Topics in Contemporary Communication (Graduate)
  • Web Design



Intercultural Social Support Networks: A Socio-Structural Description of Expatriate Adjustment and Communicative Competence.

Book Chapters:

Smith, L.R. (in press). Looking for ties and bonds: Intercultural social networks in the 21st century. In M. Hinner (Ed.), Communication Science and Linguistics for Business Administration and Management, Peter Lang.

Smith, L.R. (2017). Training for Immigrants. In Young Yun Kim (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication. Wiley Blackwell.

Smith, L.R. (2016). Virtues as a Horizon for Intercultural Understanding: The roles of faith and nationality. In A. E. Hacker-Daniels (Ed.), Communication and the Global Landscape of Faith, Lexington Books.

Smith, R., & Seignious, M. (2016). Medium, Message, and Ministry: How music radio shapes evangelical culture. In M. Ward (Ed.), The Electronic Church in the Digital Age: Cultural Impacts of Evangelical Mass Media, Vol. I. Praeger.

Schwegler, U., & Smith, L. R. (2012). Ethno-political Conflict in Kosovo: Cultivating trust in Serbian-Albanian post-conflict peace-building. In D. Landis & R. Albert (Eds.), The Handbook of Ethnic Conflict: International perspectives. New York: Springer Press.

Smith, L. R., & Schwegler, U. (2010). The Role of Trust in International Crisis Areas: A Comparison of German and US-American NGO Partnership Strategies. In M. Saunders, D. Skinner, G. Dietz, N. Gillespie & R. J. Lewicki (Eds.), Organisational Trust: A Cultural Perspective (pp. 281-310). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Smith, L. R. (1992). Media-Networking: An intercultural communication model for global management of socio-cultural change. In F. Korzenny, Ting-Toomey, S., Schiff, E., (Ed.), Mass media effects across cultures (Vol. 16). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.


Kulich, S.J., Komisaroff, A., Smith, L.R., & Cushner, K. (2021). Re-examining intercultural research and relations in the COVID pandemic (Editorial). International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 80(1), 1-6.

Smith, L. R. (2016). Courageous Compassion and the Immigration Crisis: A response to Barz, Darr, Lewis, & Ebertz. Character and… Courageous Compassion, Vol. 2. UD Digital Library.

van Oudenhoven, J., de Raad, B., Timmerman, M., Askevis-Leherpeux, F., Boski, P., Carmona, C., Choubisa, R., Dominguez, A., Bye, H., Kurylo, A., Lahmann, C., Mastor, K., Selenko, E., Slezackova, A., Smith, R., Tip, L., Yik, M. (2014). Are virtues national, supranational, or universal? SpringerPlus, 3(1), 1-12. doi: 10.1186/2193-1801-3-223

Smith, L. R. (2013). Female refugee networks: Rebuilding post-conflict identity. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 37(1), 11-27.

Smith, L. R. (2006). Principles of intercultural communication. Book Review, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 30(3), 413-420.

Smith, L. R. (2005). The structural context of intercultural personhood: Identity re-formation. International Journal of Communication, 15(1 & 2), 89-112.

Smith, L. R. (2002). The social architecture of communicative competence: a methodology for social-network research in sociolinguistics. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 153, 133-160.

Smith, L. R. (1999). Intercultural network theory: A cross-paradigmatic approach to acculturation. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 23(4), 629-658.

Smith, L. R. (1993). Kinesics in the multicultural classroom: An analysis of Hispanics and Anglos,” Arizona Communication Association Journal, 19.

Smith, L. R. (1992). Sending management technology abroad: Crucial communication dimensions of effecting a management technology Transfer to China,” Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota Journal, 19.

Smith, L. R. (1992). The creation of life consciousness: Mediated discourse and the globalization of the environment. Proceedings of The Conference On The Discourse Of Environmental Advocacy, Alta, Utah.

Hobbies and Interests

Landscape photography; Folk/classical guitar; woodworking; Studying ancient Israel, classical philosophy, and the early Christian church.

Favorite Book: For pure entertainment, anything by Grisham, Clancy, or Tolkien. For substance, The Passion of the Western Mind by Richard Tarnas or World on Fire by Amy Chua.

Favorite Religious Book (not including the Bible): So Send I You, by Oswald Chambers; Desiring God, by John Piper.

Research interests

Smith has research interests in social networks and socio-cultural adjustment, trust development in partnerships across cultures and organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international crisis intervention processes, and prophetic rhetoric.