English Literature

Bachelor of Arts

Program Overview

The English and Modern Languages Department at ORU emphasizes literature that embodies the "good, true and the beautiful" of Western civilization. From this perspective, students also have the opportunity to explore non-Western literature and minority voices foundational to American culture and to discover their own voices through literary writing. The English Department endeavors to enhance students' knowledge of their literary heritage, to refine and craft their skills of analysis, syntheses and evaluation and to express themselves in the art of writing as well as relate their Christian faith to their culture.

English Literature Major

The English literature major is designed for students wanting to become adept in composition and well acquainted with the evolving canon of British and American literature. The major provides a knowledge of the development of genres, of historical influences on literature, of major literary figures and of significant minority writers who have contributed to the rich diversity of American multicultural heritage.

Students learn to analyze grammatical structures of the English language, to apply linguistic principles, to analyze writing style based on grammatical structures, and to trace the development of the English language.

They also learn to summarize, paraphrase, analyze, synthesize and evaluate written material and to formulate theses and support them by logical argument. English students learn research writing that demonstrates the ability to use scholarly sources in appropriate ways, with quotations incorporated skillfully and correctly.

The English literature major helps students synthesize their faith and their field of study by analytical methods and evaluative standards. The major also prepares students to continue studies on the graduate level. As they go into their professions, such as business, law, government service or teaching, they will be able to articulate their own values and faith in terms appropriate to their social and professional contexts.

A concentration may be earned in one of several areas by completing a minimum of 12 hours in that concentration. Students may use 12 of their elective hours to earn the concent

Concentration areas

ESL (for English literature and writing majors)
Many students majoring in English go on to teach English in foreign countries. The ESL concentration is designed to help prepare English or writing students for such work abroad. (No prerequisites required.)

Prelaw (for English literature and writing majors)
The writing and English literature majors are excellent programs for students interested in pursuing a legal career because they foster communication and critical thinking skills.

Student Societies, Clubs and Extracurricular opportunities
  • Sigma Tau Delta is the International English Honor Society. Its central purpose is to confer distinction upon outstanding students of the English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies.
  • The English Club meets periodically for poetry readings and various social events. The club is open to English and writing majors as well as to any students who enjoy literature and writing.
  • Promethia is the ORU literary magazine that showcases poetry, essays, short stories, and black-and-white photography created by ORU students, faculty, and staff. Produced annually by students, Promethia seeks to display the finest literary efforts of the ORU community.

English literature majors can look forward to career opportunities in the following areas:

  • College and secondary school teaching
  • Teaching English as a second language
  • Editing
  • Technical writing
  • Writing for media
  • Fiction writing
  • Business communications
  • Advertising
Course Offerings Include
  • Introduction to Literature
  • Culture & the Christian Imagination
  • Young Adult Literature
  • World Literature
  • British Literature I & II
  • American Literature I & II
  • Multicultural Literature
  • Shakespeare
  • Structure of Modern English
  • History of the English Language
  • Major Writers (e.g., C.S. Lewis, Milton, Annie Dillard)
  • English Medieval Period
  • American Romantic Period
  • English Romantic Period
  • English Victorian Period
  • Contemporary Literature
  • Modern Period
  • Literary Criticism

Degree Plan

Degree in Three


Jeanne Wing