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 and reading our literary journal and read about student media opportunities:

  • The Crossings Journal: Be inspired, imagine your own words here
  • Student Media Center: Work on the yearbook (Helm), radio (Pilot Radio), Bethel Sports Network (BSN), Bethel Primetime, and newspaper (The Beacon)

For those passionate about the English language, there are many career options to consider. With a powerful command of language, you can go far.

Majors & Minors

Communication class

Communication Major:

You can pursue your dreams in the fields of public relations, corporate communication, social media, video production, broadcasting and print journalism.

Details on Communication major

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 classroom

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Major

Our program works particularly 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

Our Alumni & Opportunities

Collin Smith
Collin Smith '16, at his dream job in Dallas, Texas

Collin Smith, Digital Project Manager at The Richards Group

While he was a student majoring in Communication, Collin Smith set some big goals for his future. The first goal was to secure an internship with a large advertising agency in a big city. That goal was met and led to him checking off his second goal -- getting hired by the same agency or one of similar caliber. The Richards Group asked him to return after graduation, making for a smooth transition into his future.

Read about more of our notable alumni.

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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).

With a rather eclectic educational and professional background, Elizabeth McLaughlin has a B.S. in English and speech communication from Taylor University, a Master of Ministries from Bethel College, and Ph.D. in communication studies from Regent University.

McLaughlin has had a broad background in advertising and public relations, serving in several local not-for-profits and local agencies as public relations director, account executive and copywriter. She was an owner and partner in a local advertising agency for five years.

Theo Williams primarily teaches speech communication, but also takes advantage of opportunities to teach other courses, especially those that focus on cross cultural issues. He is a native of Michigan City, Ind. He has an associate of arts in journalism and a bachelor of arts in communication from Bethel College. He earned a master of arts in Urban Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2004 and also has his Ph.D.

When he is not teaching, he is an avid writer and spoken word poet, with a published full-length CD entitled, 24-7-365: Life’s Journal. He has been a guest speaker at numerous churches, Christian colleges and conferences.

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.