Why Language and Literature?
ACU's mission is to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. The Department of Language and Literature empowers students to fulfill the "throughout the world" element of this mission, preparing them to connect with the languages, cultures and peoples of other nations.
- 95% of ACU English graduates who apply to graduate school are accepted
- Over the past five years, 100% of ACU English majors who have taken the Texas Teachers Certification Exam have passed on their first attempt.
- ACU English students' creative work has consistently been honored in the annual Christianity and Literature Student Writing Contest, the Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers Contest, and College Literature Association Contest. This includes seven first-place prizes in the last five years.
- 18 of the 22 English faculty have doctoral degrees.
- Visiting authors who have given readings in recent years include Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Galway Kinnell, poet Li-Young Lee, and Kathleen Norris, best-selling author of Dakota and The Cloister Walk.
- In the last three years, ACU English professors have presented 86 times at national or regional conferences and have published 55 articles, poems, reviews, and books.
- Six English faculty have won College, University, or Honors Teacher-of-the-Year awards (Steven Moore, Bill Rankin, Nancy Shankle, Bill Walton, Steve Weathers, Chris Willerton). Nuria Hall won the ACU Degree Plan Specialist of the Year award in Spring 2006 and the Staff Member of the Year Award in 2008.
- Al Haley, Writer-in-Residence in the ACU Department of English, is the published author of Home Ground: Stories of Two Families and the Land and Exotic: A Novel, winner of the John Irving First Novel Award, as well as several poems and short stories. His short stories have been published in publications including The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly. Most recently his poem "Barcelona" won first prize in Rattle magazine's 2007 national contest. The poem was later nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
- In Spring 2007, ACU English professor Steve Weathers won the Texas Collee English Association award for his creative non-fiction piece, "Andrea."
The Department of Language and Literature at ACU claims 150 undergraduates majoring in English or English with Teacher Certification, in addition to 20 graduate students of English. Advanced courses and graduate courses are taught by a dozen faculty members. 95 percent of ACU English majors who apply to graduate schools gain acceptance.
The department serves the university by providing over 900 students with core curriculum courses in composition, world literature and British literature, and Business and Professional Writing. It also organizes the campus literary magazine The Shinnery Review (successor to The Pickwicker, published at ACU since the 1930s). Submission to and editing of this magazine are open to all students.