English might well be among the most versatile majors, offering a wide range of courses that help students develop as writers, thinkers, and communicators.

The English major at Dordt College allows students to pursue their interests in creative writing, literature, or teaching. Some students even build their own independent studies course. A degree in English is also a great option for further study in law school, seminary, or any number of graduate programs.

Dordt's English professors are practicing writers who write and publish stories, poems, professional criticism, essays, and op-ed pieces. Several have published books, some of which have included work by talented Dordt students. Because of small class sizes, students get to know professors and professors get to know their students. Many students are able to accompany professors on trips and even help with collaborative writing projects.

Here are highlights from the recent work of English faculty:

Professor Bob De Smith: Awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for a summer seminar with Tudor Books and Readers. Spent five weeks studying in Antwerp, London, and Oxford (summer 2012). Presented an academic paper: “Elizabeth’s Coronation Presentation: In which we Imagine Young Spenser Imagining” at the Northern Plains Conference on Early British Literature (April 2014).

Professor Mary Dengler: Selected to participate in the Summer Seminar at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C., where she presented on “Homer’s The Iliad” (summer 2013). Will present “Frances Burney’s Evelina: a Critique of the Ancient Regime and Plea for its Moral Reform” at the Southwest Christianity and Literature Conference (November 2014).

Professor Bill Elgersma: Awarded an institutional grant for a research trip to South Korea (summer 2013). Received Dordt College’s Award for Teaching Excellence (2014).

Professor Howard Schaap: Graduated from the Seattle Pacific University M.F.A. program, specializing in creative nonfiction (summer 2014). Became a blogger for Relief Journal (summer 2014).

Professor Josh Matthews: Awarded 2013-14 Teaching/Learning Innovation Grant from Dordt College, which provides funds for Dordt library’s purchase of the American Antiquarian Society’s American periodicals digital database. Presented an academic paper on Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Agnes of Sorrento at the Transatlantic Women Writers conference in Florence, Italy (June 2013).

Professor Luke Hawley: Published his short story collection, The Northwoods Hymnal, with River Otter Press (March 2013). Presented a seminar on writing genres for Augsburg College’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program (summer 2014). Finalist for the Johnny Mercer Songwriting Project (summer 2013).