In the Bible we find the greatest true story ever written—and as Christians, we can have a personal relationship with its Author.
At BJU, you’ll learn to look at all written work through the lens of Scripture. You’ll learn how God-honoring writing isn’t limited to one genre or subject or length of work. And as you grow in your skills, you’ll see how using your creativity in writing is one way to imitate God and bring glory to Him.
At BJU, you’ll delve into the craft of writing, from the basics of writing mechanics to in-depth analysis of famous works—all from a biblical worldview. You’ll read widely: from the classics of the Greeks and Romans to the modern works of British and American authors—and many more. You’ll learn how to make your communication concise and how to convey your ideas with clarity.
Your experienced faculty will prepare you in professional practices as well, giving you advice on how to find a place to submit your manuscripts, how to prepare them, and what to expect from publishers. And even more, they’ll remind you that perseverance is essential for any writer.
With courses ranging from Bible to science to history to philosophy, the BJU Core supplements your program courses well. Not only will these classes reinforce many of the topics covered in your program, but they’ll also expose you to different ways of thinking and looking at the world. In addition, you’ll learn about great works from other fields and other cultures, and you’ll learn how to analyze them critically. And even more importantly, through your Bible classes, you’ll know what you believe, and why, as you build a solid foundation on the Word of God.
Every subject gives you something to write about or incorporate into your writing. Your electives allow you to experiment and open up possibilities you hadn’t considered before. For instance, you could take extra science courses or enjoy some courses in the culinary arts. Both of these fields have room for good writers, and you may be a good fit for one of these less common combinations. In addition, courses that stretch you and encourage you to research, such as English or history or the arts, will go a long way in preparing you for your field, where these same skills are vital.
Sharon Glover Gile, ’94
Instructor at Claflin University; Graduate student at Columbia International University
My degree from BJU equipped me to pursue graduate study and to become a professional educator, teaching college courses in composition, literature, poetry, and Post-Colonialism.
When preparing for a poetry or creative writing workshop, I often think back to exercises from my undergraduate classes and update these to suit my current students’ needs.
Because the BJU curriculum required me to take courses in a variety of writing styles, I have been able to draw upon these classes in my professional life in order to write grant proposals, collaborate with other professionals at New York University forums, participate in National Endowment for the Humanities workshops, form a poetry club for undergraduates, and conduct play writing sessions with aspiring student playwrights.
Currently I have begun a second master’s degree in English as a Second Language at Columbia International University in Columbia, S.C. I will continue teaching at Claflin as I complete this degree.
Emily Park, ’05
Content strategist at 3Fold Creative
The creative writing program taught me how to craft a compelling story—but more importantly, it taught me how to communicate.
Writing is a field in which you have to make your own way (because let’s face it, there aren’t many job postings for poets). But being able to take a complex idea and cast that into a clear, easy-to-read paragraph is a valuable (and surprisingly rare) skill.
I’ve been able to take the techniques I developed under my writing professors and use them in the marketing promotions field. My ability to set a scene was surprisingly helpful in writing articles based on real people’s lives.
Right now I work as a content strategist at a website and marketing firm called 3Fold Creative. Not only do I write blog articles and Web content for clients, but one of my chief responsibilities is also to help business owners communicate: breaking down their big ideas into clear messages their audiences can understand. Besides writing blog articles and Web content, I also use my writing skills every day in a very practical way.
In addition, I haven’t given up my dream of writing fiction. In my spare time I’ve completed my first novel, and I’m preparing to pitch the idea to editors at the next writers conference. Thanks to the expertise and encouragement of my writing teachers, I feel ready to start the long journey of seeking publication.
Rebecca Hammond Yager, ’99
Freelance writer and editor
Most schools had a journalism program, but that’s not at all what I was looking for. Fewer colleges had creative writing, and even fewer had a creative writing program known for excellence.
My parents were probably just as concerned as any parent would be about a writing career being able to provide a steady income, but they supported me anyway, confident that God had led me to BJU, had led me to my love for writing, and would continue to lead me in grace to whatever lay ahead.
The myriad literature classes for my English minor were the perfect complement to my writing courses, and studying classics taught me as much about the craft as my writing textbooks. My professors were both awe-inspiring and approachable, with talent and knowledge and wisdom simply oozing out of them. I had always enjoyed learning and detested school, but I truly loved those classes. I was blessed to find a work scholarship program in writing.
When Winds Cove, a young adult mystery I initially drafted for my Writing for Children class as a senior, was published in 2004, I moved back to South Carolina and began freelancing full time as a writer, editor and proofreader. The wide variety of field-related work with which God blessed me includes editing several books; proofreading legions of articles, manuals and advertising copy; and writing press releases, articles, plays, audio scripts, short stories, and the current in-progress novel. I have also mentored a couple of young writers, which has been both a challenge and a joy, and have spoken at book clubs, writers forums, and a high school writing class, so as it turns out those terrifying speech classes were beneficial after all. My education has enabled me to keep digging up writing-related jobs whether through my resume or through the network of contacts I’ve developed since attending BJU, and the grace of our Lord has blessed me with the opportunity to be a nearly full-time writer almost from the starting gate.
