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College of Information and Communications

Faculty and Staff

Cecile S. Holmes

Title: Associate Professor
Department: School of Journalism and Mass Communications
College of Information and Communications
Phone: 803-777-5913
Fax: 803-777-4103
Office: School of Journalism and Mass Communications
800 Sumter Street, Room 124
Columbia, SC 29208

Holmes' Website



B.A., Journalism, University of South Carolina
M.A.L.S., University of North Carolina Greensboro


After two decades as a newspaper reporter and editor specializing in covering religion, Cecile Holmes came back to Columbia, her hometown, to teach journalism at the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Holmes specializes in teaching advanced writing courses and has developed new courses including one in faith, values and the mass media. 


Holmes' general research revolves around religion and media, especially in reporting and retelling personal stories related to spirituality. She is also interested in research related to writing, international communications, race and religion, civil rights and interfaith understanding. Holmes authored a chapter titled "Cultural Communities of Religion Across the Digital Landscape" for an upcoming academic book series.

Funded Research

"The Media and the Message," teaching communications to nonprofit and religious leaders across multiple media platforms. Funded by the Lilly Endowment.


Holmes turns to a favorite mentor to outline her teaching philosophy, noting that Parker J. Palmer in "The Courage to Teach" describes teaching as an occupation and a calling that must be undergirded by spiritual practice and a deep understanding of one's self. Her teaching philosophy revolves around three central themes: the instructor is responsible for teaching effectiveness, practicing openness and cultivating communication with students helps them learn and teaching is a calling, a fearsome responsibility.

Recent Publications

Holmes, C. S. (2014, February 24). Restore, Rejuvenate, Enhance, Improve. Columbia Living Magazine.

Holmes, C. S. (2013). The Beach House. State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.

Holmes, C. S. (2006). Four women, three faiths: inspiring spiritual journeys. Augusta, Ga.: Harbor House.

Holmes, C. S. Witnesses to the horror: North Carolinians remember the Holocaust.


Member, School of Journalism and Mass Communications Diversity Committee

Member and former chair, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, Religion and Media Interest Group

Member, Religion Newswriters Association, 2014 Council of Presidents and Planning Committee

Member, Media Club of Columbia

Member, South Carolina Christian Action Council Interracial Task Force

Former faculty advisor, Garnet & Black


Holmes received the Religion News Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. She loves animals, children, crisp fall days, friends with big hearts and listening ears, just about any kind of music, dancing, reading and cooking. She is hooked on Boston terriers, the TV show "NCIS" and Dunkin Donuts iced coffee.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.