The low-residency MFA at SPU is a creative writing program for apprentice writers — both Christians and those of other faith traditions — who not only want to pursue excellence in the craft of writing but also place their work within the larger context of world literature by writers of faith.
The spiritual dimension of this program is not intended to produce didactic, sectarian, or sentimental literature. On the contrary, this program seeks to extend what our faculty understand to be a longstanding conversation that comprises much of world literature, a conversation in which the highest levels of art, an open-eyed exploration of human experience, and a respect for mystery are all held in a proper balance.
Our models are Augustine and Dante, Saint Ephraim the Syrian and Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, the Pearl poet and Sor Juana de la Cruz, George Herbert and John Milton, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Emily Dickinson, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Alexandros Papadiamandis, T.S. Eliot and Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy and James Baldwin, Annie Dillard and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We believe that our program will appeal to writers for whom matters of faith are central. We also intend to cultivate reading and writing as spiritual disciplines. We are convinced that writers flourish best when they engage in a sustained dialogue with the great literature that has come before them. Therefore, our program maintains a strong emphasis on reading classic works from the writers of faith, and responding to them in a series of critical papers.
Unlike many MFA programs, ours focuses not only on matters of craft but also on the importance of vision. We believe that great writing is not merely an act of self-expression, but a single-minded effort to do justice in the world, to do justice to the world.
A Word about Inclusiveness
In keeping with the commitments of Seattle Pacific University and its informing tradition, our program is intentional in our proclaiming a commitment to pursuing class, race, and gender inclusion; while we honor our various gifts and vocations, we understand our common calling to be one of reconciliation, of embracing the beauty and the necessity of difference within a beloved whole.