Department of English


The Department of English introduces students to significant works of the literary imagination, guides their development in language and composition, and encourages them to read attentively, reflect deeply, write cogently, and express themselves creatively, all to glorify God and serve others.

Department Overview

English is a fundamental liberal art at a university such as Azusa Pacific. The following four objectives demonstrate the centrality of English to the curriculum:

  1. The program certifies the writing skills of all students to be at the collegiate level and enhances those skills involving research, personal and creative expression, and expository and argumentative modes.
  2. It provides literature and film courses that contribute to the cultural experience of students and enriches their enjoyment of literature as an avenue to truth and social comment as well as self-expression.
  3. The program offers a balanced selection of courses in writing, film, and literature for students majoring in English, so that their breadth of reading and literary analysis includes the best world literature and the development of critical skills practiced by the finest literary critics.
  4. The program satisfies professional needs, especially of prospective teachers.

Beyond the general goals of APU’s English curriculum, the following specific outcomes represent the department’s intentions for the course offerings and requirements in General Education and the major:

  • Assist students in achieving familiarity with a wide range of texts from varying traditions, cultures, and eras.
  • Equip students with the critical vocabulary, background, and analytical tools necessary to appreciate and evaluate literary texts, including film.
  • Encourage students to understand and apply the heritage of literary criticism and theory.
  • Help students relate the lessons and values found in literature, film, and literary criticism to contemporary life.
  • Assist students in acquiring a working familiarity with the history of rhetoric and composition theory, along with linguistic theory and practice.
  • Ensure that students develop clear, concise, and effective prose styles reflecting the differing purposes for writing in academia and in society.
  • Afford students experience with in-class presentations and teaching practices that demonstrate the techniques, methods, and resources required to teach language arts and literature.
  • Enable students to experience and understand the process of achieving successful writing by providing constructive feedback, from diagnosis of initial stages to evaluation of final products.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who complete a Department of English program will be able to do the following:

  1. Write with effective and appropriate focus, development, and voice.
  2. Demonstrate critical thinking in a way that proposes and persuasively develops an argument about one or more literary texts.
  3. Thoughtfully incorporate literary, rhetorical, linguistic, and/or pedagogical theory in their writing.
  4. Articulate Christian perspectives on faith and life.


The department offers an English major, as well as an English Education major for students interested in becoming English teachers. Also, exceptionally promising APU undergraduate students may apply in their junior year for admission to the 4+1 B.A./M.A. degree program. Once admitted, these students complete up to 6 units of 500-level graduate coursework during their senior year and complete the remaining 24 units over the next academic year (fall, spring, and summer terms; e.g., 9 units in the fall term, 9 units in the spring term, 6 units in the summer term). For more information about this program, contact the department at (626) 812-3079. 

Career Opportunities

Teaching is still a strong interest of many English majors, but equally valid are career goals in ministry, law, business, medicine, and government services. Communication areas such as advertising, technical writing, editing, publishing, and library science, or any field that requires clarity of written expression and the ability to analyze and organize effective responses, are also valid career opportunities. English majors are encouraged to double major or at least minor in a complementary field, such as business, religion, psychology, or communication, so their language skills can be applied to a different field of professional employment.

ENGL 99, College Reading and Critical Thinking, 2 Units

Students actively work to develop prerequisite skills needed to handle the reading demands in a college-level setting. This course is also designed to prepare the limited reader with critical reading material representing controversial issues that are commonly the subject of college debate. This course is required during the first semester for students with SAT I Verbal of 470 and below or ACT Reading at 19 and below. Credit for this course does not count toward graduation.

ENGL 100, Writing Strategies, 3 Units

Diagnostic assessment, group work, and individualized instruction are utilized in this course to improve skills in the grammatical and mechanical features of academic writing including clear, cohesive paragraphs, and essays for diverse purposes and audiences. This is a first-semester, required course for students entering with a SAT I Verbal/SAT Critical Reading score of 470 and below; or ACT English of 19 and below. Does not meet the General Education requirement for University Skills and Requirements. This course counts as elective credit.

