Michael Sutherlin

English, M.A.

 

"Pursuing English at CBU’s graduate program allowed me the Christian lens and scholarly help that I felt was crucial for refining my writing and teaching while also allowing me to have scholarly conversations with likeminded people."

Why did you choose this graduate degree program? What interested you in this particular field of study?
I chose to enter into English because I enjoy the important discussions that arise when we talk about literature and the imagination. While most of my life I had pursued the sciences, I found that I enjoyed the conversations in the English classroom and felt that the topics brought up allowed me and my fellow classmates the opportunity to discuss ethical, practical, and spiritual issues cogently. Additionally, I found that I had a talent for writing and teaching in the humanities and I wanted to refine this ability through a spiritual lens. Pursuing English at CBU’s graduate program allowed me the Christian lens and scholarly help that I felt was crucial for refining my writing and teaching while also allowing me to have scholarly conversations with likeminded people. 

What did you like about being in this program at CBU?
The English program is unique in its comradery and sense of community. The staff and professors go out of their way to welcome you and facilitate opportunities where the students can interact and support one another. Because I was not sure where I wanted to specialize, CBU’s program was perfect because the faculty has a diverse set of specializations that allowed me to figure out what worked best for my interests. Finally, and most importantly for me, CBU offered me the opportunity to explore literature and teaching from a Christ-centered approach.

What did you think about your professors?
The professors at CBU are simply wonderful. They went out of their way to encourage and push me towards my career path. I was always amazed by their scholarly insight and acumen. They approach the classroom with care and rigor, which I felt allowed me to grow as a scholar while staying encouraged through the difficult process. I aspire to be like them as I teach my own classes since they reflect a Christ-like approach to scholarship and encourage their students to do the same.

Did you complete any field work? 
Through contacts with CBU professors, I was able to find internships and conferences that helped me build my résumé. I also was able to teach my own class while completing graduate courses work.

How did you grow (spiritually, socially, educationally) while in this program at CBU?
CBU helped me gain a sense of scholarly voice and grow as a teacher and academic. Additionally, CBU helped me understand how my work can be used for the kingdom of God.

What have you done since graduating?
Since I left CBU I have stayed busy. I worked at the C. S. Lewis Foundation and was able to present a paper and help them with their Oxford and Cambridge conference last summer. I was also accepted and given full funding into the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Ph.D. program in English literature and criticism.

How has your time at CBU prepared you for your life and career after grad school?
CBU’s English graduate program is the scholarly foundation that helps me in my classes and as I teach every day. I am constantly referring to my M.A. thesis and the classes I took so as to build upon and refresh myself with the lessons I learned.

Is there anything you learned at CBU that you still use in your professional life today?
I use what I learned as a professor and student at CBU for everything I do as a Ph.D. student.

How are you making a difference in the world? How are you living your purpose?
Primarily, as a teacher, I have been able to help my students learn to read, write, and think in our world. Hopefully, I would like to say that my contributions in my classes, my relationships with my professors and classmates, and the topics discussed in my papers have reflected the Christian walk.

 

Learn More

M.A. in English
Department of Modern Languages and Literature

 

Related Alumni Stories