2009–10 Undergraduate Catalog
School of Theology
The mission of the School of Theology at Seattle Pacific University is to educate and prepare all our students to engage the culture as thoughtful people. We seek to foster their intellectual, personal, and spiritual growth, and help them master those critical skills and multicultural sensitivities needed to understand Christian faith and translate it into practices that change the world.
The School of Theology (SOT) stands squarely in the Methodist heritage, and our courses are shaped by our commitment to the method of theological inquiry delineated by John Wesley, the founder of that tradition. According to that method, there are four sources of Christian truth that believers must consult:
These sources are understood to be correlative and mutually corrective, and the adventure of theological inquiry consists precisely in listening attentively to the distinct but compatible contributions of each. It is our expectation that students who practice this method will come to an informed, confident, and deeply “owned” Christian faith.
The SOT serves all SPU students through courses meeting University Foundations requirements. These requirements, described elsewhere in this Undergraduate Catalog, introduce students to the biblical heritage and to the distinctive doctrines and practices of various strands within the historic Christian tradition.
We offer two majors: educational ministry and Christian theology. Note that although they share a common core of courses (a fact that facilitates double-majoring), each also includes an array of specialized courses suitable to its distinctive focus.
We also offer six minors:
A minor in one of these areas will enrich the Christian perspective of a student’s chosen major and strengthen the connection between one’s faith and one’s life in the workplace, home, church, and world.
Finally, we offer an International Service Certificate for those interested in living and working in multicultural settings.
Admission to Majors or Minors
A student must complete the major or minor requirements in effect when the student is admitted to the major or minor.
Educational Ministry Major
A major in educational ministry is recommended for students interested in spiritual development and the educational/equipping ministry of the church. It provides a pre-professional course of study within a liberal arts perspective for students pursuing full-time ministry in a church or parachurch setting.
Occupationally, educational ministry majors work within church and parachurch organizations. Possible church roles include director of Christian education, youth director, and children’s director. Possible parachurch settings include student development, Christian service organizations, Christian camping, and curriculum design.
Christian Theology Major
The aim of this major within the liberal arts is to nurture those skills and capacities required of a thoughtful and articulate faith.
As a result of majoring in Christian theology, the student is well prepared for either the workplace or for graduate study in the humanities or the professions.
Besides enriching the student’s life with God, this major also seeks to enhance the student’s service to the church. Requirements for the Christian Theology Major
Course by course, students will learn how to interpret Scripture with skill and grace, discovering the historical, literary, and theological aspects of different biblical writings and the practical implications of each for Christian faith and witness today. Requirements for the Christian Scriptures Minor
Christian Spirituality Minor
The Christian spirituality minor provides a formal way for students to attend to their growth in Christian faith during the college years.
The courses introduce students to the historical and theological foundations of Christian spirituality, teach students the practices that cultivate spiritual growth, and teach the dynamics and value of life together on the journey of faith. The program culminates with a pilgrimage journey.
Christian Theology Minor
As such, the student is given as much leeway as possible in course selection, within the general parameters established by the School of Theology for balanced and responsible theological inquiry. Requirements for the Christian Theology Minor
Educational Ministry Minor
A minor in educational ministry provides an ideal program for exploring these issues and strengthening a student’s ability to serve in present and future life roles: church leader or teacher, Christian parent, a profession that involves a helping relationship and other roles concerned with nurturing spiritual development. Requirements for the Educational Ministry Minor
Global and Urban Ministry Minor
This program offers a minor, an internship, and a certificate. The internship may be completed either through the course Interpreting the City, or through a minimum of six weeks spent in residence in an ethnic community overseas or locally, working on an academic project. For more information, contact the School of Theology at 206-281-2342.
In the term preceding the field experience, the student will enroll in 1 credit of independent study with a GUM professor to design the project.
Following the field experience, the student will enroll in 1 credit of independent study to write a paper summarizing the field research. An internship will earn 5 credits, including the independent study credits. Requirements for the Global and Urban Ministry Minor
Youth Ministry Minor
Young Life Program
For more information, contact the School of Theology at 206-281-2342.
International Service Certificate
Need to know when a course is being offered? Check the 2009-10 Time Schedule.