Main campus update: Sunday, 2/22/24, 6:00am




Renowned photographer Dave LaBelle to offer classes at Campbellsville University during spring semester

Renowned photographer Dave LaBelle to offer classes at Campbellsville University during spring semester 1
Dave LaBelle takes photos at Campbellsville University’s Media Appreciation Luncheon, on April 11, where he was also the guest speaker. LaBelle has been a photographer for more than 60 years. (CU Photos by Joshua Williams)

By C.J. Burgess, staff writer, Campus Times

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Next semester, students at Campbellsville University, or those who want to become students, will have the chance to take two new photography courses with a visiting professor. Renowned photographer Dave LaBelle will be teaching “Faith and Photography” and “Photo Therapy.”

LaBelle has been in photography for more than 60 years. He has worked for newspapers, magazines and television stations and has taught at the University of Kentucky, Kent State University and Western Kentucky University.

He continues to do photography, write and teach.

LaBelle was also the guest speaker at the 15th Annual Mass Media Appreciation Luncheon on campus in April.

“I really, truly believe that anyone who takes any of these courses will be blessed, and I believe that they will remember it for the rest of their lives,” Stan McKinney, lead professor of mass communication and associate professor of journalism at Campbellsville University, said.

McKinney has worked hard with LaBelle to make these courses a reality.

“It’s something he told me that he wanted to do for years but never had the opportunity to do so,” McKinney said.

LaBelle never got the chance to teach “Faith and Photography” in other institutions because it would bring religion into the classroom.

“I have taught photography classes for 50 years, but when instructing university classes, I have tried to respect non-religious guidelines and limit my conversations about God because I don’t feel the secular classroom should be a church pulpit,” LaBelle said.

“To be able to teach photography and storytelling on a foundation of faith in God combines my two great loves, without feeling the restrictions of a secular environment, is liberating,” he said.

Students who enroll in “Faith and Photojournalism” or “Photo Therapy” will be expected to know how to use a camera.

“He [LaBelle] is not going to show you how to operate the camera; the assumption is that you have a working knowledge of a digital, single lens reflex camera,” McKinney said.

Both classes will be offered in spring 2020 during the second bi-term.

“Faith and Photojournalism” will be offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8 a.m. Students who enroll in this course can expect to learn how to tell stories with photos on a foundation of Jesus Christ.

“The primary goal of the course is to create or strengthen a compassionate journalistic conscience,” LaBelle said.

“The assignments in the course will help students gain an ethical thought process that will help them face the many challenging situations they may encounter while working in photography.”

“Photo Therapy” will be offered Tuesday and Thursday at 8 a.m. In this course, students will learn how a camera can help take the focus off of life’s pains and problems.

Renowned photographer Dave LaBelle to offer classes at Campbellsville University during spring semester
Dave LaBelle speaks at Campbellsville University’s 15th Annual Media Appreciation Luncheon.

“This class is designed to teach students how to use photography and storytelling as compassionate tools for healing and connection,” LaBelle said.

Students who are interested in taking either of these courses can enroll now.

McKinney said students must have completed MAC 330 Beginning Photojournalism, or students who have a working knowledge of a DSLR can get in the class with permission of the instructor.

Since LaBelle won’t be here until March, students can get permission from McKinney.

For more information on “Faith and Photojournalism,” “Photo Therapy” or to enroll, you can visit McKinney’s office, Carter Hall room 207, or send an email to or call (270)789-5035.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 14,000 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The university has Kentucky based off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset, Hodgenville and Liberty with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville. Out-of-state centers include two in California at Los Angeles and Lathrop, located in the San Francisco Bay region.  The website for complete information is

Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Campbellsville University.