Executive Summary of Review of English Program (Winter 2014)

After completing a very thorough and extensive self‐study, the Department of English was reviewed by a committee consisting of two external members and one internal member not associated with the department. In addition to reviewing the self‐study and related documents, the committee conducted an on‐site visit which included meeting with all full‐time faculty (twice), 14 English students, and various members of Redeemer’s administration.

In its report, the external review committee concluded that Redeemer’s English Department “is an outstanding exemplar of dynamic Christian scholarship in every aspect of its mission and service to both the University and the world. It has used its resources wisely and well, to equip students for ministry in the fullest sense in every walk of life and to enrich the universe of knowledge and enquiry from its own deepest values.” The department’s specific strengths include a student‐centred teaching philosophy, deeply committed faculty members who strive to integrate their scholarship with their teaching, a program which offers two parallel streams (one emphasizing the academic study of literature and the other emphasizing the development of writing in three domains—creative, expository, and journalistic), a substantive curriculum which has kept up with developments in the field, a regular engagement with the broader world, both literary and academic, and a strong sense of community among both faculty and students. Graduates of the English program are well prepared for post‐graduate studies and for the wider world of work. As the external reviewers enthused, “In short, the world needs these graduates.”

The review committee urged the department to continue building on its strengths in order to attract more students. Specifically, improvements could be made in rationalizing and streamlining the curriculum, in strengthening the writing stream by hiring a full‐time person in creative writing, and in providing more experiential learning opportunities outside the classroom.