Dr. Nathan Nelson

Campus Blog

How a class I once dreaded turned out to be an inspiration

September 25th, 2012 | Laura Vallelonga


Last semester, I enrolled in English 212, a composition & rhetoric course specifically designed for English and Bible majors. Here at Evangel there have been certain classes I couldn’t sign up for fast enough. Unfortunately there have also been classes I’ve wished I could pay someone else to take for me. The latter was how I originally felt about taking ENGL 212.

As I read the syllabus, I felt completely intimidated. Very simply, I didn’t believe I could do it. I didn’t want to do it either. This class was going to be awful; I could feel it.     

Now nearly six months later, I realize that I could not have been more wrong. ENGL 212 did not destroy my GPA or ruin my confidence; it inspired me. Or rather my professor, Dr. Nathan Nelson inspired me. His excitement over English, writing and the effect one’s words can have on an audience is contagious. Every class, I noticed not only his excitement for English, but also his genuine interest in helping students learn, understand and succeed.

His enthusiasm for learning and helping others to learn is not specific to him or this class alone. Time and time again, I have been surprised and pleased to find out how much the Evangel professors truly want to help students succeed. I love being on a Christian campus that has professors who view their occupation as more than a “job” and their students as more than “clients.” They consider what they do as part of their God-given calling and their students as important individuals whom God has also called to do something unique in this world.

Dr. Nelson took something I had previously found boring and burdensome and turned it into something relevant, interesting and — dare I say it — fun. No, I am still not the quickest, most amazing writer of all time, but I did grow during my semester in English 212. I gained knowledge of literary techniques and improved my composition skills; but more than all that, I gained enthusiasm for writing.

From English to art to history, I’m never surprised when I end up leaving a class caring just a little bit more. Most likely, you will not love every class you are required to take in college. However, even difficult classes can be fun and do-able when you know someone is there cheering you on and willing to help.


Want more? Check out some of the class offerings for the major you’re interested in by browsing Evangel’s programs.

Laura Vallelonga

Biblical Studies and Intercultural Studies major | Class of 2013

Laura Vallelonga, a senior from Bridgeport, West Virginia, is majoring in Biblical Studies and Intercultural Studies. She lives in Burgess Hall and has been involved in Branched Out, the CROSSwalk Student Ministries dance team.

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