The low-residency MFA at SPU is a creative writing program for apprentice writers—both Christians and those of other traditions—who not only want to pursue excellence in the craft of writing but also place their work within the larger context of the Judeo-Christian tradition of faith.
The spiritual dimension of this program is not intended to produce didactic, sectarian, or sentimental literature. Nor is this MFA intended to produce writers of “Christian fiction.” Far from it.
This program seeks to extend the tradition of Christian writing in which the highest levels of art, an open-eyed exploration of human experience, and a respect for transcendent mystery are all held in a proper balance.
Our models are Augustine and Dante, the Pearl
poet and Sor Juana de la Cruz, George Herbert and John Milton, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Fyodor Dostoevsky, T.S. Eliot and Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy and Annie Dillard.
We believe that our program will appeal to writers for whom matters of faith are central. We also intend to cultivate reading and writing as spiritual disciplines.
We are convinced that writers flourish best when they engage in a sustained dialogue with
the great literature that has gone before them. Therefore, our program maintains a strong emphasis on reading classic works from the Judeo-Christian tradition and responding to them in a series of critical papers.
What distinguishes our program from other MFA programs, then,
is its focus on the relationship between literature and faith,
its integration of the spiritual disciplines, and the reading
of literary classics of the Judeo-Christian tradition in the curriculum.