Lubbock Christian University
desk with cup and notebooks, one labeled Christianity and Literature

Department of Humanities

What is Humanities?

  • The term “Humanities” arose about 600 years ago in Italy when a group of Renaissance philosophers went back to ancient texts written in Latin and Greek because they believed these texts were more centered around humans.
  • The “humanists” dedicated themselves to studying what it means to be human. 
  • Although in contemporary society the term “humanism” has been shifted to have a more secular meaning, the original humanists approached this study from a Christian perspective, believing that humans are the greatest creation of God, but focusing on man as an imperfect, creative being who is a product of history.
  • Today, what we call “the humanities” concentrates on a very broad range of interests, looking at many different cultures, periods in history, and areas of study, including history, philosophy, languages, linguistics, literature, archaeology, law, history and criticism of the arts, ethics, and comparative literature. 
  • In our Humanities Department, we teach the humanities from a Christian perspective, focusing on people as God’s creation and our history, society, culture, and literature and works deserving of study.

At LCU, the Department of Humanities offers classes in English, Geography, Government, History, and Humanities with several bachelor’s degrees and minors to offer students the most well-rounded and thorough undergraduate education.

The Department of Humanities includes majors in English, History, Humanities, and Museum and Heritage Studies, as well as Minors in Creative Writing, English, History, Humanities, Film Studies, and Law and Government. The disciplines of reading, research, and writing prepare students for graduate work and for many different career areas that focus on both oral and written communication and critical thinking skills.

Mission Statement

To Encourage Thoughtful Reflection

Whether studying social structures and political dynamics, exploring the history of peoples and cultures, interpreting literature from the classical age to the present day, or writing well-researched and creative essays, our students are encouraged to reflect thoughtfully upon life's most important issues.

To Foster Learning and Growth

The search for knowledge and pursuit of wisdom are both intellectual and spiritual, for the learning process is a growing process. Moreover, as we study the social, political, and literary developments throughout human history, we often consider the nature and the traditions of religious expression, opening ourselves to questions that challenge our minds and engage our hearts.

students working on captions at the annual writing carnival

Chap Book 2020

Click here to view the most recent edition of the Chap Book - LCU's student literary and arts journal.

Our Graduates — Where Are They Now?

Joel Martin

Joel Martin

Almost a decade ago, Joel Martin (class of 2013, History and English Education major from Salida, CO) had the distinction of being the first of two students featured in our departmental advertising brochures sent to prospective students. In addition to exceptional academic work, Joel worked in the ChapDesk and the University Writing Center and was involved in many organizations on campus. He also met his lovely bride, Lauren Hise Martin, during one of his very first weeks at LCU.

When asked about his experiences in our department, Joel responded: "While I was at LCU, the Humanities department proved time and time again that not only were they interested in teaching me, but also in seeing me grow as a person. Each member gave me a different perspective on life, and taught me that critically thinking about any situation is important to making the world a better place. I cherish each moment I had getting to know them, and I will never forget the impact they had on my life." Currently, Joel is employed at Texas Tech, managing an education-style platform very similar to YouTube. His role is pivotal in Tech faculty being successful teaching online and in asynchronous learning. He continues to enjoy being connected to and forming relationships with faculty, just as he did during his tenure at LCU. We are thankful for Joel, his work here and his continued good work in Lubbock, and for being an ambassador for the value of a Humanities degree.

Cassidy Davis

Cassidy Davis

One or our recent alumni is Cassidy Davis, English major and Fall 2018 graduate, who is continuing to shine. While at LCU, Cassidy was part of the Honors College, worked in the University Writing Center, studied abroad in Oxford, made significant contributions to undergraduate research, and was an invaluable part of the Humanities program and campus life.

In reflecting on her season at LCU, Cassidy said that, "The Humanities department genuinely invested in me in ways that constantly surprised and changed me; I always felt supported and seen. Because Humanities professors lovingly encouraged me to pursue so many dynamic opportunities that LCU offers students, I gained incredible experiences that go far beyond being simple lines on my resume."

Since leaving LCU, Cassidy has been exploring the publishing field as a copywriter and editor. She is currently getting her Master’s degree in publishing and writing at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts while juggling working for Boston-based publishing firms and literary magazines.

