The writing major has two distinct tracks: professional writing or creative writing. The major is structured in the following way: 1) a core set of classes introduces students to the theoretical foundation and craft of writing; 2) a bank of courses in creative and professional writing allow students to choose courses that best apply to their future career and writing interests; 3) a capstone experience allows students to study abroad, complete an internship, or complete a scholarship project in their field; 4) a final seminar writing course concludes the program where students complete portfolio work that will help them to pursue a career in writing, apply for graduate school or hone their skills within their primary field.

The writing major is intended to be a double major and therefore is only 33 hours. It pairs well with majors in the humanities as well as business and communication. In addition to a writing major, Olivet also offers a minor in writing with the same choice of tracks: professional writing or creative writing.

At Olivet, students will learn from professors who will not only challenge them academically, but who also care about their personal and professional success. Our department is small enough for faculty to know our students on a first name basis. They help to broaden the student experience through a variety of cultural and literary events, in the community, in Chicago, and abroad.

Writing Careers

Editing, publishing, freelance writing, communication jobs, journalism, business/marketing/finance jobs, political fields, and ministry.

Chicago’s Literary Community Next Door

With convenient access to some of the top publishers, book sellers and writing professionals in the country, Olivet students often journey to Chicago for literary events. The American Writers Museum, the Poetry Foundation, the Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest are just a few of the many draws.

Chicago Public Library

Student Publications

Our entire world is made up of elements, both literally and figuratively. There are elements of fire, water, air and earth. There are elements of fiction, of music, of electromagnetics. Tygr, the student art and literary magazine published each academic year, is dedicated to cultivating individual perceptions of the elements that make up our world. Written and published by students with faculty advisors, this magazine brings together a unique collection of Olivet’s creativity. 


Study Abroad

More than a dozen study abroad programs provide opportunity for experiencing the Christian faith in other cultures and countries.

Learn More about Study Abroad

Mission Work

Missions in Action (M.I.A.) sponsors student mission trips to serve people living on the continents of Asia, Africa, South America, as well as in the U.S.

Missions in Action

Aurora Yearbook

English majors have opportunities to contribute articles for Olivet’s student yearbook. Finding the stories and capturing the personal angles are a creative pursuit.

Teaching Assistants

Students who excel in writing often work closely with their professors in presenting lectures, grading papers and tutoring at-risk students.

Meet the Faculty

Beth Schurman

Preparing the next generation of English teachers is a passion for Beth Schurman. She is an experienced high school English teacher and also a higher education teaching professional. In her work with student teachers, she observes them in their assigned classrooms. An accomplished writer and speaker, she has presented at the National Council of Teachers of English and the Midwest Association of Teacher Educators conferences.

English Faculty

Alumni Careers in English

Communications directors
Freelance writers

Teachers of English in other countries

English with a Christian Purpose

The best way to see if Olivet is a good fit for you is to visit the campus. We offer unique, customized visit days every weekday, and special Purple & Gold days, too, where you can get up close at all things ONU.

Schedule a Visit