Creative Writing (CWR)

Professor R. Smith, Chair

Professor Guinn

The mission of the creative writing department at Belhaven University is to train student writers to examine the world from a biblical perspective and to engage the world for Christ through their gifts for writing. In the program, students learn to cultivate the writing life as a high calling and to use writing as a tool for unraveling the mysteries of creation and human experience. Overall, the department imparts a biblical understanding of creativity in general and creative writing in particular, focusing on God’s gift of language to humans as one means of subduing creation and, thus, fulfilling the “cultural mandate” found in Genesis 1:28.

Practically speaking, the program seeks—through a variety of activities such as writing workshops, literature courses, applied experiences, and internship opportunities—to produce disciplined wordsmiths who write clearly, concisely, correctly, and creatively.

Graduates of the program will be qualified to pursue graduate study and careers in in many fields. Current alumni are young-adult novelists, university press editors, middle- and high-school teachers, independent booksellers, public relations consultants, graphic designers, filmmakers, teachers of English as a second language, art administrators, advertising copywriters, small-business owners, and even occupational therapists and public health experts. Most importantly, graduates will be writers who are equipped both to look at and speak to the world from a biblical perspective.

Creative Writing Major (B.F.A.) - 60 hours to include:

  1. Required courses (24 hours)
    1. CWR 132, 133, 211, 480, 481, 495, ENG 302, and PHI 275
  2. Advanced Writing/Special Topics Option (12 hours)
    1. CWR 304A, 304B, 305, 306, 307, 482, FLM 310 or THE 210
  3. Applied Electives (6 hours)
    1. 6 hours from any of the following departments: Arts Administration, Business Administration Communications, Education, Graphic Design, or Film
  4. Forms & Themes (3 hours)
    1. CWR 324 or 325
  5. Literature (9 hours)
    1. 300-400 Level Literature
  6. Colloquy
    1. CWR 199 (4 semesters)
  7. Cultural Studies (6 hours)
    1. 6 hours of foreign language through the beginning level (102)
    2. 6 hours of international studies, including relevant courses such as BIB 210, BIB 360, BIB 408, BIB 411, BIB 445, BUS 336, BUS 373, BUS 420, IST 202, IST 300, IST-302, IST-303, IST 305, IST 403, PSC 311, and SOC 220
    3. 6 hours of courses taken outside the United States as part of a study-abroad program

      Creative writing majors may take CWR 482: Special Topics Writing Workshop up to two times if the topics for each workshop are different.

       Creative Writing Minor-  24 hours to include:
  1. Creative Writing Courses (15 hours)
    1. CWR 211, 480, 481, 495  and PHI 275
  2. Creative Writing Electives (9 hours)
    1. CWR 304A, CWR 304B, 305, 306, 307, 482, or THE 210
  3. Colloquy
    1. CWR 199 (4 semesters)

Creative Writing Honors Program: The following courses in the major may be taken as honors courses: CWR 211, CWR 304, CWR 305, CWR 306, CWR 307, CWR 324, CWR 325, CWR 482, FLM 310, THE 210.

For honors designation, the BFA student in Creative Writing must complete 18 hours of honors courses in the major:

  • 12 hours from CWR 211, CWR 304, CWR 305, CWR 306, CWR 307, CWR 324, CWR 325, CWR 482, FLM 310, THE 210.
  • 3 hours from ENG 302 or PHI 275
  • 3 hours from applied electives in Arts Administration, Business Administration,  Communications, Education, Graphic Design, or Film.

Enrollment in the creative writing major or minor requires an ACT score of 22 or higher in reading and English. Further, all applicants must submit a portfolio of at least twelve to fifteen pages of creative writing to the department chair for evaluation. Thus, all admits to the program are juried. Students who do not initially meet the department’s entrance requirements may be admitted provisionally. The performance of provisionally admitted students will be reviewed after two semesters, resulting in one of the following outcomes: cleared for continuation in the program without provisional status, cleared for continuation with provisional status and further review after one year, not cleared for continuation.

All majors and minors in the writing program will submit a portfolio during their sophomore year for evaluation by creative writing faculty. Based on the quality of this portfolio, students will be cleared for continuation in the writing program or counseled concerning other major or minor options.

For graduation, each creative writing major and minor must produce a senior thesis (a substantial creative work in one of the following genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or scriptwriting) and successfully defend that work before a faculty panel. A public reading of the thesis is also required. In addition, each senior must write and defend a research paper (1) explaining his or her philosophy of aesthetics and composition and (2) linking their aesthetic philosophy to important developments in the history of both traditional and biblical aesthetics.

Creative writing majors also will gain hands-on, career experience through 120 hours of internship field placement and completion of CWR 495: Mission and Calling for Writers.

By graduation, creative writing students should demonstrate the following skills and abilities:

  1.  Well-developed creative and critical-thinking skills.
  2.  A broad understanding of creative writing in relation to historical and cultural contexts, especially the biblical worldview and the development of Western civilization and literature.
  3.  A mastery of various literary forms and styles in genres as diverse poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and scriptwriting.
  4.  The ability to give and receive constructive feedback on writing.
  5.  A mastery of the tools of all good writing: grammar, punctuation, mechanics, spelling, syntax, diction, focus, organization, development, and style.
  6.  A deep appreciation of the ways in which creative activities such as writing allow humans to uncover the wonders of a world charged with meaning and the brokenness of a world marred by sin and suffering.

 Content Editor ‭[2]‬

ACC - Accounting
ART - Art
ASM - Actuarial Sciences
BHA - Health Administration
BIB - Biblical Studies
BIO - Biology
BUS - Business
CAS - Child Advocacy Studies
CES - Classical Education Studies
CHE - Chemistry
CJU - Criminal Justice
COM - Communication
COS - Council Studies
CSC - Computer Science
CWR - Creative Writing
DAN - Dance
DMA - Digital Media
ECO - Economics
EDU - Education
ELT - English Language Teaching
ENG - English
ESL - English as Second Lang
FAM - Family Studies
FLM - Film Production
FRE - French
GDS - Graphic Design
GER - German
GRE - Greek
HIS - History
HNS - Honors
HPE - Health and Physical Ed
HUM - Humanities
ICS - Intercultural Studies
IDS-Interdisciplinary Studies
IST - International Studies
LDC - Leadership & Coaching
LDS - Leadership Studies
MAT - Mathematics
MML- Ministry Leadership
MUS - Music
NUR - Nursing
PHI - Philosophy
PHY - Physics
PSC - Political Science
PSY - Psychology
REA - Reading
SAM - Sports Administration
SCI - Science
SCM - Supply Chain Management
SMA - Sports Management
SME - Sports Medicine
SMT - Sales Management
SOC - Sociology
SPA - Spanish
SPC - Speech Communication
SPE - Speech
SWK - Social Work
TDS - Tradigital Studies
Teaching English as a Second Language TESL
THE - Theatre
WVC - Worldview Curriculum
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