ENGL 102, Study Skills and Strategies, 1 Unit

This course helps students become effective, efficient learners. It covers such topics as learning styles, motivational patterns, time management, test taking, study-reading, and note taking.

ENGL 111, Studies in Literature, 3 Units

Topically driven according to the most engaging themes, ideas or bodies of literature, this course develops students' skills in literary analysis, genre recognition and creative expression. Its purpose is to help students read, think about, and enjoy great literary works of the past and present. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Language Literature. 

Prerequisite: One of the following: SAT Critical Reading 480+, SAT Writing 500+, ACT Writing 8+, ACT English 20+, TESL 102, ALCI Level 4. Students without the necessary SAT/ACT scores should take The Write Class survey before registering for 111.

ENGL 211, Film Analysis and Criticism, 3 Units

This course focuses on analyzing and writing about film as a narrative and visual medium, emphasizing the terms, methods, and techniques of film analysis. Students will write about films in terms of plot structure, character development, themes, genres, and literary sources. They will practice a variety of genres, from film reviews to film criticism and theory.

ENGL 212, Literary Critical Strategies, 3 Units

This course introduces majors to specialties within the discipline of English, as well as to literary theory and criticism, including but not limited to major approaches and theories such as Feminist Literary Theory, New Historicism, Marxist Literary Theory, Christian or Theological Approaches, and Postcolonial Theory. Special emphasis will be given to practice in close reading and the application of traditional and electronic research skills in the humanities.

ENGL 222, English Literature to 1789, 3 Units

A chronological study of English literature from the beginning through the Neoclassical period is provided in this course. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Language Literature. 

ENGL 224, World Literature to the Renaissance, 3 Units

In this course, students review world literature in order to broaden students' literary horizons and expand their understanding of the forms, content, and cultural contexts in which literature is written. Students discover new literatures to further explore and enjoy, and this new enjoyment sheds light on their own literary traditions. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Language Literature. 

Prerequisite: WRIT 110

ENGL 232, English Literature Since 1789, 3 Units

English Literature Since 1789 is a 3-unit, lower-division General Education English course that provides a chronological survey of Romantic, Victorian, and Modern literature in multiple genres (poetry, fiction, drama, non-fiction), seeking to place each work in its historical and cultural context. Priority will be given to questions about the literary imagination and human culture. How does literature inspire, nourish, and sustain our search for truth, goodness, and beauty, and what difference does it make to read such literature from a thoughtful Christian perspective? This course is recommended especially for students who intend to study abroad at Oxford University. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Language Literature. 

ENGL 234, World Literature Since the Renaissance, 3 Units

The goal of this class is to familiarize students with some major authors of literature outside of England and America, between 1500 and the present. The term World Literature is not meant to imply that there is a unitary literature of the world, but that literature is a product of all languages and cultures and therefore is worldwide phenomenon. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Language Literature. 

Prerequisite: WRIT 110

ENGL 244, American Literature to 1865, 3 Units

This course is a survey of American literature from its beginnings to 1865. Students examine major writers and literary movements in America through the Civil War. Topics may include colonialism, Puritanism, religious dissent, captivity narratives, slavery, abolitionism, deism, national identity, race, gender, realism, romance, self-reliance, transcendentalism, and so on. We also consider the role of religion in American literature and literary history. Finally, we study minority literature that has vastly expanded the literary canon. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Language Literature. 

Prerequisite: WRIT 110

ENGL 254, American Literature Since 1865, 3 Units

This course will be a survey of American literature from the Civil War period to the present. Topics to be discussed include the Civil War; slavery and emancipation; literary movements including realism, regionalism, naturalism, modernism, and postmodernism; race and ethnicity; immigration and assimilation; gender and sexuality; the Great Migration; lynching; consumerism and suburbanization; globalization and transnationalism; and so on. Students will read and analyze American literature in historical context, asking whether and to what extent literary texts perform cultural work in the real world. We will also consider the role that religion has played in American literature and literary history, examining such issues as belief and unbelief, religion and secularism, pluralism and tolerance. Finally, we will study various American ethnic literatures that have vastly expanded the literary canon. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Language Literature. 

