The English Department at Grove City College is dedicated to the study of the
great works of English, American, and world literature.
Our approach is to read the literature for its
explorations of the fundamental questions regarding the
nature of God and man, the meaning of moral choice, the
purpose of life, and the possibility of salvation.
We believe that God has revealed truth throughout
Our goal is to equip the student to discover this
truth wherever it may be found, but especially in the
enduring works of the literature of Western
Accordingly, we feel an
obligation to the literature and to the truth it
expresses. We affirm the classical tradition in literary
studies, especially as challenged and shaped by
Christian thought through the centuries.
True to that tradition, we believe that
literature engages us in
the leading of the soul to virtue and wisdom.
We also seek discernment in our reading as we
bring our Christian faith into conversation with works
that may challenge and critique our faith.
We take seriously recent trends in literary
theory, but we challenge vigorously those perspectives
that posit the total relativism of truth and critical
believe in absolute truth and believe that our study of
literature should be a quest for the ongoing revelation
of that truth in our lives.
We are open to discovering this truth in new
authors and works of literature, yet we believe that
literary works that have stood the test of time have
done so because they have best satisfied the two
classical purposes of literature: to teach and to
They do so in ways that both celebrate and transcend the
particularities of gender, race, nationality, class, and
They are both culturally situated and universal.
Our approach could best be defined
This involves three major phases of analysis:
What was the author trying to communicate?
What timeless, universal truths does the work
did the author's initial audience read and understand
How did the culture affect the author?
How does the author express these values and
truths in effective, memorable ways?
How are form and style intertwined with content
and essential to comprehending the work?
How do we as twenty-first century Christians
respond to the literature?
To what extent can our responses be enriched by
various classical and contemporary approaches?
How do we respond to the ethical, theological,
and aesthetic dimensions of the work?
All three of these
steps are essential, but the third must follow, not
precede, the other two.
Only then can our response to the literature be
We believe that the exploration of
these questions will enable us to understand the lasting
significance of the literature we study.
We also believe that such appreciation ennobles
the imagination and enriches the life of the individual
study of literature is for us an experience of Christian
stewardship, and we welcome into our program all those
eager both to stir up in themselves the God-given gifts
of intelligence and imagination, and to think after them
the thoughts of the writers who have shaped us and our
The Department of English sets high
standards for its students in the development of
composition and research skills necessary for writing
clear, well-supported research papers in MLA format for
each literature course in the program.
To this end, all freshman English majors take
English 201: English Literature Survey I as the
foundational Writing Intensive (WI) and Information
Literacy (IL) course in the major.
Oral communication skills are essential to
success in graduate school as well as in careers related
to English, and English 351 or 352: Shakespeare serves
as the required Speaking Intensive (SI) course in the