Bachelor of Arts in English

Alumni Success

The mission of the Department of English at San Diego Christian (SDC) is to promote the pursuit of excellence in written communication and critical literacy while incorporating the Christian worldview.

Why Choose English at SDC?

English is an exciting discipline not only for those who love to read and write, but also for those who care about social and cultural issues. The courses in the English program equip students for the professional world by providing opportunities to express and refine their viewpoints as they develop their reading, writing and critical thinking skills. The professors are committed to providing avenues for study both on campus and through the many literary and cultural experiences that abound in San Diego.

Majors in English study a curriculum with a thorough engagement in writing and literary analysis, emphasizing critical thinking and effective communication. 

English is fundamental to the liberal arts curriculum and enables students to communicate effectively in all areas of coursework and in preparation for their careers.  The English curriculum develops writing skills through the practice of research, creative expression, exposition, and argumentation while considering appropriate discursive strategies. Literature courses examine the American and British literary traditions as well as significant contributions to World and Christian literature. Students receive wide exposure to diverse critical and theoretical approaches while being challenged to construct their own interpretive positions which account for biblical principles and offer insight into the human experience.

sarnowski-joe-professor-of-english“Literary studies is not simply reading books. It investigates how discourse functions within, and consequently informs, culture and society. As such, it is a vital and exciting discipline for the exploration of the human experience.”
~Joe Sarnowski, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of English

Course Requirements for English Majors

The Bachelor of Arts in English will require a minimum of 126 credit hours
72 General Education credit hours
42 Required credit hours in English
3 Elective credit hours in English
9 Elective credit hours

For a complete view of courses and descriptions, please click here.

Required program specific Course: Credits

EN 201 Seminar in College Writing: 3
EN 202 Critical Approaches to Literature: 3
EN 221 Christian Classics I: 3
EN 222 Christian Classics II: 3
EN 223 World Literature: 3
EN 311 American Literature I: 3
EN 312 American Literature II: 3
EN 316 Introduction to Linguistics: 3
EN 331 Shakespeare: 3
EN 332 Creative Writing: 3 or
EN 334 The Drama: 3 or
EN 336 The Novel: 3
EN 411 English Literature I: 3
EN 412 English Literature II: 3
EN 415 Approaches to Grammar: 3
EN 421 Seminar in Literary Criticism: 3

Joe Sarnowski, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of English

Dr. Joe Sarnowski is Professor and Chair in the Department of English at San Diego Christian College and a graduate of the University of Toledo (B.A. 1994, M.A. 1996, Ph.D. 1999). His monograph, The Literary Achievement of the American Poet Robert Penn Warren: His Life-Long Struggles with Morality, Myth, and Modernity is available from The Edwin Mellen Press. His work has also appeared in Papers on Language and Literature, The Kentucky Review, the Lamar Journal for the Humanities, and the Encyclopedia of American War Literature (Greenwood Press). He lives in El Cajon, California with his wife, Erica, and their children, Caleb, Jackman, and Cayia.


Deborah Haynes
Assistant Professor of English

I decided in my last years of college that I wanted to be an English teacher who was able to teach in various cultures around the world. I saw the student as equally capable to succeed given the right environment and as his or her teacher, it was my responsibility to do the best I could to provide that learning arena. The Lord has blessed me by providing me teaching opportunities in China, Germany, and Guam. The majority of my teaching has been on the secondary level; however, the last seven years of teaching has been at the college level. At SDCC I have been blessed to work with students who really want to learn. That has, and continues to be, a joy for me. I love what I do. Outside of teaching, my other favorites are hiking and camping with my daughter’s family in N. California, tending my garden, walking the hills and valleys of east San Diego and learning about the local history of my hometown. My undergraduate work was done in biology, German and English at San Diego State University. My Master’s Degree is in Person-centered education from United States International University. I hold a clear California secondary credential.

Over 95% of students at SDC receive financial assistance from a variety of sources.

An education at San Diego Christian is worth the investment. At our institution, students are not only investing in an excellent education, but also in their spiritual formation, leadership training and opportunities to make an impact in our local and global community for the kingdom of God. Our 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows our professors to give their students personal attention both academically and spiritually, and our students are a part of a thriving community of believers who are committed to servant leadership and growth.

That is why we believe SDC is worth your investment and our own. Through our comprehensive financial aid program, we are committed to offering an affordable, Christian liberal arts education to every student no matter their financial situation. We are here to assist you in making an informed decision as you plan a financing strategy for your college education.

For a listing of tuition and costs, financial aid options and resources for funding your education, click here

The English Department prepares the student for a number of possibilities after graduation including: graduate school, seminary, the mission field, teaching, business, law, journalism, media arts, and government services.

Learning Outcomes:

To practice and to produce writing that is effective in academic circles, professional settings, and beyond.

To analyze and to construct critical responses to discourse, with particular emphasis on literary and cultural artifacts , addressing significance in ways that are perceptive and persuasive.

To articulate various ways in which the Christian worldview informs human experience.

To offer knowledgeable and insightful contributions to the dialogue on the dynamics of cultural diversity.

“I have nothing but the highest praise for the English Department of San Diego Christian College. The classes and the professors were excellent, and I honestly feel like I got the best education I possibly could have under their instruction. The head of the department, Dr. Sarnowski, especially challenged and pushed me to constantly do my best. He pushed me to hold to a high standard in my academic as well as creative writing that I doubt I could have found at another school. The personal attention was exceptional, and I grew there, not only as a student and as a writer, but also as a human being. The English professors genuinely care, not only about our academic success, but also about our personal success and development as believers. While I was completing my Senior Capstone, I told a friend of mine who is an English major at another school all that went into the project. She was aghast and said that I was essentially doing graduate level work as an undergraduate. While slightly annoyed at the amount of work that I had to do, I also felt reassured. I left San Diego Christian college feeling genuinely prepared for grad school and beyond. I know that I was held to a high standard of excellence throughout my time there.”
~ Jenna Lathrop, 2015

“I have grown such a great deal by being a part of the English Major at SDC. The community is unique in that we share with each other parts of our lives no one else might understand. The course work is challenging and left me wanting to improve every semester, with encouragement and motivation from my professors and fellow students. Now, as a graduating senior, I look at the skills that I learned, gained slowly through the labor of four years, and I am proud of what I’ve accomplished. I would encourage anyone to take the risk and join a major which will impact not only a future career but also the way you see the world. It is a decision I will never regret.”
~ Annie Boettner, 2016

“The Department of English at SDC fostered a passion for literature and encouraged me to think critically. The program helped me understand humanity through its writing, and provided the opportunity for me to hone my own writing skills. The knowledge and skills I learned helped to prepare me for my career as an educator and the support and mentorship I received from the faculty and my fellow students formed bonds that will last a lifetime.”
~ Joshua, 2009