“…In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.” –C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism
C.S. Lewis describes the capacity of great literature to introduce readers to experiences vastly different from their own. OBU English majors have the opportunity to experience what Lewis describes, as they analyze literature from classical antiquity to the contemporary era, and from the far reaches of the globe to right here in Oklahoma. Faculty and students engage with literature as the varied expression of human thought, culture and belief. Together they consider how the study of literature can cultivate Christian love and moral action.
English is offered through the Division of Language and Literature in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
What makes an OBU English degree special?
The English degree is uniquely designed for students to embark on a sequential study of many of the world’s greatest works of drama, poetry and prose. The journey begins with the study of classical Greek and Roman literature, then leads to formative works of Western Civilization from the early Middle Ages through the present. With this vital foundation, English majors go on to take survey courses in British and American literature, as well as classes on major authors, courses on literary theory and creative writing workshops. OBU English majors have the opportunity to engage the breadth of the literary canon, and also to enjoy the focused study of specialized genres. Students can also choose from upper-level special topics classes on culture, fiction, poetry, drama and film. Recent topics courses include “Medieval Roots of The Lord of the Rings,” “Happy and Unhappy Families in the Novel,” “The Romantic Epic,” and “Irony, Spectacle, and Authenticity in Contemporary Culture.”
In each English course, professors and students explore the integration of faith and learning. Ongoing discussions of literature and the writing process in light of Christianity take place in class, reflecting the English Department’s commitment to OBU’s Mission Statement: As a Christian liberal arts university, OBU transforms lives by equipping students to pursue academic excellence, integrate faith with all areas of knowledge, engage a diverse world, and live worthy of the high calling of God in Christ.
|Program Option||Degree Plan|
|Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English|
|Minor in English|
|Minor in Professional writing Business/Technical Writing|
|Minor in Professional writing Literary Professional Editing|
|Minor in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of a Second Language)|
For a school its size, OBU has a sizable English department. Nearly a dozen faculty members specialize in topics ranging from medieval studies to modern literature, from creative writing to Shakespeare. They are actively engaged in their fields, presenting at conferences and publishing both books and scholarly articles.
Learn more about our Language and Literature faculty.
Chloe Harrison of Duncan, Oklahoma is a senior English major with a minor in Literary Professional Editing. She is interested in every area of writing—whether it be creative, professional, or academic—and is currently writing a thesis on the role of the editor in American book publishing. In the summer of 2018, Chloe had the opportunity to study abroad with the Honors Program in London, England. This experience, along with her work on the Scriblerus, has led to an interest in pursuing a publishing career in London after graduation. Chloe is currently applying for job positions and graduate programs in publishing, hoping to learn more about the art of editing in the city she loves.
What are OBU grads doing with their English degrees?
A degree in English opens the doors to a multitude of career opportunities. OBU English majors have gone on to be:
- Web content specialists
- Research specialists for corporations
- Humanitarian aid workers
- Public school teachers
- Graduate students in the fields of literature and creative writing
- University professors
- Seminary students and pastors
- And much more ...
Opportunities for OBU English Majors
- Join Sigma Tau Delta
Sigma Tau Delta is an international English honor society dedicated to academic excellence and promoting literacy. OBU’s chapter works to serve the community, host fundraising events on campus, and increase solidarity between English majors and faculty.
- Present papers at academic conferences
OBU’s chapter regularly sends members to the annual Sigma Tau Delta convention, attended by students and faculty from across the nation. Students read academic papers, participate in roundtable discussions, share creative writing pieces, and join in enjoyable events like Bad Poetry Night.
- Contribute to Scriblerus, the OBU literary magazine
Creative writing students can submit works in the fiction and poetry categories, which are eligible for prizes. They can also help judge pieces, edit, and lay out the magazine.
- Study abroad
OBU is partnered with programs in countries across the globe. English majors have found study abroad especially rewarding, embracing opportunities to learn in Rome, London, Oxford, and beyond.
- Enroll in an independent study course
Those enrolled in independent study work one-on-one with a professor to pursue deeper understanding in a topic that both are interested in. Oftentimes, independent study will lead to a thesis project.
- Write a thesis
English majors can also apply to join OBU’s Honors Program. As Honors students, they can complete a thesis project in their final year at OBU. English majors have presented novellas and collections of poetry. They have also researched the evolution of the American novel and feminism in modernist literature. Learn more about the Honors program.
- Double major or minor
Because English course requirements are so open-ended, students often enjoy enough elective hours to double major or double minor.
- Get involved with the literary community, both on campus and off
Attend the monthly English Department meeting Half-Past Three to join in fellowship with faculty and other students while snacking on cookies and sipping coffee, join the Inklings reading and writing group to discuss/share fantasy and science fiction written in the vein of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, and attend off-campus events such as the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival.