Why English at Bethel?

In the Department of English at Bethel, we’ve created an environment where students can dig into their passion for writing stories, reading literature, or teaching English. Through our experienced faculty, study abroad options, and in-house publications, students hone their craft and prepare for a lifetime of working with the English language.

We also have a thriving journalism program, supported by The Johnson Center for Journalism and Communication. The program provides students with hands-on media experiences and equips them to shape culture as the next generation of journalistic storytellers. 

We want our students to graduate well-rounded, well-informed individuals possessing a rich, diverse understanding of the world and equipped to succeed in all their endeavors, personal and professional.

Here are a few highlights:

Classroom Experience

The classroom experience for English & Journalism students is eclectic, challenging, and always interesting. A typical English class includes 12-20 students and gives students the opportunity to engage with literature and practice their writing from a variety of worldviews and perspectives.

  • Faculty. Our faculty members are committed to their students and to their subject matter. They’re all practicing, published writers themselves, enabling them to provide valuable insights and feedback on the writing process. Our professors all take their own approach to reading and teaching literature, resulting in a range of teaching styles and experiences.
  • First-hand learning. Shakespeare students attend performances at the Guthrie Theater as well as at smaller venues throughout the Twin Cities before performing their own scenes in class.  Juvenile Literature students read a book and correspond by email with their “reading buddy” eighth graders at a local school to test adolescent literacy theories in the real world.
  • Relevant teaching. Journalism and editing students work with state-of-the-art news gathering and editing equipment in our multimedia computer facility and in journalism classes that integrate multiple forms of storytelling. Students can learn the process of publishing and being published as they prepare for life as a professional writer or gain the valuable writing skills essential to any career.
  • Integration of faith and learning. In the Bethel English Department, we strive to integrate faith and learning organically—rather than using faithful scholarship as an overlay, we want students' growth as Christians and scholars to sprout from who they are and through their interaction with literature and writing.

Opportunities

Bethel offers several opportunities for students to hone their writing skills and gain enriching, unforgettable experience in the literary world. Whether you’re interested in journalism, creative writing, or English lit., there are ways for you to get involved:

  • Clarion. Bethel’s student-run weekly newspaper gives students the experience employers look for as well as a hands-on opportunity to learn about the newspaper industry.
  • The Johnson Center for Journalism. The Johnson Center works to produce culture-shaping Christians in the field of print and electronic journalism.
  • Coeval. Bethel’s student-run literary and art magazine, issued twice per year, has been around since 1962. The Coeval features creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and art from Bethel students.
  • Off campus programs. Spend a semester off campus with departmental professors in England or New York City. Travel to Brazil, Australia, Egypt, Jordan, or Kenya over interim in January to study literature and writing. Check out our Global Engagement page to learn more.  
  • Field trips. Every other April several of our students and faculty members attend and present at The Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids, Mich. This 4-day conference brings together some of the finest writers in the world who are exploring questions of faith. In addition, journalism students frequently visit newspaper offices around Minnesota.
  • Twin Cities culture. The Twin Cities are home to countless publishing houses, book stores, theatres, and reading venues. Bethel’s English Department also sponsors several readings a year with writers of note. (Two of our recent speakers, Wang Ping and Deborah Keenan, were finalists for the Minnesota Book Award.)

Internships

Bethel's location within the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul offers an exceptional range of internship possibilities. The Office of Career Development and Calling, as well as the internship boards posted around Bethel, have helped previous students find internships at:

  • Minnesota Monthly (the magazine of MN Public Radio)
  • Honeywell
  • The Loft
  • Minnesota Christian Chronicle
  • Coffee House Press
  • The Minnesota Center for Book Arts
  • Star Tribune

Internships are a valuable way to gain experience in writing, editing, or publishing, and offer students a unique chance to experience their areas of interest first hand.

Graduate School

Our graduates have gone on to get advanced degrees in literature (from Baylor, Northwestern, Purdue, and elsewhere), journalism (UC Berkeley, Arizona State), and creative writing (Sarah Lawrence, Hamline). They pursue professional degrees in fields ranging from public policy and law to ministry (at George Washington, Minnesota, Princeton Seminary, and many other institutions).