The Houston Baptist University School of Fine Arts is pleased to announce the launch of two new Master of Fine Arts degrees, beginning in January 2020. The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing will provide students with a rigorous artistic environment to pursue either fiction or poetry writing, while the Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting will prepare students to craft compelling scripts for film, television, video games, and emerging digital mediums. Both degrees expand HBU’s commitment to high-caliber artistic training at the graduate level, building on a rich foundation of apprenticeships and critical studies already thriving in the current Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art.
The two new MFA degrees will be offered in an accelerated, low-residency model, designed to meet the needs of today’s students, while emphasizing a strong commitment to excellence in craft, analysis, and creativity. Every January and May, students and faculty will gather either at HBU’s campus or for a writers’ retreat in cities like Galveston or Austin. Each of the residencies will feature workshops and extensive interaction with notable authors and screenwriters serving as guest instructors, as well as ongoing mentorship from HBU’s exceptional full-time writing faculty.
Between residencies, students will work from home, maintaining connections with their cohort through online workshops and ongoing coursework. These long-distance classes preserve HBU’s apprenticeship model, providing frequent feedback and personalized direction from each student’s writing mentors and peers. While the low-residency model allows writers to continue to live and work in their home cities, students should expect to commit considerable time every week to practicing their craft in order to successfully develop and hone their creative skills.
The specially developed accelerated schedule will allow students to complete either MFA degree in just one-and-a-half years, beginning in January and finishing the summer of the following year. For professional writers, the Master of Fine Arts serves as a terminally qualifying degree, allowing successful graduates to teach at the university level. The primary goal of these programs is to nurture students’ creative potential, ensuring that their artistic craft is sharpened and developed throughout their time in the program.
The core of these new degrees remains HBU’s steadfast commitment to providing a learning experience that instills in students a passion for academic, spiritual and professional excellence as a result of our Christian convictions. Students will explore how faith has guided writers, storytellers and artists throughout history and be inspired by this rich heritage as, together, we seek to craft new works reflecting our Creator’s goodness, truth and beauty.
Applications for the inaugural class, beginning January 2020, are now open. A writing portfolio is required for admission.