Literature & Language Studies

All English majors graduate published writers.

Power of Words

If you want to make a difference in the world through writing, our department can train you to speak and write well, and even teach, if that is your desire. Get to know what we do by browsing our literary journal and read about student media opportunities:

For those passionate about the English language, there are many career options to consider. From journalism to public relations, and teaching to library science, a powerful command of language can take you far.

Keep up with us on social media, too:

Majors & Minors

Writing for Life

English and Writing Major: Join our community of creative writers and passionate readers, where you will be encouraged to maximize your writing potential. Help write and produce our literary journal, The Crossings, or take part in the Writing for Life program where you work with incarcerated juveniles. And, everyone graduates published.

English minor also available

Details on English and Writing major


English Education Major: Graduates from the program are teaching in classrooms locally and around the world. In fact, in the past five years, every English education major has landed a teaching job. Students take the same classes as English and writing majors, plus education courses that lead to Indiana licensure. In fact, all our recent majors passed the Indiana Core Assessments for educator licensure.

Details on English Education major

Literature class

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Major: Our program works particular well with intercultural studies, English and writing and Christian ministries. This is a double-major friendly program. Last year's TESOL grads all double-majored.

TESOL minor also available

Spanish minor also available: Many grads find that foreign language skills give them more real-world opportunities. In our program you'll do classroom and field work.

Details on TESOL major

Opportunities & Careers

The Literature and Language Department seeks to provide a well-rounded educational experience. Students are encouraged to experience life through Cross Cultural Experiences in a study abroad trip. There are opportunities to serve as a tutor in the Center for Academic Success on campus.
When it's time for you to look for a job or continue on to grad school, you'll be prepared. Everyone produces a portfolio that begins as an assessment tool, but translates to professional way to showcase your work to potential employers.

Our Alumni

Caleb Morris
Caleb Morris at 2014 Student Service Day

Caleb Morris, Development Assistant at Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County

While he was a student, majoring in English & Writing and Philosophy, Caleb Morris served as the Teacher Assistant for the written communication classes and designed and composed a monthly departmental newsletter. His passion for social justice issues, especially within poverty alleviation, racial reconciliation, and community development, led to a job at Habitat for Humanity.

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Staff & Faculty

Robby Prenkert, chair of the Department of Literature & Language Studies and The Committee on the Humanities, teaches composition, Gateway to English, and various literature and creative writing genre courses. He completed his M.A. in intercultural studies from Wheaton College (1994) and his doctorate in arts and letters from Drew University 2007. 

Prenkert was Bethel’s 2007 “Professor of the Year” and was co-chair of the Multi-Ethnic Resource Team (MERT) from 2010-2014. He is an associate editor of Reflections, the journal of the Missionary Church Historical Society, and he regularly presents conference papers on topics related to teaching writing and literature as a Christian practice. 

Jennifer Ochstein’s work focuses on creative nonfiction, specifically essay and memoir. She’s published work in several literary journals including Connotation Press, Hippocampus Magazine, Evening Street Review, and The Lindenwood Review; she’s published book reviews with Brevity and River Teeth blog. Her essay “Prayer Walk” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012.

Before coming to Bethel to teach writing, Ochstein was a newspaper reporter and freelance writer. She earned a master of arts in English studies, an MFA in creative writing from Ashland University and a B.S. in journalism from Ball State University.

Maralee Crandon teaches courses in Western and British literature, including Shakespearean drama. She has a B.A. degree in history from Houghton College, an M.A. in communication from Wheaton College, an M.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. in higher education from Andrews University. She also studied British religious drama in Canterbury, England.

Crandon has been published in Christian periodicals including Christianity Today and The Christian Teacher, in the American College Testing Workshop, and in the Journal of Research on Christian Education.

Christian Davis teaches written communication, various literature classes, standard English grammar, literary criticism and theory, and French. He received a B.A. in English and mathematics, plus Pennsylvania teacher certification, from Thiel College (1979).

He taught mathematics at Brockway (Pa.) High School before going to graduate school for an M.A. (1982) and Ph.D. (1985) in English at Penn State. Davis taught English at Liberty University (1985-90, 1991-92). During that time he also studied at Liberty Baptist Seminary and the Summer Institute of Linguistics. He served as a missionary with RBMU International in 1990-93 and studied French at Universite Laval (Quebec, 1992-93). He is the author of Reading for Redemption: Practical Christian Criticism (2011).

Nan Hussey is committed to the art of translation as a form of service, enabling, as it does, people to communicate across language barriers that would otherwise exist. She is a 1981 graduate of Hope College (Holland, Mich.) with a double major in German and business administration and a minor in English, Hussey completed her M.A. (1991) and Ph.D. (1999) at the University of Washington (Seattle) in Comparative Literature: Spanish and German.

She also dabbles in other languages, such as Dutch, Czech and Norwegian, as well as experimenting with ways to improve English.