Dante's Paradiso with Dominicans St. Albert the Great and St. Thomas Aquinas

Why study English?

Please note: Beginning in the fall of 2017, Aquinas will no longer offer degrees in arts and sciences, business and nursing, nor provide residential housing and student life activities. Aquinas will focus its academic programming on the School of Education and on course offerings in philosophy and theology. Read more here.

The Aquinas College English major combines the study of genres, authors and language into a unique and cohesive curriculum. The capacity of literature to explore and analyze the human condition and consequences of choice, especially moral choice, underscores its relevance as a unique mode of knowing. Thus, the anchor of the major is the genre-based World Literature series, supporting surveys in English and American literature and studies of authors such as Dante and Shakespeare. In addition, the English major will develop important communication skills, especially writing, as well as analytical abilities valued for post-graduate education or employment.

Meet the Faculty

Sister Mary DominicSr. Mary Dominic Pitts, O.P., Professor of English
Ph.D. University of Michigan
M.A. University of Michigan
M.A. Providence College
(615) 297-7545 ext. 453

Sr. Mary Dominic Pitts, O.P.,  enjoys teaching General Linguistics, Advanced Grammar (syntax), Advanced Composition, History of the English Language, Freshman Composition I and II (which she considers an art form), and upper-division Scripture courses such as  Wisdom Literature, Prophets, Synoptic Gospels, and the Writings of John. She was the Special Contributor for Dialect in the third edition of the American Heritage Dictionary, contributed a chapter to the recent book The Foundations of Religious Life: Revisiting the Vision, and has published articles and presented on Scriptural and other topics.


Aaron UrbanczykAaron Urbanczyk, Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, Associate Professor of English
Ph.D. Florida State University
M.A. Franciscan University
(615) 297-7545 ext. 434

Dr. Urbanczyk’s teaching and scholarly interests include American literature, literary theory, and 20th century Catholic fiction.  His essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in in Religion & the Arts, the St. Austin ReviewThe Intercollegiate ReviewModern AgeEssays in Arts & SciencesPapers on Language & Literature, the Journal for Cultural & Religious TheoryPerspectives in Religious StudiesThe Fellowship of Catholic Scholars QuarterlyThe Catholic Thing, and the Ignatius Critical Editions of Frankenstein, The Scarlet Letter, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.


Katherine HaynesKatherine Haynes, Associate Professor of English
Ph.D. Middle Tennessee State University, M.T.S. Emory University
(615) 297-7545  ext. 490

Katherine Haynes teaches Dante, Shakespeare, English literature and composition at Aquinas. Recent scholarly papers and presentations include the theological significance of Baconian epistemology in George Herbert’s English lyrics, the role of Mary as the reference point for concrete language in late medieval English mystical texts, and Dante’s historiography. Currently, she is exploring the significance of nonverbal communication in the third cantiche of La Commedia. She is Director of the Aquinas Players and is the head of the House for St. Rose of Lima. She is a member of The Shakespeare Association of America, The Dante Society of America, The Medieval Academy, and the MLA.

Office of the School of Arts & Sciences:

4210 Harding Pike
Nashville, TN 37205
(615) 297-7545 ext. 609
Fax: (615) 783-0562

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RSS Arts & Sciences News

RSS Arts & Sciences Magazine Articles

Aquinas teaches me to think beyond myself and think about the common good and how to serve others.

- Ana T.
Philosophy Major

I love all my professors. They care about their students and challenge them. Their faith is number one in their lives and that’s what matters the most to me.

- Lauren
Arts and Sciences student

A few years ago if you would've told me the stuff that I'm reading and the stuff that I'm writing I wouldn't have believed you.

- Danika A.
Arts and Sciences student

Aquinas has made me more aware of callings—a part of the whole person is that everyone has a calling, that everyone is unique and irreplaceable.

- Ana T.
Philosophy Major

I needed something that was more one-on-one than just a lecture setting where there were an overwhelming number of students within a classroom.

- Danika A.
Arts and Sciences student

The faculty is so nice and enthusiastic! They are always willing to help.

- Abbey

Because they're not just giving you everything...know this, know this, know this, this list of things, and you're good for life? No! Know this foundational principle, know why, and then when you come across things in life, you can apply anything to this and you will know what to do.

- Wil B.
Arts and Sciences student