Theme Mastery

Writing Christian Literature that Captivates

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(Note: This Course is currently closed for enrollment. Sign up for the wait list to be the first to know when it opens again!)


Have you ever felt so connected with a story—with the characters and their struggles—that it changed you and made you feel like you learned the story's life lessons along with the protagonist?

Everything that happened in the story stabs into your heart. The depth and meaning of it all keeps you awake at night as you meditate on what you just read.

Your outlook on life can never be the same. This book will forever remain with you.


Have you ever wished you could have the same effect on the readers of your stories?

We know that you dream of writing stories like these. It’s why you suffer through writer’s block and endure criticism of your work.

Stories in the hand of a master writer can create intimate realities that profoundly move individuals and even cultures. In the hands of a Christian, this can be done to the glory of Christ.

But there's a problem: few Christian writers know how to do this well.

Many works of Christian fiction today are boring, cliched, and forgettable.

But this wasn't always the case.

Many of the classic works of literature that are still read and enjoyed today were written by Christians who knew how to write stories that connected with their readers—I'm talking about works like Paradise Lost, Crime and Punishment, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Canterbury Tales, or Pride and Prejudice.

They wrote unforgettable stories that have deeply moved and impacted readers across the centuries.

What did these classical writers know that modern writers have forgotten?


The Secret to Writing Great Christian Literature

The classic writers shared one thing in common: they understood the principles of theme and how to deliver a powerful message without being preachy.

They even wrote about how to do so!

The only problem is that their works have been covered in dust.

In this course, I'm going to take all the tricks of the classical masters along with lessons from modern writing teachers, and condense it all into a series of practical steps you can take to incorporate these time-tested techniques into your writing.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. The map for writing great Christian literature that will resonate with readers has already been drawn.

All you need is your own copy of that map.

Your Instructor

Josiah DeGraaf
Josiah DeGraaf

I'm Josiah DeGraaf, a high school English teacher and the editor-in-chief of Kingdom Pen.

I write because I'm fascinated by human motivations. What causes otherwise-good people to make really bad decisions with their lives? Why do some people have the strength to withstand temptation when others don't? How do people respond to periods of intense suffering?

These questions drive me not only as a storyteller, but as a reader as well, which is why I've been studying the classics for the past ten years. Studying the classics has taught me what it means to write effective literature as a Christian.

That's what this course is all about.

Click the enroll button if you're ready to enroll now, or keep scrolling to see what this course covers.


Here's What You'll Be Learning

Theme Mastery looks at the concept of theme and explains how to write stories that communicate strong messages without being preachy or obnoxious. We'll be covering:

  • Why theme is vital to good storytelling
  • How to choose and develop a theme for your story
  • How to create a strong character arc that encapsulates your story's theme
  • How you can create a plot that mirrors your protagonist's character arc
  • How theme unifies all aspects of a story: from plot to protagonist to minor characters to villains
  • ...and more

Lessons even come with homework exercises that help students to take what they've just learned and apply them to the novel they're working on right now. By the end of the course, you'll have put together a comprehensive outline for how to weave theme into your entire story.

If you purchase the premium version of this course, you'll even get access to personal instructor feedback, where Josiah will go through your detailed theme outline as you write it and give you feedback on how well you're applying the principles learned in this course. For many premium students, this is one of the most valuable parts of this course. For writers who want to make sure they're doing everything right, we strongly recommend the premium version of the course.

Check out the full course curriculum below to see what specifically you'll be learning.

Class Curriculum


What Students Say About Theme Mastery

"Theme has always been a struggle for me (and I think it is for many Christian writers) and I've spent most of my writing life desperately trying to work out whether I was doing the things right. I don't mention God in my novel...does that mean I'm wasting my time? But how can I write a story and include Christian stuff without people feeling like they're being bashed in the face with a Bible? It was a really big problem for me, and several times my doubt and uncertainty almost stopped me from writing completely.

"Theme Mastery changed my entire writing life. Josiah DeGraaf has an amazing gift and knowledge on the topic and the lessons and homework were wonderfully laid out. I learnt more than I was ever expecting - and I came to the course with high hopes. The course opened my eyes to reevaluate the world around me, and I learnt about myself, and other people, and delved more into my faith and walk with the Lord."

-Jane Maree


"I learned more from this course than from two college level writing courses I took previously. Not only does this course explain what theme is and how to make strong themes, it also works theme in with plot points and character arcs. Each lesson had me grinning in excitement at how manageable and thrilling theme actually was when I knew what I was doing. I can't recommend this course highly enough. It completely changed the way I wrote and plot my stories and is a must-have for any Christian writer."

-Hope Ann Schmidt, author of the Legends of Light series


"Theme Mastery opened my eyes on how to structure a theme and weave it into the scenes and characters of my novel. The course was packed with valuable information, including the concept of 'experiments in living,' foil characters, and the ever-present idea that writing can mirror reality.

It was exciting to compare my writing skills before and after completing Theme Mastery. The course encouraged me to write meaningful literature and equipped me with new knowledge and skills!"

-Audrey Caylin


Do You Want to Write Meaningful Stories that Help Your Readers Experience Truth?

Most resources on theme only touch on one or two aspects of the subject—like character arcs or foil characters.

Theme Mastery is the only resource we know of that contains everything you need to know about theme all in one place.

Even better?

It's all taught from a Christian perspective.

We want to help you learn how to connect with people through storytelling in a way that impacts the world for Christ.

The best way to do that is by understanding theme and mastering it in your stories.

Has this moved you to learn to write like the classical masters? Sign up for the waiting list below to be the first to know when we open enrollment again for this course!


Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
Can family members take this course with me?
Yes! If you're using the basic version of the course, you only need to purchase one copy of the course per family as long as you all use the same account. If you're using the premium version and want multiple family members to receive personal feedback on their thematic outlines, there will be an additional charge. Please contact us at kingdompenmag@gmail.com if you want to pursue this latter option.
I'm a homeschool student. Can this course count for high school credit?
As-is, the course doesn't have enough assignments in it to count as a high school course. However, we do have a supplemental homeschool guide you can purchase that adds reading and writing assignments to this course to make it a 1/2 credit high school course. You can read more about the guide at http://kingdompen.org/product/theme-mastery-homeschool-guide/