About Seattle Pacific University
As Printed in the 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog
Located just minutes from downtown Seattle, the leading urban center in the Pacific Northwest, SPU is committed to engaging and serving in the modern city, cultivating a global consciousness, supporting the church, and addressing the crisis of meaning in our culture. These, we believe, will be some of the Christian university’s most important contributions in this century.
Guiding the work of Seattle Pacific University are these three preeminent goals:
We seek to graduate people of competence and character. At SPU, each student is profoundly important. We focus our curriculum and resources on shaping graduates who will be effective and positive change agents in the world. This means that we work to prepare individuals who understand their own giftedness, who are both liberally educated and skilled in their chosen field, who exhibit honesty and integrity, and who value serving others.
We seek to become people of wisdom. As a university, SPU believes that one vital means of transforming lives is through ideas: ideas that matter; ideas that can bring light and understanding where there is darkness and confusion; and ideas that lead to wisdom. We support our faculty in the pursuit of this kind of scholarship, and we educate our students to become thinking Christians who are able to speak clearly and intelligently about their convictions.
We seek to model a grace-filled community. As we serve
our students and commit ourselves to the life of the mind, we
believe our best work is done in community. In our life together
at Seattle Pacific, we strive to treat each other and all people with
respect, kindness and care. Recognizing and respecting differences
among individuals, our goal is to become examples of grace,
forgiveness, and civility in a culture that is too often polarized and
Our mission at Seattle Pacific University is to engage the culture and change the world, through competence, character, wisdom, and community. We believe our faith in Jesus Christ is the informing and sustaining power through which we fulfill this distinctive calling.
Our position of faith within the Christian Church is shaped in four ways:
1. We Are Historically Orthodox.
3. We Are Distinctively Wesleyan.
4. We Are Genuinely Ecumenical.
Therefore, we commit ourselves to this faith, and to these shaping influences that define our community of faith, and we pledge ourselves, with humility and conviction, to live as best we know how in loving relationship with Jesus Christ and in faithful service to others. This we believe to be the defining center of our lives and the guiding aspiration of our life in community at Seattle Pacific University.
A Vital Learning Community
We are committed to learning for cultural engagement. We seek to rigorously investigate the critical issues of our time and to offer thoughtful and Christian insight to these issues. We believe these issues can be investigated through a variety of academic disciplines; however, they cannot be fully understood through only one discipline. Therefore we are committed to interdisciplinary learning — learning that explores these critical issues through several disciplinary lenses in order to come to a clear view of the issue.
We are a learning community and all that we do is intended to
support learning. Therefore our work with student life, residence
life, student leadership, campus ministries, athletics, lectures, and
symposia are all intended to contribute to learning along with the
Research indicates that students do not see the connections between general education, majors, and their future. Through a three-part curriculum, we seek to integrate general education with the major in ways that help students make the connections.
We begin with a commitment to a very distinctive Christian Common Curriculum. In the first quarter of their freshman year, SPU students are enrolled in University Seminar, an intensive exploration of a special interdisciplinary topic. Twenty to 25 students enroll in each course to form a cohort and attend other freshman classes in the Common Curriculum together. Their University Seminar professor serves as their first-year academic advisor. The relationship between students in the cohort and their professor are intentional and support our belief that the best learning occurs within a relational context.
In their freshman, sophomore, and junior years at Seattle Pacific, students participate in two parallel sequences of required courses. Cumulative and developmental in nature, these classes are designed to support and enhance students’ learning in the majors.
The University Core sequence explores key human questions in
three classes titled Character and Community; The West and the
World; and Belief, Morality, and the Modern Mind. The University
Foundations sequence looks at the basics of faith in Christian
Formation; Christian Scriptures; and Christian Theology. A capstone
senior course in the student’s major adds application and personal
calling to the picture.
Model Grace-Filled Community
Students, faculty and staff can participate in different weekly worship services, including:
In addition, semi-silent, guided Reflection Retreats are occasionally offered to students and staff. These retreats provide the opportunity for personal reflection and worship, or workshops on issues of faith, personhood, and community.
SPRINT Beyond offers individual service-learning opportunities for students who desire an experience focused around their discipline. Usually a SPRINT Beyond experience is set up with the SPRINT advisor and a faculty advisor. The student is responsible to propose the location, the host, and the type of work. For more information, contact the SPRINT advisor at (206) 281-2258.
