A Master’s in English That Fits Your Career Interests and Goals

by Brendan Fretwell ’22

A master’s in English program can provide students with the writing and critical thinking skills necessary to thrive in a variety of fields. But not every graduate English degree offers the ability to customize courses to your specific interests. At Azusa Pacific University, the M.A. in English does just that, preparing you to succeed in professional and creative settings.

Graduate students in the program find themselves in a scholarly environment where their literary skills and knowledge are enhanced alongside their ability to bring a Christian worldview into professional practice. Whether you’re building a career in education, business, communication, or another field, here what makes APU’s English master’s different and how program graduates have benefitted.

A Master’s in English That You Can Personalize

The customizability of the M.A in English program is one of its greatest strengths. Much of the program coursework is made up of elective units that students select to fit with their passions and goals. Because of this, students are empowered to deepen their understanding of the literary world through the lens of their current or future vocation. And this versatile program can also be completed quickly—earning your M.A in English is possible in as little as 12 months, or you can finish the program in 24 months through part-time attendance.

The Intersection of Faith and Literature

The M.A in English program provides an academic experience that integrates a Christian perspective on creative and professional writing, as well as literary knowledge infused with faith. The English faculty help students engage with culture from this standpoint, examining literature and texts from a theological point of view. Amid this dynamic exploration of faith and literature, master’s in English students also merge their personal interests with their academic studies to create an experience that’s best suited to them.

How Students Have Customized Their Experience

Ariel Leilani Tejada Ryon, M.A. ’19, experienced this firsthand and said it enhanced her experience in the program. “The M.A. in English program at Azusa Pacific has been a lovely intertwining of my own self-exploration and interests,” she said. During her time in the program, Ryon developed an interest in theology and disability studies, among other subjects. Her paper on “Urban Fantasy: Subverting Traditional Tropes of Disability Representation” was accepted at MythCon 50 this year.

Another student, Drew Brown, M.A. ’19, attended the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference with a grant from APU. At the conference, he won the Ethen Herr Most Promising New Writer Award. “The M.A. program has introduced me to the writers and poets who have shaped my voice as well as my writing goals,” Brown said. “It has also given me invaluable access to the publishing industry—access I wouldn’t have gained outside the program. More than anything, it has tied me to the deep tradition of theologically informed writing, writing for the purpose of discovering the beauty of God and the beauty of God’s creation.”

The program can even support students going into very different career fields. For example, Sarah O’Dell ’15, M.A. ’17, is pursuing a dual M.D./Ph.D. at the University of California, Irvine. “My English professor, Emily Griesinger, Ph.D., first introduced me to the field of the medical humanities and the possibility of exploring concepts related to narrative medicine,” O’Dell said. “Not only did she advise my thesis work on narrative and Alzheimer’s disease, but assisting her in the design of several medical humanities courses also taught me a great deal about pedagogy and course development. I cannot fully express my gratitude for her ongoing partnership in exploring the intersections between medicine, story, personhood, faith, and service.”

Are you interested in a master’s in English that you can customize around the topics and genres you love? Learn more about Azusa Pacific’s Master of Arts in English.

Brendan Fretwell ’22 is a double major in sports journalism and communication studies and an editorial intern in the Office of University Relations.