Denise (Ferguson) Edwards-Neff, Ph.D., APR

Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Professor, Department of Communication Studies
Phone: (626) 815-6000, Ext. 3524
Office Location: Ronald Building, 147B
Photo of Denise (Ferguson) Edwards-Neff, Ph.D., APR


Dr. Denise (Ferguson) Edwards-Neff is Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research, and Professor of Communication at Azusa Pacific University. She has held previous administrative and faculty positions at Pepperdine University, Indiana Wesleyan University, and University of Indianapolis.

Dr. Edwards-Neff's research has been published in Public Relations Review, Public Relations Journal, Sociological Quarterly, Quarterly Review of Business Disciplines, Business Review Yearbook, Oxford Handbook of Religion and the News, and The Handbook of Public Relations, and has been presented at annual conferences of the International Association of Business Disciplines, International Communication Association, National Communication Association, and Religious Communication Association, and Public Relations Society of America, where she was awarded the 2008 Top Faculty Paper and Best of Public Relations Journal in 2012.

Dr. Edwards-Neff has more than ten years of experience in professional public relations in higher education, corporate, and nonprofit organizations. She earned a Ph.D. in Public Affairs and Issues Management at Purdue University, a master's degree in Communication at Bowling Green State University, and a B.S. in Communication from Indiana State University. Dr. Edwards-Neff holds the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America, is on the board of PRSA-Los Angeles and an executive member of the international Commission on Public Relations Education, and has served as President of the Religious Communication Association and Chair of the Public Relations Division of the National Communication Association.


  • Ph.D. in Public Affairs and Issues Management, Purdue University
  • M.A. in Communication, Bowling Green State University
  • B.S. in Speech Communication, Indiana State University


  • Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America

Academic Areas

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Communication
    • Department of Communication Studies


  • Activism
  • Crisis Communication
  • Public Relations
  • Religion and the Public Sphere
  • Service Learning
  • Strategic Communication

Office Hours

T - 2:00-3:00pm
W - 1:00-2:00pm
R - 2:00-4:00pm
by appointment

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