SPRINT for Credit is a program that moves students out of the classroom and into the real world. By joining a SPRINT for Credit team, students can earn academic credit in a cross-cultural context. SPRINT for Credit is usually organized collaboratively by a faculty member who is passionate about teaching in a service-learning setting in conjunction with SPRINT. The faculty member works with the SPRINT coordinator and the SPRINT advisor to arrange a trip with specific educational and ministry goals. Students who are accepted on a SPRINT for Credit team participate in SPRINT training and debriefing meetings, and they register for credit through SPU’s registration office. In the past, SPRINT has sent trips with many different foci, including an engineering trip to Dominican Republic, a global and urban ministry trip to Nicaragua, a sociology trip to Brazil, and nursing trips to Honduras and Costa Rica.
These programs provide all students with abundant opportunities
to grow in their understanding of the Christian faith and its
implications for our life and world.
Each quarter, students will design their own CFE plan outlining their intended involvement. A student’s signature on the application for admission signifies the acceptance of these educational expectations and the agreement to fulfill this requirement. Specifically:
Summary of the Requirement
Community Service. Full-time undergraduate students are required to participate in five hours of community service per quarter.
Detailed descriptions of all aspects of the requirement and of all
program opportunities are available through the Office of Campus
Ministries. The University reserves the right to alter these requirements
and programs as deemed appropriate..
The region is also home to corporate giants such as Microsoft, Boeing, and Nintendo, as well as home to the headquarters of World Relief and WorldVision, and site of the renowned Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. A strong multicultural flavor is the result of business ties and exchanges with nations including Japan, Korea, and Russia.
Known as an “arts” town, Seattle has the highest live-theatre attendance per capita of any major city. It is also the only Northwest city to field teams in all three major league sports: the Seattle Sonics, regular NBA playoff contenders; the Seattle Mariners, American League West baseball pennant winners; and the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.
Combining classroom education with practical experience is
often the best way to master a discipline – and Seattle’s urban
opportunities offer students that critical link. As part of their educational
program, many SPU students work 10 to 20 hours per week
for a wide array of businesses and organizations such as Microsoft,
Boeing, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, KING TV, the
Empty Space Theatre, the State Attorney General’s Office, the
Seattle Opera, The Children’s Project, and elsewhere.
At SPU’s two island campuses, the beauty of the Pacific Northwest provides rest and research possibilities. At seaside Camp Casey on Whidbey Island, retreats and workshops are conducted in the rustic setting of a former military fort. On a 965-acre environmental preserve on Blakely Island, students study life above and below the sea.
Seattle Seminary opened with two faculty members, Alexander Beers and his wife, Adelaide. In the first term of operation, the seminary registered 34 students in a college preparatory curriculum that included primary and intermediate grades. In 1905, a new administration building was added, later named Peterson Hall after founder Nils Peterson. College-level courses for freshmen entered the curriculum in 1910, and the school’s name was expanded to “The Seattle Seminary and College” in 1913. Two years later the name was changed again to Seattle Pacific College, with five students comprising SPC’s first graduating class.
In the 1920s, the College established a normal school for teacher training. During this time, the College began to look beyond its campus into the city to communicate its programs to a wider audience, anticipating its role as a liberal arts college. Enrollment climbed from 40 to more than 400.
Efforts to raise the standards and stature of the College were the focus of the 1930s. The first summer school program opened in 1931, and SPC’s three-year normal school was accredited in 1933. Full accreditation of the College’s four-year liberal arts program came in 1936 by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.
Following World War II, the College grew from about 400 students to 1,400. In 1949, a School of Recreational Leadership was launched, paving the way for increased physical education programs and ultimately intercollegiate sports. During this time, the building of Royal Brougham Pavilion was begun, built to serve not only College interests but also used as a means of outreach to city youth as well. From its founding to 1944, the school had built only four permanent buildings; between 1944–59, five more were constructed for academic purposes. In 1955, SPC acquired 155 acres on Whidbey Island called Camp Casey. It provided new opportunities for field study and outdoor education.
The 1960s became the College’s golden age of expansion, especially in terms of facilities. In nine years, 15 new buildings and/or facilities were completed; major remodeling to 10 existing buildings created new, usable space; more than 70 real estate acquisitions were recorded; and improvements were made to Camp Casey, including a new swimming pool.