ENGL 301, Creative Writing: Fiction, 3 Units

In a writing workshop, students read, analyze, and write prose fiction, concentrating on plot, character, setting, and theme in the short story.

ENGL 302, Creative Writing: Poetry, 3 Units

Students survey trends in the prior century's English language poetry in support of their own writing of both an analytical paper and a poetry portfolio that includes traditional and free forms.

ENGL 303, Creative Writing: Drama and Film, 3 Units

This course examines the art and craft of writing for the stage, film, or television. Students learn to analyze and evaluate their audience, their writing tasks, and their communication goals, and then match these exterior concerns of craft to their interior quest to say something meaningful to themselves and others.

ENGL 304, Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction, 3 Units

This course examines the art and technique of creative nonfiction. Students analyze fictional techniques such as plot and characterization, and learn to use them in writing about subjects of their own choosing. Some focus is given to the art of memoir as a literary genre.

ENGL 311, Film and Literature, 3 Units

This course examines similarities and differences between film and literature, with an emphasis on film as a narrative and visual medium. Using the terms, methods, and techniques of film analysis, students will analyze and write about film and literature in terms of plot structure, character development, themes, genres, and so on. Some attention is given to theories of adaptation as well as film criticism and theory. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Language Literature. 

Prerequisite: WRIT 110 or enrollment in the Honors College

ENGL 324H, World Literature to the Renaissance - Honors, 3 Units

Students review world literature from Confucius to Dante. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Language Literature. 

Prerequisite: To enroll in the course, must be a student admitted to the Honors Program and be considered a member in "active" status.

ENGL 360, Technical and Professional Writing, 3 Units

This course acquaints students with the writing conventions of the professional and technical communities. It helps students understand writing as an essential analytical and communication tool in the professional world and gives them experience in writing proposals, incorporating graphics, and writing for clients to solve problems encountered in that world.

Prerequisite: WRIT 110

ENGL 361, Freelance Magazine Article Writing, 3 Units

This course provides training in writing and marketing various types of nonfiction articles in professional magazines. Students gain experience in writing such articles as book reviews, personal experience articles, personal profiles, how-to articles, devotional articles, and human interest features.

ENGL 364, American Ethnic Literature, 3 Units

This course will study American ethnic literature. Students will read works by American writers from various ethnic groups in the United States (e.g. African American, Asian American, Jewish, Chicano, and Euro-American writers who address issues of race and ethnicity). Major topics include the American Dream, literary canon formation, gender, equality, race, ethnicity, immigration, multiculturalism, assimilation/acculturation, and religion, This course is intended to give you practice in close reading and literary interpretation and to emphasize the value of literature and the reading experience. English 364 aims to expand your ability to interact with American ethnic literature through analysis, interpretation, and criticism. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

Prerequisite: WRIT 110

ENGL 374, African American Literature, 3 Units

This course examines African American literature from its beginnings in oral tradition to the present. Selected readings vary. Topics to be addressed may include race, class, ethnicity, gender, language, slavery, equality, freedom, folklore, miscegenation, passing, pluralism, religion, segregation, syncretism, canon formation, and more.

ENGL 377, Shakespeare, 3 Units

Students in this course undertake a representative study of Shakespeare's sonnets, dramas, comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Language Literature. 

Prerequisite: WRIT 110

ENGL 384, Women Writers, 3 Units

This course will enable students to read and analyze literary works by women, which have often been excluded by anthology editors and marginalized in survey courses. Students will also gain a broader understanding of the political, social, and cultural factors surrounding these writers and texts. Topics will vary, but might include Women Poets, Women Novelists, 19th Century British Women Writers, 20th Century American Women Writers, Medieval Women Writers, Women Writing Science Fiction.

Prerequisite: WRIT 110

ENGL 386, Contemporary Global Writers, 3 Units

Students will read short fiction, creative nonfiction, and novels by contemporary global writers of the 21st century. Students will examine assumptions about ethnic and national identities, immigration, cosmopolitanism, global citizenship, and literary cultures around the world. This class will consider the role and reputation of the United States and of Christianity abroad. Student will look at the literary techniques and use of point of view to create an insider's perspective into a culture. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence, Humanities: Language Literature. 

