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The literature minor will prepare you to make meaningful connections between the seen and unseen through the study of metaphor and figurative language. You'll have the freedom and flexibility to pursue your passion for reading and writing while continuing your studies in other areas.

Why should I study literature?

Several global crises of the 21st century have been attributed to "colossal failures of imagination.” At Bethel, we teach literature with a keen sense of its relevance for our world, emphasizing literary study as a discipline of the imagination that develops:

  • intellectual capacity for critical thought
  • emotional capacity for sympathetic understanding
  • aesthetic capacity for appreciating beauty
  • moral capacity for ethical action
  • creative capacity for effective communication

What can I do with this degree?

By exploring the written word through a critical, inquisitive, and passionate lens, you'll gain deep thinking skills that strengthen your qualifications and make you stand out from competitors. The literature minor pairs well with majors in:

  • Psychology
  • Digital humanities
  • Biblical and theological studies
  • Business
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

Students also have flexibility to explore literature from Spanish and Latin American cultures. 

What skills will I develop?

  • Research and literary analysis
  • Clear and effective communication
  • Effective presentation skills
  • How to learn quickly
  • Literary study, such as contexts, critical approaches, and methods for interpretation
  • A broad understanding of the history and representative works of British and American literary traditions and those of other cultures

You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in the R.E.A.L. Experience—a program specifically designed to help you gain the relevant, hands-on experience employers desire—so that when you graduate, you’ll be as impressive in practice as you are on paper.

What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?

Delve into unique literary topics

Some of our bold, innovative courses contribute to the cosmopolitan distinction of Bethel's literature program:

  • Modern Mythmakers
  • Medieval Identities and the Origins of Modern Racism
  • Truth-Telling: The Stories of Resistance
  • Literatures of Faith: Christianity & Islam
  • Travel Writing taught on location in various countries
  • Monsters and the Monstrous

Gain hands-on experience

Our department offers many on-campus opportunities for you to hone your creative craft. These include:

  • The Coeval, a student-run journal published once a semester. Students can submit their fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and artwork for publication in the journal, or apply to work as a journal editor
  • The Clarion, Bethel's student newspaper
  • Textura, a student-written magazine produced using materials from an international J-Term trip
  • The Jerry Healy Poetry Prize, awarded for our annual poetry contest

In a recent survey of 200 department alumni, 85 respondents have an M.A. or are currently pursuing one; 15 have a Ph.D. or are currently pursuing one; and 6 have completed law school.


National award for "Textura" student magazine

- Associated Collegiate Press

Recent News

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May 13, 2022 | 12:30 p.m.

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February 18, 2022 | 11:30 a.m.

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