In the 1970s, curricular renewal and reorganization took center stage. A new curriculum focused on the individual and the learning process, and the “scholar-servant” model soon took form. The SPIRAL program was launched in 1975, which would grow to be the model program in the state for in-service teacher education. In 1976, Seattle Pacific received a gift of 965 acres on Blakely Island in the San Juans, which would become the site for an innovative research station. Overall, faculty developed higher professional levels of competence through an academic reorganization that followed a university model. Ultimately, on June 5, 1977, the College officially became Seattle Pacific University.
During the 1980s, Seattle Pacific sought to focus on building a sense of community on campus and in the surrounding community while strengthening its ties with the Free Methodist Church and the evangelical community at large. An Intercultural Institute of Missions was established in 1984 to refocus the University’s historic missionary emphasis.
The 1990s saw Seattle Pacific University grow into a premier Christian university of arts, sciences, and professional studies. In 1991, SPU celebrated the Centennial of its founding in 1891. Academic strength was high with 85 percent of full-time faculty members holding doctorates or the highest degree in their field. In 1994, as part of its successful $25 million capital campaign, SPU opened a $10 million Library that now serves as the heart of the academic program. A unique “Common Curriculum,” an innovative approach to general education, was launched in Autumn Quarter 1998.
By 2000, the University had put into effect a Comprehensive Plan for the 21st Century. That plan brings together planning streams for education, enrollment, endowment and facilities to ensure the Seattle Pacific’s success for its second hundred years.
In Autumn Quarter 2003, a 64,000-square-foot Science Building opened, and the Otto Miller Hall (formerly the Miller Science Learning Center) underwent a major renovation. Both now enable undergraduate students to conduct research with faculty members in state-of-the-art facilities.
Today, SPU offers 55 undergraduate majors, 12 master’s degree
programs, and three doctoral programs.The University remains as
committed as ever before to graduating students who demonstrate
both academic competence and personal character — and who will
change the world.
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Christian Faith Exploration. Community worship, concerts, presentations on special topics, and evensong services are all part of Seattle Pacific University’s extensive Christian Faith Exploration program. Evensong is Monday evenings; Chapels – featuring a variety of leading Christian speakers – are Tuesdays; the studentled service, group is on Wednesday nights; forums are on Thursdays; and cadres/small groups typically meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Homecoming. The first official Seattle Pacific “Homecoming” was instituted in 1935 at the school’s 42nd Commencement. Since then, Homecoming has moved to early Winter Quarter, separated from graduation weekend. Class reunions, athletic events, drama and music productions, a student talent show, and a variety of other gatherings between alumni, students, faculty, and staff make this weekend a highlight on the University’s yearly calendar.
Tradition. Begun in the late 1980s, Tradition is a campus and communitywide event that takes place in the Tiffany Loop during the first week of December. In addition to the Christmas treelighting, activities include carol singing, sleigh rides, readings of the Christmas story, and other traditions designed to focus attention on the season of Christ’s birth.
Graduate Hooding Ceremony. Master’s degree recipients are invited to participate in the Hooding Ceremony before the Ivy Cutting Ceremony. Master’s students are recognized for the completion of their advance degrees and are hooded by their school dean and the graduate faculty. Master’s students then take their place behind the faculty for the Ivy Cutting procession. Doctoral students may attend but are hooded during Commencement.
Ivy Cutting. Ivy Cutting has been a part of spring graduation rites since 1922, when the first Ivy Planting ceremony was introduced. Now, more than 80 years later, graduates participate in an Ivy Cutting ceremony where each senior receives a cutting from a long, connected ring of ivy. The ceremony symbolizes the senior’s tie to the University and its many alumni, as well as a newfound independence that comes with becoming a graduate.
Baccalaureate. The Baccalaureate service is one of worship and reflection, planned by members of the senior graduating class and featuring student speakers. It occurs the day before Commencement and held in Royal Brougham Pavilion.
Commencement. Commencement is a time-honored ceremony
that recognizes the scholarship, service, and Christian growth of
graduating seniors. It is a celebratory service, where students,
faculty, staff, parents, relatives, and friends congratulate the graduates
on their “new beginning.” Degrees are awarded to graduates
who have successfully completed the requirements to obtain their
baccalaureate or graduate diplomas. The number of SPU graduates
has grown from five in 1915 to more than 800 in recent years.
