Photo of Joseph Bentz, Ph.D.

Joseph Bentz, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of English
Phone: (626) 815-6000, Ext. 3485
Fax: (626) 812-3024
Joseph Bentz, Ph.D., teaches courses in American literature and writing, and is the author of four novels and four nonfiction books. His most recent books include Pieces of Heaven: Recognizing the Presence of God (Beacon Hill Press, 2012), and God in Pursuit: The Tipping Points from Doubt to Faith (Beacon Hill Press, 2010). His novel A Son Comes Home (Randall House, 2007) won the Silver Angel Award, was selected for Guideposts Book Club, and was chosen as one of the Top Ten Christian Novels of the Year by Booklist magazine. Bentz’s scholarly interests include American novelist Thomas Wolfe. In 2013, Bentz won the Zelda and Paul Gitlin Literary Prize from the Thomas Wolfe Society, and he serves as the articles editor for The Thomas Wolfe Review. In 2003, Bentz received the Undergraduate Faculty Outstanding Scholarship Award from Azusa Pacific University. More information about his writing and speaking can be found at his website,, which also features his “Life of the Mind and Soul” blog.


  • Ph.D., 20th-Century American Literature, Purdue University
  • M.A., British and American Literature, Purdue University
  • B.A., English Education, Olivet Nazarene University
  • Journalism Major, Vincennes University


Honors College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

  • Department of English


  • American Literature
  • Fiction
  • Freelance Nonfiction
  • Thomas Wolfe

Courses Taught

  • ENGL 110 – Freshman Writing Seminar
  • ENGL 111 – Introduction to Literature
  • ENGL 354 – American Literature Since 1865
  • ENGL 361 – Freelance Magazine Article Writing
  • ENGL 407 – Composition: Theory and Practice
  • ENGL 410 – American Novel
  • ENGL 488 – Significant Authors
  • ENGL 489 – Literary Topics