Prerequisite: WRIT 110 or enrollment in the Honors College

ENGL 387, Contemporary Writers, 3 Units

This course introduces students to current trends in literature. Students will read short stories and novels by contemporary writers, paying special attention to the craft, structure, and literary techniques of their work. Students will develop strategies of literary analysis and may respond to these works with literary experimentation of their own at different points in the semester. In this course, we will also examine the role of Christianity in contemporary literature. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Language Literature. 

Prerequisite: WRIT 110 or Honors standing

ENGL 402, Principles of Language, 3 Units

This course provides an introductory survey of the nature and use of language: basic speech sounds, syllable structure, word formation, grammar systems, language acquisition and variation, historical aspects of language change, and their relevance to language teachers.

ENGL 404, Approaches to Grammar, 3 Units

Traditional and modern analyses of grammar are covered, providing a grounding in the traditional eight parts of speech and a grounding in the modern 12 lexical categories and their subcategories; a study of phrase, clause, and sentence types; and an overview of transformational and other modern perspectives on grammar and grammar teaching.

Prerequisite: ENGL 402

ENGL 405, American English Language History, 3 Units

A study of the origins and development of the English language within the Indo-European language family, and the growth of American English as a unique and dynamic variety among the several major offshoots of British English is the focus of this course.

Prerequisite: ENGL 404

ENGL 406, Writing 3: Advanced Composition, 3 Units

This course is especially for students contemplating teaching at the elementary or secondary level, and of interest to students wanting to learn more about their own writing processes and writing instruction. It includes direct instruction and practice in writing in various forms, examining various composition theories and practices, and observing and practicing the teaching of composition, all based on the idea that writing is best learned through writing and learning how to teach it. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisite: Writing 2

ENGL 410, American Novel, 3 Units

Students engage in extensive reading and analysis of selected romances and novels from 1800 to the present. This course traces the development of the genre in its American form and content.

ENGL 425, Advanced Creative Writing, 3 Units

In a workshop setting, students read, write, analyze, and critique advanced work in one of the following areas: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or playwriting/screenwriting.

Prerequisite: One of the following: ENGL 301, ENGL 302, ENGL 303, ENGL 304

ENGL 434, Children's Literature, 3 Units

Literature, classical as well as contemporary, interesting to children through adolescence and of value to all who work with children either professionally or as parents, is covered in this course.

ENGL 435, Social and Psychological Aspects of Language, 3 Units

Students engage in a study of cognitive and social aspects of language affecting acquisition and use; comprehension and use of sentences; language memory and production; political and social implications of language; social roles, bilingualism, codes, and code switching; and second-language acquisition and language planning.

ENGL 436, Adolescent Literature, 3 Units

This course is a study of literature for adolescent readers, traditionally those in the teen years. It aims to acquaint the students with both popular and enduring works and provides close critical reading of both. Criticisms of adolescent literature, as well as classroom applications for the works, are included in the class. The course is an upper-division elective in English, and of particular use to students planning to teach.

Prerequisite: WRIT 110; ENGL 111 or ENGL 212

ENGL 466, British Novel, 3 Units

Students explore the origins and development of British fiction, reading representative novels from the 18th century to the present.

ENGL 480, Contemporary Literary Criticism, 3 Units

This course explores theories about literature and critical approaches to literature. The testing of theories and the working out of the critical approaches occur through studying excerpts from selected works of literature. This course may be interesting not only to English majors, but also to students of philosophy, theology, and history, for what one learns about critical approaches to a literary text can be applied to all texts.

ENGL 486, Topics in Film Analysis, 3 Units

This course examines the terms, methods, and techniques of film analysis in the context of a special topic that varies each semester depending on the instructor (e.g., Film Noir, Images of Women in Film, Shakespeare on Film, The Western). Emphasis is on formal analysis of film language, with consideration of other critical approaches to film.

ENGL 487, Literary Movements, 3 Units

Students in this course study the literary texts, historical contexts, and critical debates of a significant literary period or movement. Course content may include exploration of corresponding cultural phenomena such as visual and performing arts, music, and film. Possible periods include Romantic, Postmodern, Classical, and Medieval. Selection varies depending on student interest and faculty availability. Repeatable once towards the literature concentration.