Cassidy notes, "It’s surreal to think my childhood aspiration of working with books and writers is quickly becoming my everyday life, and it all started with LCU’s Humanities department."

Congratulations to Cassidy for being an exceptional person and student at LCU and for dreaming big dreams--we can't wait to see what she does next.

Emmanuel (Manny) Ramirez

Emmanuel (Manny) Ramirez

Emmanuel (Manny) Ramirez graduated with a Humanities degree/Business emphasis in 2007, and then returned to LCU to finish an additional Accounting degree in 2010.

While at LCU, Manny led Spring Break mission campaigns to Mexico and Nicaragua, was involved in the men's social club, Alpha Chi Delta, and was enthusiastically involved in campus life, which included meeting and marrying his college sweetheart, Christina (Banda) Ramirez, class of 2008. Today they are a family of four, raising their two children, Emma Rose (7) and Christian (3).

People often ask, "What can you do with a Humanities degree?" Ramirez began his career by working at the Children's Home of Lubbock, then moved into a position at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Southwest, where is he is currently serving as the interim President and CEO, a job that he loves and that gives him a chance to make a direct impact on hurting people every day. He credits the training he received at LCU and in the Humanities department for "educating [him] academically and empowering [him] to think critically--both in writing and in life." He adds, "They treated me like family and guided my journey, and even 13 years later, I have a relationship with many of my professors; I am so grateful for my time at LCU and in the Humanities department."

We are thankful for Manny, for the impact he has had on the Lubbock community, and for his faithful witness as an ambassador for the Humanities and Christian education.

By the way, Manny's impact continues to grow. Ramirez was named as one of the Top 20 Under 40 recipients by the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, is a graduate of Leadership Lubbock, is the VP of Operations for the West Texas Running Club and Tough as Nails, is a Level 2 CrossFit instructor at Flatland Crossfit, and is the PTA President for North Ridge Elementary.

What can you do with a Humanities degree? Just about everything!

Profile Photo of Ronna Privett
  • Dr. Privett graduated from Lubbock Christian University 1983, earning her B.A. in Art and secondary teaching certificate in Art and English.
  • In 1985, she married Bryan Privett (LCU, Math, 1983) in 1985, and they have two children, Austin (LCU, Math and Chemistry, 2010; TTU PhD Physical Chemistry, 2015) and Emily (ACU, Communication Disorders, 2012; TTUHSC, MS Speech Pathology, 2014).
  • Dr. Privett returned to school when her children were small, earning her Master's in English (British and American Literature) in 1995 and her Ph.D. in English (American Literature) in 1999, both degrees from Texas Tech University.
  • Dr. Privett has had the joy of teaching English and Humanities in the Humanities department at LCU since 1999, and currently serves as chair of the department.

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Dr. Matt Byars is a native of Lubbock. He has been married to his wife, Heather Byars (LCU ’00) since 2000. They have four children.

They are members at South Plains Church of Christ.


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Dr. Carroll has worked at Lubbock Christian University since 1999 and holds degrees in American and British Literature and Latin at both the Master's and Ph.D. levels. She currently teaches freshman composition courses, sophomore world literature survey, and upper division courses in Shakespeare, world drama, literature and film, and British Literature, among others.

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Dr. Hawley has spent much of his academic time with medieval and renaissance literature, especially the epic poem Beowulf, vernacular translations of the Bible, Chaucer's tales and poetry, Milton's major works, and various other religious poets. His dissertation on The Boethian Vision of Eternity in Old, Middle, and Early Modern English Translations of De Consolatione Philosophiæ includes analysis of works by King Alfred the Great, Chaucer, and Queen Elizabeth I. In addition to his courses in Composition, Literature, and Technical Writing, he also enjoys studying and teaching film—his M.A. thesis was over Scottish nationalism and Braveheart.

While at the University of Kentucky, Kenneth earned a graduate certificate in Electronic Texts, with an emphasis on Computing for Humanities, a discipline interested in addressing teaching, learning, and research in the Humanities with the tools, methods, and technologies of Computer Science. He was associated at that time with organizations and projects such as the Collaboratory for Research in Computing for Humanities, The Digital Atheneum, ARCHway, The Electronic Boethius Project, and The Student Edition of Electronic Beowulf.