Bob Jones University’s creative writing program taught me so much more than how to write—they gave me the skills and the tools to do what God has called me to do. I so appreciated my writing classes, my English classes, my teachers, my friends, the emphasis on the arts, and the importance of striving for excellence; but the most vital aspect of my education was learning all of my subjects from a godly and God-centered perspective. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
The creative writing program at BJU opens the door to many career possibilities including:
- Marketing writer
- Freelance writer
- Textbook editor
Our creative writing graduates have been accepted into graduate schools such as:
- Baylor University
- Villanova University
- University of South Carolina
- University of St Andrews, Scotland
- Hollins University
Our graduates have gone into a number of careers and have held jobs such as:
- Content strategist, 3Fold Creative
- Writer, editor and proofreader, Freelance jobs
- PhD student, Baylor University
- Teacher, Charleston, S.C.
- Staff writer, Greenville, S.C.
BJU offers students a variety of ways to network with employers and organizations. A multitude of job opportunities are posted each year on CareerCentral, our online placement service. In addition, over 60 businesses and 150 Christian schools/mission boards/Christian organizations come on campus to recruit students through on-campus interviews and job/ministry fairs. The Career Services office also helps students by holding seminars on resume preparation and interview techniques.
As part of your education at BJU, you’ll have opportunities to explore various writing positions at BJU. Often, student positions and writing internships are available at the several departments within BJU: BJU Press, Creative Services, Press Distance Learning and more. From proofreading to writing ad copy to crafting emails, you’ll get some good ideas of how you can use your degree and meanwhile gain some valuable experience in a work environment.
Creative Writing and English Forums
You’ll have the opportunity to attend forums throughout the year, where graduates and professionals share their experiences and give advice on wisdom they’ve learned during their careers. From the guest speakers, you’ll get a great inside look into the worlds of creative writing and English.
Bob Jones University’s student newspaper, The Collegian, was founded in 1987 as a journalism lab, offering students hands-on experience in producing a weekly publication. Newspaper staff write and edit articles, design the layout and take photographs for the paper. Stories in The Collegian focus on campus personalities and student life, helping to unify the large and diverse student body. The paper is distributed free on campus and is also available online.
As a student at BJU, you’ll have access to a huge selection of research materials in our library. We provide the JSTOR database, a digital library of academic journals, books and primary sources; a microfilm collection of early American newspapers; and the MLAIB database, which indexes scholarly books and articles on modern languages, literatures, folklore and linguistics. In other words, we’ve got plenty of resources for you to use for your research. And if we don’t have what you need, our library participates in a book loan program, and we’ll even order books on occasion if you request them.
Not only do you get to study great works of literature, but you also get to enjoy stage adaptations of a few of them. Through our Concert, Opera & Drama Series and numerous student plays each year, you’ll watch characters from works like Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations or Romeo and Juliet come to life. You’ll learn how various media bring out different qualities in stories, including the strengths and weaknesses of the written word.
WBJU-FM is BJU’s student-staffed radio station that broadcasts seven days a week to provide the student body with a variety of sacred, classical and easy-listening music, as well as informative news and sports talk programming. The staff is also responsible for producing, scheduling, announcing and marketing the station’s content.
The Vintage, “a season’s produce” by definition, is BJU’s yearbook. The staff, whose responsibility it is to produce this annual publication, is composed of students from varied academic divisions and classifications within the University. Uniquely photographed and beautifully bound, the annual mirrors not only classes and activities but also the mission of BJU.
All creative writing faculty are working writers, published by BJUPress, WordSong Publishing, Bethany House, Thomas Nelson and Penguin. Awards include Runner-Up, Robert Frost Award 2011 (Frost Foundation Poetry Award), Christy Awards, Silver Angel Award for Artistic Excellence.
The creative writing faculty have 145 years of combined teaching experience at BJU. Each faculty member approaches creative writing from a biblical worldview and encourages you to look at everything—from objectionable elements to characterization to literary themes—through the same lens.
- Apologetics & Worldview
- Creative Writing Elective (3 credits)
- English Elective (300- to 500-level) (3 credits)
- Bible Elective (300/400-level) (2 credits)
- Professional Writing Elective (3 credits)
- Creative Writing Elective (3 credits)
- English Elective (300- to 500-level) (3 credits)
- BJU Core
Each student will:
- Distinguish simple from sophisticated literary works.
- Analyze knowledgeably a broad range of examples of creative writing.
- Write creatively from a Christian worldview about human experience.
- Prepare a manuscript for publication according to professional standards.