The Department of English at The Master's College regards the study of language and literature as central to a Christian liberal arts education. It merits this centrality, in part, because of the very nature of the Christian faith: God chose to reveal His dealings with humans in a historical and literary way--the Word of God, a Word which employs literary forms and rhetorical strategies to engage its audience. It also merits a central position because literature contains traces of God's truth (e.g., truthfulness to the human experience), occupies a place in human culture receiving God's blessing, and often fulfills the qualifications of Philippians 4:8.
We affirm that the noblest reasons for acquiring literacy are to read the Scriptures with understanding and sympathy; to articulate the truth of God clearly, attractively, and convincingly; and to be equipped to recognize truth expressed in many sources, discerning it from partial truth and error, testing all by the biblical standard.
Through the study of poetry, drama, fiction, essays, and critical theory, students in the English major can:
- Begin to understand how God has unfolded history, as they explore literature that both illuminates the past and becomes itself part of the historical record.
- Extend the range of their intellectual, moral, and spiritual vision as they explore works that deal with the great issues of life, death, purpose, and destiny.
- Grow as persons as they participate in the vicarious experience of literature and see life from a variety of viewpoints
- Acquire critical reading and thinking skills that enable them to develop biblically based discernment.
- Develop their abilities to write clearly, attractively, and perceptively and learn to converse in the marketplace of ideas.
- Prepare for advanced study in English.
The Department of English offers a primarily traditional curriculum. The philosophy and practice of the faculty is to emphasize works of recognized and enduring merit in the canon of English, American, and world literature. At the same time, they remain receptive to the inclusion of new or neglected works that are compatible with the department's philosophy. Several courses examine critical theory, and faculty employ a variety of methodologies in literary analysis, while favoring a historical and exegetical approach.
Students may choose to obtain a major or a minor in English, or work toward qualifying for the California Single Subject Teaching Credential in English (additional requirements).
Careers for the English Major
The English major is not a career-specific major, such as accounting. Instead, alert and competent graduates with an English major have acquired a habit of thought and a range of skills that open opportunities for careers in a diversity of fields: teaching, missions, journalism, publishing, insurance, law, paralegal work, banking, personnel management, public relations, and government service. With additional specific training, graduates in English can enter these and other occupations, careers, and vocations.
California Single Subject Teaching Credential in English
Students desiring to obtain a California Single Subject Teaching Credential in English complete the English major under the direction of an English faculty advisor. Currently (2010-11) the California State Commission on Teacher Credentialing requires students to pass four assessment examinations (CSET series) as evidence of subject matter competence. Information about these examinations and other state requirements is available in the Department of English, the Department of Teacher Education and at http://www.cset.nesinc.com
Credit by Examination
Students entering fall 2010 or spring 2011 may receive credit by examination as follows:
Advanced Placement (AP)
- Credit for E110 English Composition (3u.), score of 3 or better on the exam in Language and Composition (or) exam in Literature and Composition.
- Credit for E120 Introduction to Literature (3u.) for test score of 3 or better on the exam in Literature and Composition (but not Language and Composition); can fulfill 3 u. literature elective requirement.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
- Credit for E110 English Composition (3u.) for a score of 55 or better on the Subject Examination in College Composition (or) Subject Examination in Freshman College Composition.
- Credit for E120 Introduction to Literature (3u.) for a score of 55 or better on the exam in Analyzing and Interpreting Literature; can fulfill 3 u. literature elective requirement.
- Credit for E211 English Literature I (or) E212 English Literature II; three (3) units credit may be granted for score of 55 or better on the exam in English Literature; fulfills 3 u. literature survey requirement.
- Credit for E231 American Literature I (or) E232 American Literature II; three (3) units lower-division credit may be granted for score of 55 or better on the exam in American Literature; fulfills 3 u. literature survey requirement.