His most recent scholarly work has been in collaboration with the International Boethius Society, having developed the organization's online newsletter in 2012: In the spring of 2015, Dr. Hawley was named co-editor of Carmina Philosophiae: the Journal of the International Boethius Society, joining Dr. Harold Kaylor (Troy University), the founding editor of the journal. He and Professor Kaylor traveled to Sheffield, UK, in the spring of 2016 to gather and ship back to LCU a collection of rare books and scholarly volumes related to the life, work, and influence of Boethius—a remarkable library generously donated by the estate of Professor Brian S. Donaghey, a Trustee of the International Boethius Society. The books from that collection, as well as hundreds of books recently given by Professor Kaylor, are now housed in The Brian S. Donaghey Center for Boethian Studies, located in the LCU Library.

Dr. Hawley teaches Composition (ENG 1301), Composition and Literature (ENG 1302), Masterpieces of Literature (ENG 2301), Writing About Literature (HON 1302), Making Connections: Literature and Life (HON 2307), Classical and Contemporary Rhetoric (ENG 3307), Technical Writing (ENG 3308), Christianity and Literature (ENG 4306), Comparative Literature (ENG 4314), Introduction to Film Studies (ENG 3326), Research Writing (ENG 4318), Major British Writers to 1800 (ENG 4315), and Literature and Film (ENG 4326). Kenneth and his wife Deborah have three children: Will, Ben, and Cole.

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Dr. Lindsey earned a Master of Arts in History from Abilene Christian University and a Ph.D. in History with an emphasis in Historic Preservation from Texas Tech University. He also earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Texas Tech University and is an architect, as well as a historian. As an architect associated with various architectural offices and as an owner of an architectural firm, he designed office buildings, shopping centers, churches, banks, warehouses, medical facilities, residences, public and private school buildings, hospitals, a university coliseum and other higher education facilities.

Thus, as a historian as well as an architect, Dr. Lindsey combines both fields to focus on the preservation and interpretation of historically and/or architecturally significant buildings. In addition, his areas of interest are Public History, the American West, American Indian history, Civil War and Reconstruction, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and U.S. History since 1945. He holds teacher certification in Secondary Social Studies and taught and coached in two Christian high schools. As well, he taught in the College of Architecture at Texas Tech University where he instructed architecture design studios, and classes on ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture, and historic preservation. Dr. Lindsey also taught in the Department of History at Texas Tech, and in the history departments of Abilene Christian University and Oklahoma Christian University. He is a member of the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society and is the faculty adviser for its LCU chapter, Alpha-Rho-Gamma. Dr. Lindsey is also a member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and has published articles, and presented papers and chaired sessions at various scholarly conferences.

Dr. Lindsey and his wife, Sharon, attend Kings Ridge church of Christ.

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Dr. Owen's dissertation was entitled The Fourth Party and Conservative Evolution, 1880-1885. He has a love of British history and can be convinced at the drop of a hat to lead a tour of England

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  • Jana began her career at Abilene Christian University, where she taught in the English department for almost a decade, followed by a tenure at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, where she and her family moved for ministry at the Glenwood Church of Christ.
  • In 2005, she moved to Lubbock and returned to full-time teaching at LCU, following a 4-year season as a work-at-home mom; in addition to her work in the classroom, in 2010 she was selected to create and direct the University Writing Center, an interdisciplinary writing resource for all LCU students.
  • She enjoys leading the annual Writing Carnival at LCU each year, which honors a great book (or series of books), highlights the joy of writing and academic competition, and fosters community and collegiality.
  • She loves collaboration, and one of her greatest pleasures is working on a presentation or project or event with staff and faculty colleagues and students.
  • She and her family serve at the South Plains Church of Christ and are involved in leading a weekly small group and in teaching ministries.
  • She is married to Rob Anderson (ACU, BA in Communications, MDiv and Masters in Missions, ACU), and they have two children, Luke and Grace. They are her bucket list.
  • She is passionate about her family, her students, her work at LCU, her family of friends, writing, young adult and children’s literature, culturally diverse literature, with a focus on Latino literature, grant writing, British literature, poetry, great books, her church family and small group family, and life. It’s all a gift.

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