The history of the growth of Seattle Pacific University is linked to the educational community of which it is a part. In successive steps from 1921 to 1937, the University was accredited by the Washington State Board of Education. Since 1936, the University has been fully accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. It is on the approved list of the American Council on Education and Board of Regents of the State of New York, and its credits are recognized by members of the various regional associations and by leading graduate schools throughout the country. SPU is a charter member of the Christian College Consortium and is also a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.
The University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) at both basic (undergraduate) and advanced (graduate) levels. The University is a member of the Association of American Colleges and of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. It is fully accredited by the Washington State Board of Education for preparation of elementary and secondary teachers.
The dietetics specialization in the food and nutritional sciences program is granted approval by the Commission on Accreditation/ Approval for Dietetics Education of the American Dietetic Association, 216 West Jackson Boulevard Chicago, Illinois, 60606-6995, (312) 899-4876. This means a graduate of SPU with dietetic specialization is eligible to apply for a dietetic internship in another institution. After the dietetic internship taken elsewhere, the student is “RD Eligible.” The student can then take the registration examination. If passed, the student becomes a registered dietitian.
The Marriage and Family Therapy Program is nationally recognized and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, one of the only two programs so accredited in Washington state.
The undergraduate nursing curriculum is approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission, and both the undergraduate and graduate programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Seattle Pacific University is a full member of the National Association of Schools of Music.
The electrical engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Seattle Pacific meets the requirements of the Commission on Christian Education of the Free Methodist Church for preparation of ministers and missionaries and is also approved by the Department of Christian Education of the Free Methodist Church and other denominations for the collegiate preparation of ministers.
The School of Business and Economics is accredited by AACSB International — the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The University is approved by the U.S. government for education
of veterans and their dependents under the applicable public laws.
Seattle Pacific University students enjoy aesthetically pleasing learning spaces. Spread over the 45-acre Seattle campus, the buildings, recognized by their traditional brick or modern faces, are also known for the many ways in which they meet students’ educational needs.
In addition to standard printed reference sources, the Library makes available an increasing number of electronic information resources, including abstracts/indexes from ProQuest Direct, EBSCOHost, First Search, and other online products. In order to provide the utmost in convenience, access to more than 8,000 fulltext journal titles is available from every computer on campus. Most of these resources are also available to off-campus students who have Internet access. An interlibrary borrowing service is available to students, faculty, and staff. As a member of OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), the Learning Resources Center Library can provide access to library holdings throughout the Northwest, across the nation, and beyond. In addition, students have library borrowing privileges at Northwest University and Pacific Lutheran University through a cooperative agreement. Since Autumn Quarter 2003, students also have access to 31 million items held in 26 Washington and Oregon academic libraries through the Orbis Cascade Alliance and Summit.
The Center for
Art Center: This lab has 11 high-end Macintosh computers for instructional use in visual communication and fine arts. Peripherals include a data projector, flatbed and slide scanners, as well as printers.
Library: There are presently two computer labs in the Library – an instructional classroom with 20 PC computers and an open lab with 22 PC computers and two Macintosh computers with digital video-editing capabilities. The Library also has computers for database searching, as well as a number of computers for special and assisted use. In addition, there are a number of network ports for students to use their own computers in the Library, and the building is a “hot spot” with wireless capability.
McKenna Lab: The Qwest Computer Lab in the School of Business and Economics contains 25 computers for open-lab and business-class use. A small networking lab is attached. An instructional classroom has 24 computers.
Otto Miller Hall: Numerous computer labs are located in Miller Hall serving the specialized needs of the departments of computer science, engineering, math and physics. A computer science lab contains 30 current-technology (FY03-04: P4/2.2 GHz) Windows® workstations for general student use. Students may also bring their own laptops into the building and connect them to the campus Ethernet using either a wired or wireless (802.11b) connection.
Music Keyboard Lab: The Music Technology Lab in Beegle Hall is equipped with eight high-end Macintosh computers connected to Roland RD-600 multi-timbre MIDI keyboards. In addition, the lab contains another high-end Macintosh computer capable of 16-track digital recording, using a Yamaha O2R Digital Recording Console, ADATs, Kurzweil K2500XS keyboard, and the industry standard ProTools software.
Student Union Building: Several computers are now available for student use in kiosks in the SUB.
Weter Hall: Ten computers are available for student use on
the first floor of Weter Hall, and the building is a “hot spot” with
in the Residence Halls
Instruction and Assistance
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