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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.


"Stories are powerful because they appeal to our imaginations and our emotions, not just our reason. They don’t just transmit abstract ideas; they engage the whole person."
- Dr. Robert Erle Barham, assistant professor of English



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 the semester programs at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center. For those students interested in journalism, The King's College Journalism Semester offers a chance to study journalism in New York City. 

For a full list of approved programs, please see the study abroad page.


Recent Senior Capstone Projects

  • “The Progress of Metaphysical Doubt in the Detective Novel”
  • “The Female & the Myth: Tolkien’s Story of Eucatastrophe & His Portrayal of Women”
  • “Reader-Oriented Translation”
  • “The Carnival at Sea: Understanding the Motives of Moby-Dick’s Humor through Bakhtin’s Theory of Carnival”
  • “Lincoln in the Bardo, David Foster Wallace, and Sincerity”
  • “Task of the Translator, Task of the Judge: Expanding Paul Ricoeur’s Philosophy of Translational Faithfulness”


Recent Student Internships

  • The Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • The Asheville Citizen Times
  • Jasper Reynolds Public Relations
  • CMC Publications


"Dr. Tate has always struck me as this relational, enthusiastic, and loving man of God, which is evident in the way he pours into his students. I enjoyed his ability to approach students after class in conversation and pour into them. This made me feel that he was not there to teach and leave, but to share the love of Christ."
- Caleb McNaughton ’20 | sport administration major


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.


Where Our Alumni Are

Graduate Schools

  • University of Virginia at Arlington
  • University of Edinburgh
  • New York University
  • University of Dayton School of Law
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Western Carolina University

Job Outcomes for English Majors

  • Founder, Widgets & Stone
  • Director of education, Advance
  • Reporter, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • President, Pearl Ministries
  • Editor, World Magazine
  • Teaching assistant, University of Dayton
  • Assistant editor, CMC Publications
  • Staff writer, Curator Magazine
  • Adjunct professor, Gordon College
  • English and rhetoric teacher, Covenant Christian Academy


Programs, Courses, and Requirements

Major and Concentrations


Dr. Nola Stephens

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

Allison Andrews

"I love being an English major because I love the professors in the English department. Every good and smart thing that I can only dream of stuttering through, they articulate beautifully and graciously."
 - Allison Andrews '23