Joseph Bentz, PhD

Professor, Department of English

Phone: (626) 815-6000, Ext. 3485
Fax: (626) 812-3024
Office Location: Faculty Quad, Room 31
Photo of Joseph Bentz, PhD


Joseph Bentz, PhD, teaches courses in American literature and writing, and is the author of four novels and six nonfiction books. His most recent book is 12 New Testament Passages that Changed the World (The Foundry Publishing, 2019). 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.


  • PhD, 20th-Century American Literature, Purdue University
  • MA, British and American Literature, Purdue University
  • BA, English Education, Olivet Nazarene University
  • Journalism Major, Vincennes University

Academic Areas

  • Writing Program
  • Honors College
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • Department of English


  • American Literature
  • Fiction
  • Freelance Nonfiction
  • Thomas Wolfe

Courses Taught

  • 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
  • WRIT 110 — The Art and Craft of Writing