The English program at TMU uniquely prepares you for wherever God leads you in a close and supportive environment where our Lord and Savior is honored. Our program equips you with literary knowledge and language skills. It trains your mind for critical thinking and cultural discernment. It helps you become “earthly citizens [politeuein] worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27) representing Him in your chosen vocation!
Our program offers a wide variety of courses that rivals any undergraduate curriculum (Christian or secular): although we have a strong emphasis on classical and canonical works, we also teach contemporary works that represent major trends in literature. Our course offerings range from the Greco-Roman classics, Shakespeare, Milton, and Jane Austen, to postcolonial and postmodern writers. They include not only the literary and theological works of Christian authors such as John Calvin and C. S. Lewis but also the philosophical writings of Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean-Paul Sartre. We also offer courses in detective fiction, Gothic literature, adventure, and comedy.
What separates our program from other schools, however, is that we teach all these works from a biblical perspective with a firm commitment to Christ and His inerrant Word. We teach you to apply the mind of Christ to “examine all things” (1 Corinthians 2:15-16).
While many institutions are moving away from teaching the basic workings of our language, we maintain a core of courses in grammar and history of the English language. These courses are known for their rigor. (Our majors affectionately call the History of the English Language class with its acronym “HEL.”) Yet because of these courses, our majors consistently score very high (in the top 25 percentile for the last several years) on national exams. They become such experts in language that others on campus often seek them out for language advice.
We also provide many opportunities to develop your writing skills. Along with specialized courses in writing, most of our courses include writing components, in which you can apply the knowledge you gained and express your own thoughts. At the end of your senior year, when you review the portfolio of your own writings, you will be astonished how much your writing ability has developed!
Especially unique to our program are the courses in cutting-edge critical and cultural theory, taught from a biblical perspective, that few undergraduate institutions offer. For example, we offer courses in postmodernism, psychoanalysis, existentialism, and feminism and gender theory. These courses familiarize you with the current state of academia and train you in biblical discernment. Those that go on to graduate schools are so thoroughly prepared that they surprise their professors with their knowledge and understanding. (They are often asked, “Where did you get your undergraduate education?”) These courses strengthen your faith as you “have [your] powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14).
Due to the nature of our discipline, we attract deep thinkers with a creative mind. Their love of literature, language, and ideas draw them together to form a close-knit group. They frequent their professors’ offices (and even homes!). You will form relationships with one another and your professors that will last a lifetime.
English is perhaps the most versatile major when it comes to vocational possibilities. (We have a list of nearly one hundred different careers options!) While many have gone on to seek a career in teaching (from primary and secondary schools to major universities!), there are numerous other options: our recent graduates have gone into the field of law, entrepreneurship, business, publishing, and the film industry. Some are in ministry, serving as pastors and missionaries (including Bible translators). Others are utilizing their skills effectively as a homemaker. You will be in high demand wherever there is a need for literary and language skills!
The primary reason for majoring in English is still the love of literature and language. If you love reading, writing, and thinking, how would you like to spend your college life studying what you love, while acquiring vocational skills and growing and maturing in your faith? If that is your desire, the TMU English program is for you!