AppTV show “Religion in Life” wins prestigious Religion Communicators Council Wilbur Award

“Religion in Life,” a television show hosted by Dr. Ozzie Ostwalt, Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Appalachian State University, has been awarded the 2019 Religion Communicators Council Wilbur Awardin the category of Television and Cable Interview for his episode interviewing the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr.

The 70th year of Wilbur Awards will be celebrated at the 90th annual convention of the Religion Communicators Council (RCC), an interfaith association of religion communicators, that will take place in Chicago, IL in April where Ostwalt, one of 22 recipients will accept an award. These awards honor excellence in secular media including print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting and motion pictures in communicating religious issues, values and themes. Past program winners of Wilbur Awards have been from CBS, CNN, The Oprah Network, the Christian Science Monitor and a host of other national media outlets.

“We have produced many special programs during the past four years,” said Ostwalt, “but none more important than this interview with the Reverend Jackson. His insight into the role religion played during one of the most pivotal periods in American history reminds us how important it is to study religion and the way it affects everyday life.”

In its ninth season, “Religion in Life” is one of the longest-running programs on the AppTV channel and has aired over 80 episodes including guests who are ministers, theologians, academicians, artists, writers and politicians exploring the integral role that faith and spirituality play in the world today. AppTV is housed in the Department of Communication and is Appalachian’s student-staffed television channel.

The RCC Wilbur Award submissions are reviewed by media professionals, coordinated by council members across the country to evaluate submissions on content, creativity, impact and excellence in communicating religious values.

“With this program, our goal has been to create a series of intellectually stimulating and accessible interviews that will provide a scholarly resource on religion in America. I have been fortunate to be part of AppTV’s programming and thank not only AppTV and their student producers, but also the College of Arts and Sciences for providing resources that support this program. I am proud that we have been able to create a quality series with interesting content on contemporary religion,” said Ostwalt.  

“Religion in Life” on AppTV is available on Skybest Channel 20 or 1020, Spectrum channel 198 and on campus channel 23-3. This interview and previous episodes of “Religion in Life” can be accessed at


About the Department of Philosophy and Religion
The Department of Philosophy and Religion invites students to explore the world, examine beliefs, understand a diversity of worldviews, and challenge the ideas and values that instruct our lives. The department offers a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies, as well as a minor in both of these areas. Learn more at

About the Department of Communication
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Department of Communication at Appalachian State University focuses on preparing students to succeed in the varied fields within the communication industry. The department offers five majors – advertising, communication studies, electronic media/broadcasting, journalism and public relations – and a minor in communication studies. Graduates work in a wide range of positions in media, corporate, agency, government and nonprofit organizations. Learn more at

About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at

About the College of Fine and Applied Arts
Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance. Learn more at

March 14, 2019
By Ellen Gwin Burnette

Dr. Ozzie Ostwalt, Professor of Philosophy and Religion on the set of his AppTV program, “Religion in Life
Published: Mar 14, 2019 4:38pm