The Department of English at The Master’s University 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. His Word 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 and 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.
- • Acquire critical reading and thinking skills that enable them to develop biblically based discernment.
- • Extend the range of their intellectual, moral, and spiritual vision as they explore works that deal with the significant issues of life, death, purpose, and destiny.
- • Grow as a person by participating in the vicarious experience of literature and seeing life from a variety of viewpoints.
- • Develop the ability to write attractively and perceptively, as well as learn to converse in the marketplace of ideas.
- • Prepare for advanced studies in English.
The primarily traditional curriculum emphasizes 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 members 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).
Sample CoursesView Sample 4-Year Plan
English Literature I, II
A chronological survey of the development of English literature, with emphasis on the major writers; some attention to the parallel developments in history, language, religion, and culture. First semester: Anglo-Saxon period through the Neoclassical period. Second semester: Romantic period through contemporary period.
Studies in Classic Film
An introduction to film history, technique, and theory, with an emphasis on genre conventions. Students will study approximately 12 feature-length and several shorter films, with particular attention to how the technical and artistic elements such as cinematography, plot, and direction control meaning and worldview. The focus of the course is on developing a biblical-critical-analytical approach to film viewing, resulting in discernment of the philosophical foundations of individual works.
Age of Romanticism
A study of the poetry and prose of the major writers of the English Romantic Movement (1785-1830) with a view to understand their lives, work, and literary importance. Selected minor writers and one novel are also included.
Studies in John Calvin
This is a study of the life and work of the great magisterial Reformer. The approach will be that of an “intellectual history” course, featuring biographical, literary, theological, and philosophic content concerning the man and his times. Specific attention is paid to Calvin’s status as a master 16th century literary Humanist who guided the systematic intellectual development of Reformation thought.
Literary Criticism & Critical Theory
An introduction to literary criticism and theoretical/conceptual systems from the Pre-Socratics and Plato to modern and emerging postmodern thinking. Readings in primary texts, with emphasis on developing a biblical-critical theory for approaching literature, philosophy, art, culture, and theory itself. This basic theoretical model will derive from the scriptural record regarding human wisdom and knowledge.
The best cultural critics should be Christians.Dr. Grant Horner
Next Steps: Applying
Since 1927, the mission of The Master’s University is to empower students for a life of enduring commitment to Christ, biblical fidelity, moral integrity, intellectual growth, and lasting contribution to the Kingdom of God worldwide.
- Required statement of faith and pastoral recommendation
- 3.6 GPA average for new applications
Study & Serve Abroad - IBEX
Study the Bible for a full semester in the land where the Bible was written.
Study & Serve Abroad - Italy
Study & Serve Abroad - Italy
GO! Global Outreach
Opportunities for students to serve overseas through short-term mission trips. We connect them with our Missionary Alumni and other agencies.