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To inquire about this program:
Dr. Abigail Heiniger | 423.869.6627|

Arts in the Gap

Click here to learn about LMU summer literary programs for all ages: Mountain Heritage Literary Festival and Arts in the Gap.

English Major

For more than a hundred years, the English Department at Lincoln Memorial University has been the foundational program of the University's educational mission. Its graduates include James Still, Jesse Stuart, Don West and George Scarbrough, some of the most celebrated writers of the Appalachian South. The Department teaches all LMU students in their freshman, sophomore and junior years, offering courses that develop fundamental writing competencies, creative and analytical skills, and an appreciation for the literature of diverse cultures and historical periods. The English major introduces students to the many traditions of imaginative writing in English and-by deepening their insights and cultivating their ability to express their ideas orally and in writing-prepares them for successful careers as journalists, novelists, teachers, lawyers, stockbrokers, and many other professions.

Department Mission Statement

The English Department seeks to graduate students who are well-read, articulate, and capable of substantial scholarly research. The student should be able to think about a work of literature with reference to the circumstances of its composition, to its internal characteristics, and to the student's own experience. Upon graduation a student should be ready for a professional career such as teaching, or for further study in a graduate school, a law school, or a corporate training program. The curriculum in English also contributes to the Mission and Purpose of Lincoln Memorial University by advancing the cultural life of the Cumberland Gap area through a reading series and an annual literary festival, providing an appreciable depth of learning in a field of knowledge and by cultivating students' abilities to communicate clearly and to make informed judgments.

In addition to a firm background in the literary and cultural history of Great Britain and the United States, the major program in English develops important skills, such as critical reading and thinking, analysis and interpretation, and effective oral and written communication. Students who complete a B.A. in English often continue their education in a graduate school or professional school, or pursue careers in education, publishing, journalism, technical writing, business, or public relations. Further, the department participates with the Criminal Justice and American Studies programs in offering a recommended curriculum of Pre-Law studies. This curriculum will help prepare English majors who are interested in entering law school. Students are required to earn a grade of "C-" or better in all courses applied to the major or minor program in English.

Special Features

Each year the widely attended Mountain Heritage Literary Festival, directed by author and Assistant Professor Patrick Wensink, celebrates the rich Appalachian literary tradition that still flourishes at LMU.

Faculty in the Department have a wide range of scholarly interests covering the historical range of literature in English from Beowulf to recent fiction, poetry, and drama, and have published broadly in many national academic and literary journals.

Career Information

LMU English majors develop the kinds of crucial skills that prepare them for successful careers in an almost unlimited number of professions. Why is the English major so versatile? It is because the abilities and talents students develop as an English major are more valuable to employers and professional schools than any specialized knowledge. Employers can easily train people to perform specific tasks for specific jobs. But what they are really looking for are the kinds of valuable competencies that are developed only through careful reading and writing. LMU English majors are forceful problem solvers; they are able to summarize and clarify ideas; and they are persuasive, independent, and creative thinkers.

 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, demand for English majors in fields like technical writing, library science and teaching have a higher than average growth rate, comparable with jobs like nursing. Online publications and services are growing in number and sophistication, spurring demand for writers and authors with Web and multimedia experience. For more detailed information on the job outlook for those graduating with a degree in English please see: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Departmental Clubs/Organizations

Each spring students in the English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta, lead discussion panels and deliver papers at the society's regional and national conferences.

Four-Year Plans

English - Four-Year Plan (starting Fall 2024)
English - Secondary (6-12) Teacher Licensure - Four-Year Plan (starting Fall 2024)

Early Entry Program to the LMU Duncan School of Law

The Early Entry Program to LMU Duncan School of Law allows undergraduate students at Lincoln Memorial University to apply, be accepted to, and begin pursuing a JD at LMU Duncan School of Law (DSOL) prior to graduating with a Bachelor's Degree. For more information, see Guidelines and DSOL Early Entry Plan (starting Fall 2024).

English Literature Minor

Students who Minor in English Literature take 15 hours of coursework including Literary Research, Criticism, Survey of British Literature, Survey of American Literature and English electives of the student's choice at the 300 or 400 level.

Writing Minor

Students who Minor in Writing take 15 hours of coursework that can include Creative Writing, Fiction Writing, Poetry Writing, and Creative Non-fiction, and Workplace Writing.

Meet the Faculty

Rebecca Brackmann

Thomas Bragg

Jacques Debrot

Abigail Heiniger

Sandra Weems

Patrick Wensink