ENGL 488, Significant Authors, 3 Units

Students in this course undertake intensive study of one, two, or three major authors. Possible authors include Chaucer, Dickinson, Austen and Woolf, C.S. Lewis, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, and Mark Twain, among others. Selection varies depending on student interest and faculty availability. Repeatable once toward the literature concentration.

ENGL 489, Literary Topics, 3 Units

Students in this course study literary topics and genres in English, American, and world literature. Possible topics include images of women in literature, religious autobiography, science fiction, and literature of the American West, among others. Selection varies depending on student interest and faculty availability. Repeatable once toward the Literature Concentration.

ENGL 490, Writing Internship, 3 Units

This course allows for practical application of the writing skills learned in the classroom. Internships are arranged individually for students and supervised directly by the instructor. Experiences may include working for publishers, magazines, public relations firms, or other organizations in which writing is emphasized. Enrollment is contingent upon department approval. Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning. 

Prerequisite: Instructor Consent

ENGL 491, Teaching Assistantship, 1-3 Units

The English Teaching Assistantship is a 1-3-unit, upper-division English course that provides upperclassmen with an opportunity for hands-on learning about how to plan and execute a college-level literature and/or writing course. Enrollees will be mentored one-on-one by a full-time English professor in two or more of the following tasks: Research and development of syllabi and/or lecture materials, planning and leading whole-class or small group discussion, creating and managing Student Learning Outcomes through relevant assessments, applying and/or utilizing rubrics, course-related record-keeping, and offering scaffolding to struggling students.

Prerequisite: at least 6 units of ENGL at the 200 level or above

ENGL 496, Senior Seminar: English and the Professions, 3 Units

This course is designed to help students integrate their Christian faith and values with their private and public lives as professionals in the careers established for the English major, such as teaching, ministry, law, business, medicine, government service, and library science. The assigned readings, class discussions, and required essays and thesis aid in the process of integration. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisite: Senior standing, completion of Writing 3 (HIST 300 or POLI 300).

ENGL 497, Readings, 1-4 Units

Consists of a program of study concentrating on assigned readings, discussions, and writing arranged between and designed by a student of upper-division standing and a full-time professor. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

ENGL 498, Directed Research, 1-4 Units

This course provides instruction in research design and technique, and gives students experience in the research process. The 1-unit expectation encompasses no fewer than 30 hours of work with accompanying reading, log, writing, and seminar presentation within the department or in a university research symposium. No more than 1 unit may be used to fulfill preparatory readings requirement. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing

ENGL 499, Thesis/Project, 1-4 Units

This is a senior-level "capstone" type of independent study/research experience, involving the student in a unique project with a sophisticated level of research, synthesis, analysis, and communication. The 1-unit expectation encompasses no fewer than 30 hours of work with accompanying readings, log, instructor discussions, and writing of summary analysis and conclusions. The thesis or project may result in formal thesis, published article, or electronic media. No more than 1 unit may be used to fulfill preparatory readings requirement. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

Prerequisite: Upper-division writing intensive course or instructor consent; and junior or senior standing


Department Chair

Windy Petrie, Ph.D.


Eric Drewry, JD, Ph.D.

Joseph Bentz, Ph.D.

Mark Eaton, Ph.D.

Emily Griesinger, Ph.D.

Andrea Ivanov-Craig, Ph.D.

Carole Lambert, Ph.D.

Christopher Noble, Ph.D., High Sierra Semester

Windy Petrie, Ph.D.

Associate Professors

Sarah Adams, Ph.D.

Thomas Allbaugh, Ph.D.

Patricia Andujo, Ph.D.

Michael Clark, Ph.D.

Matthew Smith, Ph.D.

Caleb Spencer, Ph.D.

Derek Updegraff, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Kristen Sipper, Ph.D.

Faculty Emeriti

Nancy Brashear, Ph.D.

David Esselstrom, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty

Gail Bouslough, Ph.D.

Paula Miller, MA