SPU English Department


An English major prepares students to enter professions such as the law, social work, ministry, or medicine; to work in a variety of businesses and governmental agencies; to teach in elementary or secondary schools; to pursue graduate study in English or other disciplines; and generally to enter life with an appreciation for God's gift of the word.

Literature courses show how language enables us to investigate and shape our views of God, humanity, and the earth; writing courses stress writing as a process of communication with readers and as an exploration of one's own thoughts and feelings.

Most of all, courses in English allow students to discuss the fundamental questions of human life and meaning, as well as to cultivate an appreciation of individual and cultural diversity.

Through the English major, you will gain

  • Broad knowledge of British, American, and world literature
  • Skill in textual analysis, interpretation, scholarship, and critical thinking
  • A mature understanding of the relationship between literature and the Christian faith
  • Proficiency in writing, whether critical or creative
  • A mature understanding of the issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and class as represented in U.S. minority literature and non-Western texts as well as canonical works

How to Read a Poem

Writing on the window of an English classroom

English Professor Susan Van Zanten gives you a quick guide on how to get the most out of reading poetry.


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

- Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice