Faculty

Our professors are distinguished scholars, active researchers, published writers, and faithful Christians who demonstrate what it means to be both Christ-followers and leaders in their academic fields. As mentors and role models, they play a huge role in the integration of faith and learning at Bethel.


Phyllis Alsdurf

Professor of English | p-alsdurf@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 2003

Areas of expertise

Alsdurf's professional interest is in the area of media and religion and journalism history. She served as editor of Family Life Today magazine for 6 years and was director of publications at Bethel for 5 years prior to joining the English department faculty.


Thomas Becknell

Professor of English | t-becknell@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 1983

Areas of expertise

Becknell teaches introductory and advanced courses on American literature, environmental writing, and modern myth makers. He received the Faculty Excellence Award for teaching in 1995. He is the author of a book of spiritual lessons from nature, Of Earth and Sky, and articles on American literary history.


Susan Brooks

Associate Professor of English | susan-brooks@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 1998

Areas of expertise

Brooks' favorite class is Juvenile Literature because of the fun books she gets to read. Her favorite part of teaching English is “seeing people change from students to teachers and watching them successfully go out and serve God in English classrooms all over the world.”


Mark Bruce

Associate Professor of English | mbruce@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 2005

Areas of expertise

Bruce has recently published articles in the areas of Medieval English literature and graduate study of English. What he loves most about Medieval British literature is the energy and intensity of the literature; and he loves helping students to experience it with him.


Joey Horstman

Associate Professor of English | joey-horstman | Started at Bethel: 1998

Areas of expertise

Horstman's professional interests in English include contemporary/postmodern literature.


Marion Larson

Professor of English | m-larson@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 1986

Areas of expertise

Larson's favorite thing about teaching English is getting to read and think about books that are so different from daily life, yet hold so many important connections; and she loves doing this with faculty and students who also enjoy it. Recently she has published articles in areas related to interfaith dialogue and faculty development, and hospitality as a metaphor for teaching. She received the Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching in 2001.


Daniel Ritchie

Professor of English | d-ritchie@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 1985

Areas of expertise

Ritchie teaches courses in British literature and specializes in the 18th century. In 2002, he guided Bethel’s efforts to begin a Humanities Program, a team-taught, 4-course introduction to the Western tradition. In 2006, he won Bethel’s faculty excellence award for teaching. He has edited 2 books on Edmund Burke and has written 2 books of literary criticism, Reconstructing Literature in an Ideological Age and The Fullness of Knowing: Modernity and Postmodernity from Defoe to Gadamer. He received the Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching in 2006.


April Schmidt

Associate Professor of English | a-schmidt@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 2004

Areas of expertise

Schmidt teaches a full range of writing classes from composition to creative nonfiction. Her primary interests are the lyric essay and creative nonfiction that explores nontraditional forms. Her essays, poetry and creative nonfiction have been published recently in "Ruminate," "Geez," "get born" and "Curator," publications that probe the interplay of faith, community and the arts.


Angela Shannon

Assistant Professor of English | a-shannon@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 2006

Areas of expertise

Shannon is the author of the poetry book "Singing the Bones Together." Her poems have been published in a variety of journals and anthologies, including "Where One Ends Another Begins: 150 Years of Minnesota Poetry"; "Beyond the Frontier: African American Poetry for the 21st Century"; and the textbook "A Multicultural Reader, Collection One: Many Voices Literature Series." Professor Shannon’s choreopoem "Root Woman" premiered at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theater in Evanston, Illinois.