Covenant College, The denominational college of the PCA


The Department of English seeks to help students understand, appreciate, and use responsibly God's gift of language. Students should develop a Christian awareness of the issues and problems in each area of language use and work toward Christian answers. In this way students should be equipped with the ability to understand language and use it responsibly wherever the Lord leads them after college.



Courses in composition aim to teach students how to generate, organize, and communicate ideas clearly, correctly, and effectively; students also get practice in analyzing and evaluating the ideas of others. Various courses in creative writing offer students a chance to develop their gifts in particular types of writing: fiction, poetry, nonfiction. The communication department's courses in playwriting and screenwriting offer additional options.



Believing that its students should understand the nature of language as part of the God-given structure of reality, the department offers a variety of courses in linguistics as well as a linguistics minor.



In the department's wide range of literature courses, students learn how to approach and appreciate literary art forms, as products both of the creativity which is part of the image of God in humankind and of human beings living in particular cultures and employing particular literary techniques.


Study Elsewhere

Many English majors take advantage of opportunities to study off campus. Of particular interest are programs offered in cooperation with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities; these include semester and summer programs at Oxford University as well as semester programs at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center and the Washington Journalism Center.


After College

A wide range of opportunities is available to graduates of Covenant's English program. Some students, especially those who have completed the education department's certification program, become teachers in secondary schools; but most go in other directions. Some continue their studies in law school or seminary. A significant number continue their study of English or related fields in graduate school and become professors in public universities or Christian colleges. Some have pursued careers in journalism or theatre, while others have found positions in business, government, and non-profit organizations where they can use their skills in analyzing, writing, and editing.

Dr. Stephens discusses the importance of language in Scripture and describes the excitement of studying linguistics as a believer.

"If I had to pick one, I would say Dr. Barham. He is one of the kindest people I have ever met, and is also one of the smartest. While Dr. Barham is brilliant, he teaches in a way that makes you feel smart, like you are one of his peers. If you have not taken a class from him, I would highly recommend it."
 - English major Louis Metcalfe '18
Emmett reflects on the process of putting classroom learning into practice as he pursues a writing career.