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English, B.A.

Whitworth English majors are careful and insightful readers, judicious and flexible researchers, and clear, imaginative writers. Our majors concentrate their studies on literature, writing, and/or teaching; many also pursue electives or minors in editing and publishing, film and visual narratives, composition and rhetoric, medieval and early modern studies, or teaching English to speakers of other languages.

We graduate students whose strong writing, speaking, and analytical skills make them extraordinary, resourceful professionals and scholars.

Why major in English at Whitworth?

  • Learn from Christian faculty scholars and creators who provide you with dedicated teaching and mentoring inside and outside the classroom.
  • Gain valuable experience as a reader or assistant editor for Rock & Sling, Whitworth's national literary journal. (This opportunity is rare for undergraduate English departments.)
  • Meet prominent visiting scholars and artists. Our recent guests include novelist Jess Walter (a New York Times No. 1 bestselling author), documentary filmmaker Alexandra Hidalgo, and acclaimed poet Cornelius Eady.
  • Connect your faith or worldview commitments with your vocational goals.
  • Have fun! Join a community built on a shared love of literature and writing. Outside the classroom, you can be a part of our student club, Westminster Round, which stages annual readings and other literary events. When the sun is out, we play whiffle ball and enjoy classes and student readings in the department’s unique garden.
  • Become who you're meant to be.

Our English grads make a difference (and get jobs)

During senior year our majors work closely with a faculty mentor to assess their own work, refine their professional documents, and consider vocational and career pathways. Each year, our graduates enter competitive graduate programs and are hired to work in a variety of fields, including publishing; professional writing; marketing; community, church and nonprofit outreach; ministry; banking and management; film; and teaching at all levels, at home and abroad.

The English degree helps them land jobs, and their adaptability, thoroughness, and creativity earn them promotions.

Our graduates are working in a variety of positions and fields, including:

  • Morgan Feddes, communications specialist and managing editor, Council of Christian Colleges & Universities, Washington, D.C.
  • Nic Vargas, editorial producer, Apple, Silicon Valley, Calif.
  • Jeremiah Webster, associate professor and department chair, Northwest University, Seattle, Wash.
  • John Taylor, writing center coordinator, University of Michigan-Dearborn.
  • Andrea Palpant, documentary filmmaker, memoirist, writer for Christianity Today, Austin, Texas.
  • Kathryn Linder, research director, Oregon State University Extended Campus, Corvallis.
  • Jessica Wisse, senior marketing coordinator, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Seattle, Wash.
  • Our grads are teaching at schools and universities across the country, including the University of the Incarnate Word, Texas Tech University, Northwest University, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and Western Washington University.

Our recent English grads further their studies in top graduate programs at institutions including:

  • Duke University (Ph.D., Philosophy)
  • Emerson College (MFA, Creative Writing)
  • Michigan State University (Ph.D., English)
  • The Ohio State University (Ph.D., English)
  • University of Oregon (MFA, Writing)
  • University of Oregon (Ph.D., English)
  • Penn State (MA/Ph.D., English)
  • Portland State (MA, Publishing)
  • Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.)
  • Purdue University (MA, English)
  • University of Texas at Austin (Ph.D., English)

Opportunities outside the classroom

  • Work as a writing consultant for the Composition Commons, helping students and other members of the campus community refine and develop their writing.
  • Become an editor for and publish your creative work in Script, our student-run literary magazine.
  • Present your scholarly or creative work at regional and national undergraduate conferences.
  • Work on Rock & Sling, our national literary magazine, and read the work of writers around the world as you help decide which stories, essays, and poems we publish.
  • Travel to annual trade shows and conferences like the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference and the Festival of Faith & Writing.
  • Study abroad through our month-long and semester-long United Kingdom programs.
  • Lead workshops with students at schools and community centers throughout Spokane in our Writing in the Community program.
  • Engage with visiting national writers and scholars.
  • Become a student leader in Westminster Round, our student club.

Tracks

Choose one of three tracks, based on your interests and career goals:

  • Track I: Literature
  • Track II: Writing Studies
  • Track III: Preparation for secondary teaching

We offer six minors: a general (and very flexible) English minor, as well minors in editing and publishing; film and visual narrative; teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL); medieval and early modern studies; and language arts (designed especially for education students). We also support the university's interdisciplinary minors in U.S. cultural studies and women's & gender studies.

Ask our faculty

Ask Fred

Associate Professor and Department Chair Fred Johnson teaches courses including Digital Storytelling, American Immigrant Literature, and Postmodern Literature and Culture.

Ask Laurie

Amy Ryan Endowed Professor Laurie Lamon teaches courses including Poetry of Witness, Contemporary American Poetry, and Whitman-Dickinson

Ask Thom

Associate Professor Thom Caraway teaches courses including Introduction to Editing, Book Design and Publishing, and American Literary Journals.

Ask Casey

Associate Professor Casey Andrews teaches courses including Introduction to African American Literature, Film Noir and Hardboiled Fiction, and British Literature.