The Department of English at Trevecca Nazarene University teaches students to view literature from all eras through a biblical framework, to put forth and defend complex arguments, and to write and speak gracefully and with authority.  Classes are challenging and energetic, and students leave the program equipped not only to teach but to pursue graduate study (our students have recently accepted significant fellowships at Baylor University, University of Arkansas, University of Texas El Paso, and Oklahoma State University), to take up careers as journalists and writers, to enter the nonprofit sector, and to join the world of business.  Most important, students leave the English department able to elucidate and defend a biblical worldview, their faith strengthened rather than weakened.

A course of study in the English department combines a wide range of course offerings with a good deal of curricular flexibility.  Students read both canonical and contemporary writers--Shakespeare and C. S. Lewis, Spenser and John Gardner, Faulkner and Ian McEwan--and study with an active, friendly faculty awake to the newest trends in the discipline.  In addition to the English major, students may choose minors in English and creative writing, and interested undergraduates may serve on the staff of The Cumberland River Review, Trevecca’s national literary journal. 

We're excited about what's happening in the English department and hope for the opportunity to speak with you and answer any questions you may have.  Please give us a call, send an email, or stop by for a visit.  We look forward to meeting you.


Areas of Study

Departmental Scholarships

Each spring, a limited amount of scholarship money is available on a one-time, competitive basis to freshmen who have declared an English major.  Students may apply once, by March 1 in the spring semester of their freshman year, by completing the form below and returning it to Dr. Jooly Philip, Chair, Department of English.

Scholarship Application

The Cumberland River Review

The Cumberland River Review is a quarterly online journal publishing new poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by writers around the world.  Students interested in working on the editorial staff of The Cumberland River Review should contact Professor Graham Hillard at ghillard@trevecca.edu or extension 1369.

The journal may be viewed here.


What Our Students Say

“I think my interest in writing has always been with me, but in the English department that interest was nurtured and became a passion. TNU English prepared me not only to succeed at the graduate level and in the workplace, but to be kind and generous while doing so.”

Diana Reaves (’09)
Master of Fine Arts candidate in poetry writing, University of Arkansas

“I came to Trevecca unsure of my abilities or what I wanted to do in life. Thanks to the English department, I now have the skills necessary to excel in graduate school and in my life beyond.”

Todd Osborne (’12)
Master of Fine Arts candidate in poetry writing, Oklahoma State University

“With high performance standards and professors devoted to student development, the TNU English program prepares a student for immediate employment in their desired field. I have benefited from the Trevecca English department and from the instruction given by its Christ-loving professors.”


Virginia Hensley (’12)
Editorial Assistant, Hachette Book Group, Brentwood, Tennessee

“Trevecca’s English department provides rigorous classes, a well-rounded survey of literature and theory, small class sizes that better facilitate in-depth discussion, and opportunities to engage in further research and presentation outside of the classroom. Beyond this, the department welcomes its students’ thoughts, opinions, and literary discoveries, while also valuing its students’ individual educational needs, interests, and futures.”

Jalaine Lindsley (’11)
Master of Arts candidate in English and American Literature, University of Texas at El Paso

“I am so thankful for the education I received in the Trevecca English department. My professors not only taught me how to analyze literature but how to live in the grace of Christ Jesus.”

Tamra Reaves (’11)
English Teacher, Lafayette Christian School

Visiting Writers/Scholars Series

Each spring, the Department of English hosts Trevecca's annual Visiting Writers/Scholars Series, an event featuring creative writers and scholars of national reputation.  Visiting writers present a campus-wide reading and question-and-answer session, meet privately with English and creative writing students, lead writing workshops, deliver craft talks, and inspire our students.  Previous guests have included Bobby C. Rogers, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, Mark Jarman, winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and Louis Markos, a nationally recognized C. S. Lewis scholar.

Research Handbook

The Trevecca English Department Research Handbook is meant to assist students in the composition of scholarly essays. Trevecca professors are eager to assist if additional consultation is necessary.