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Mission Statement

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Our Mission

Because we believe that literacy forms the core of education and that literature and language have the power to inspire both individuals and societies, we read, and we teach our students to read thoroughly and carefully. We embrace the prophetic admonitions to “teach one another words of wisdom”; to seek “out of the best books words of wisdom”; and to “seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” The English Department’s commitment to reading, writing, literary study, rhetoric, and teacher training grounds students in stories of our common humanity and supports the university’s mission to “assist students in their quest” to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.”

We Teach

We believe that the inspired and inspiring teaching of our discipline is essential to BYU’s efforts to cultivate empathetic, informed, capable, and civically-engaged children of God.

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    • We regard students as individuals, maintaining small class sizes to ensure focus on the needs and perspectives of each student.
    • We study all forms of literature and orature (fiction, non-fiction, scripture, poetry, drama, myth, folklore, and more) in order to instill in students a knowledge of and love for the long tradition of texts and their aesthetics.
    • We use the best disciplinary practices alongside gospel principles to help students confront and appreciate texts and ideas with the insight of the Spirit.
    • We promote the application of English competencies and skills cultivated in the classroom to larger communities through internships, study abroad programs, mentored research, student teaching, and engagement in public humanities.
    • We help students value diverse characteristics and experiences and seek truth and beauty wherever they thrive.
    • We enrich our teaching with research in order to bring students the most important and relevant ideas in our fields.
    • We view our classrooms as sacred spaces for exploration, creation, and exchange undertaken in good faith, where vulnerability is respected, testimony is affirmed, civility is privileged, and the intellectual labor of analysis is shared.

We Create

We believe in the value of creativity and other scholarly work. We offer students an education in imaginative reasoning or the ability to consider the world as it was, as it is, and as it might be. Our faculty create literature and scholarship of the highest quality and mentor students to do the same.
    • We support faculty as they produce and publish scholarship and literary work that advances both their fields of study and the mission of the university.
    • We mentor undergraduate and graduate students as they produce and disseminate scholarship and literary works.
    • We produce and share knowledge about best practices in English teaching and writing instruction for educators at all levels.

We Serve

We believe that the English Department enriches the lives of everyone in the university community.
    • We serve our students, and they serve one another, through thoughtful feedback, collaborative work, and generous, charitable argument.
    • Through our extensive contributions to General Education and University Writing, we help all students think clearly and communicate effectively. This grounding in literacy equips students to strengthen and serve their families, congregations, and communities.
    • Our faculty hold positions of leadership and service in the department, college, university, and in their respective professional organizations.
    • We aim to inspire colleagues, students, and all those with whom we work to embrace lifelong service and learning.