A language is more than a means of communication—it's a mode of being. The English Department at Calvin is committed to cultivating students who can understand, respond to and create written works in ways that are shaped by their faith.

Overview

Calvin's literature major allows you to develop both a deep and broad understanding of the literary world, past and present. Explore culture, politics, philosophy and faith through the words of Shakespeare, George Eliot, William Faulkner and contemporary writers such as Margaret Atwood and Toni Morrison. Prepare for your career by working at a local internship location such as Zondervan Publishing Housing, Baker Publishing House or a Grand-Rapids-area law firm.

Careers in Literature

  • Editor
  • Lawyer
  • Minister
  • Social Media Manager
  • Writer

See job placement rates for Calvin grads.

Student involvement

Study abroad in England, Hungary, Ghana or New England; Participate in biannual, department-wide retreats; Write or help to coordinate Chimes or Dialogue; Attend the Festival of Faith and Writing; Volunteer with the Festivals of Youth Writing.

Scholarships

Dollar amounts reflect awards given for the 2014-15 academic year.

George G. Harper Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,500
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; U.S. African American minority student; preference is given to an English major or minor
  • search and apply here
Reverend Bernard Haven Memorial Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,300
  • first-year
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; child of missionary; intending to pursue a pre-ministry program or a degree in education; preference is given to those pursuing philosophy, English or history
  • search and apply here
Winifred Holkeboer Memorial Scholarship
  • award amount: $3,000
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is not required; English major; demonstrate academic excellence, commitment to the major, and potential for leadership within the major
  • search and apply here
Alma and John Hoogland English Education Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,000
  • sophomore
  • GPA of 2.70+
  • financial need is considered; pursuing a career as an English secondary education teacher; first preference is given to members of Midland Park CRC (Midland Park, NJ); second preference is given to members of any CRC in New Jersey
  • search and apply here
Kenneth and Lillian Kuiper Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,100
  • senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; pursuing a program in secondary education with a major in English; show great promise of making a significant contribution as an English teacher in secondary education
  • search and apply here
Helen Hoogland Meulink Education Scholarship
  • award amount: $4,600
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; pursuing a program in secondary education; preference is given to an English major
  • search and apply here
William and Matilda Monsma Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,500
  • sophomore, junior, or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; English or communication arts and sciences major; pursuing a program in education or planing a career in a helping profession; preference is given to students from the south Chicago area
  • search and apply here
Dr. Charlotte Otten Scholarship
  • award amount: N/A
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial needs is required; pursuing a major in English
  • search and apply here
Schemper-Kamp Family Scholarship
  • award amount: $900
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; English major; demonstrate a Christian perspective in writing
  • search and apply here
Henrietta Ten Harmsel English Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,550
  • sophomore or junior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is not required; English major; show an enthusiasm and love for reading and writing
  • search and apply here
Richard R. and Kathleen J. Tiemersma Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,700
  • senior
  • GPA of 3.30+
  • financial need is not required; English major
  • search and apply here
Steve J. and Viola Van Der Weele Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,600
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; English language and literature major
  • search and apply here
William E. and Margaret J. Van Wienen Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,700
  • junior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; English major; interested in an are active in community social involvement projects
  • search and apply here
Clarence and Janice Walhout Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,000
  • junior or senior
  • gpa of 3.20+
  • financial need is not required; preference is given to English or philosophy majors
  • search and apply here
Henry and Mildred Zylstra Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,100
  • senior
  • GPA of 3.50+
  • financial need is considered; English major; planning to attend graduate school in literature or language within five years following graduation
  • search and apply here
View all scholarship opportunities

Faculty

Susan Felch

Susan Felch
Dir Center for Chistian Scholarship, Prof
Director: Center for Christian Scholarship
Department of English
FA 285
felch@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6591

Jennifer Holberg

Jennifer Holberg
Professor
Assoc Director Honors Program
Department of English
FA 298
jholberg@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6598

Linda Naranjo-Huebl

Linda Naranjo-Huebl
Associate Professor
Department of English
FA 271
ln22@calvin.edu
(616) 526-8682

Debra Rienstra

Debra Rienstra
Professor
Department Chair
Department of English
FA 270
drienstr@calvin.edu
(616) 526-8526

Karen Saupe

Karen Saupe
Co-Director of RAC Program, Professor
Department of English
FA 294
ksaupe@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6467

Gary Schmidt

Gary Schmidt
Professor
Department of English
FA 287
schg@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6540

Dean Ward

Dean Ward
Professor
Department of English
FA 269
ward@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6139

Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams
Associate Professor
Department of English
FA 276
jlw28@calvin.edu
(616) 526-8515

Jane Zwart

Jane Zwart
Associate Professor
Department of English
FA 290
jcz3@calvin.edu
(616) 526-8606

Talk to us

Dean Ward Dean Ward
Department Co-Chair
Department of English
FA 269
ward@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6139

Gary Schmidt Gary Schmidt
Department Co-Chair
Department of English
FA 287
schg@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6540

Kristine Johnson Kristine Johnson
Department Co-Chair
Department of English
FA 273
kjohns14@calvin.edu
(616) 526-7828

Admissions

Connect with your counselor via email, phone, or in person. They'd love to hear from you and answer your questions!

Or, ask us your questions on Facebook.

In the fall and spring our counselors travel throughout the world to meet with students—see if they'll be in your area!

Teach This

Interested in teaching? You can gain certification in Literature as a:

Calvin's teacher education program also contains education-specific course requirements that you must complete prior to certification. See course requirements for:

Professor Robert Keeley talks about the education program.

Learn More

Explore Calvin's teacher education program.

Contact Karen Saupe for more information about teacher certification in English

Read the teacher education guidebook for more detailed information about certification.

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