Undergraduate Catalog - English Goals and Objectives | Judson University Christian College

English Department


Sharon Kim, Department Chair

Varghese Mathai, Janet Riehecky, Anna Wandtke, Terry Wandtke, Olabisi Adenekan

Emeritus: Stuart Ryder, Pat Hargis


  1. To cultivate the art of deep reading.
  2. To strengthen skills in effective oral and written communication.
  3. To deepen careful analysis and reflection.
  4. To understand all texts and contexts in the light of God's word.


Whether you want to be a writer, teacher, lawyer, or social media guru, the Judson English department can give you the wide-ranging skills you need to thrive. The Literature Major runs the gamut from Homer's Odyssey to Batman--with Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, and J.R.R. Tolkien in between--emphasizing the art of in-depth reading. The Writing Major concentrates on creative fiction and non-fiction, while the Media Writing Major prepares you for work in business, news, entertainment, non-profit, and ministry-related fields, using both traditional and new media. Interdisciplinary options let you tailor a program to your needs, like adding courses in business, visual arts, or worship arts.

And if you love poetry but fear it won't pay the bills, check out our English Minor, for literature or writing.

English Majors: Literature and Writing

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”—John 1:1

In an age of distraction, short attention spans, and information overload, we seek to cultivate the art of deep reading and reflection. These skills are counter-cultural but of great value for the human soul, especially for those whose faith is rooted in Scripture.

In keeping with the university mission to develop effective ambassadors for Christ, students will also learn to write and speak effectively, with opportunities to practice in creative, scholarly, and semi-professional settings. Our faith calls us to higher levels of engagement in understanding and communicating meaningfully with others.

In the area of literature, we offer unique, thematically-designed courses such as Prophetic Comedy, Hero and Anti-Hero, and Faith and Doubt. We embrace the study of both classical and contemporary texts from around the world.

In the area of writing, classes address essentials such as Non-Fiction Prose or Creative Writing and also cover specialized areas such as Screenwriting.


  • To learn the art of reading, through exploring a wide range of literature, from various genres, historical periods, and regions of the world.
  • To learn the craft of research and writing.
  • To understand the foundations of literary theory and criticism.
  • To discern and reflect on the spiritual dimension of literary works.

NOTE: English majors should consider seriously the Oxford Summer Program and/or the Oxford Honors Program. See Best Semester or consult your advisor.

Students interested in teaching English at the secondary level should contact the Education Department. We co-advise so that our graduates are certified by the State of Illinois and other cooperating states.

Interdisciplinary Communication Major

For someone seeking a broader experience of communication arts, the interdisciplinary major allows a student to tailor a major uniquely suited to that student's interests and career goals. In close consultation with an adviser, classes will be carefully chosen from the major areas of communication arts: communication studies, English media studies, and worship arts.


  • This major allows the student with particular interests or with a particular career goal in mind to create an interdisciplinary program that enables the student to achieve his or her goals.  The program must be designed in consultation with a communication arts advisor.

Media Writing Major

The need for media writers has increased exponentially with the internet and the digital revolution.  The Judson Media Writing major is an interdisciplinary program leading to work in business, news, entertainment, non-profit, and ministry-related fields.

One of the most comprehensive media writing programs at a Christian university, our program is unique through components such as internship and course-work opportunities with the L.A.Film Studies Center, and Chicago-area field trips connecting students with well-known writers.

Our students gain expertise through classroom, practicum, and internship experiences that make use of Chicago's rich opportunities.

Courses cover history and theory, old and new media, practical and creative writing. With courses like Media Writing and Screenwriting, the major paves the way for careers as a columnist, editor, social media manager, business writer, screenwriter, desktop publisher, public relations specialist, and more.

Literature Minor

Studying literature is valuable in its own terms and relates to almost every other field of study. Reading skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation apply to numerous professional fields in our literacy-based digital culture.

In the minor, classes include traditional areas of emphasis such as the classics in Western Literature and great authors such as Shakespeare. In addition, we offer unique, thematically-designed courses such as Prophetic Comedy, Nature Literature, and Faith and Doubt.

Writing Minor

Writing well increases creativity and improves language skills needed in almost every other field of study. These skills apply to numerous professional fields in our literacy-based digital culture.

In the minor, classes address essentials of advanced writing such as Non-Fiction Prose and Creative Writing and also cover specialized areas such as Screenwriting.

Judson University, Shaping Lives that Shape the World