Study Programs

BestSemester (CCCU) programs

  • American Studies Program (Washington, D.C.)
  • Australia Studies Centre
  • China Studies
  • Contemporary Music Center
  • India Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Los Angeles Film Study Center
  • Middle East Studies
  • Oxford Summer Programme
  • The Scholars’ Semester in Oxford
  • Uganda Studies
  • Washington (D.C.) Journalism Center

Seattle Pacific University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and the Christian College Consortium (CCC). The purpose of the CCCU and CCC is to promote Christian higher education, and to provide programs for students and professional development opportunities for faculty and administration.

Students must apply with the Study Abroad Office, as well as with Best Semester. Applications and information for all programs are available on Study Abroad website. These 12 study programs offer a full semester of study, and students must register for the entire set of carefully selected, interconnected courses offered by each program (generally 24 quarter credits). Students register for classes at Seattle Pacific University and pay SPU tuition. In addition to Federal and State aid, SPU need and merit-based financial aid applies to these programs.

American Studies (Washington, D.C.)

Founded in 1976, the American Studies Program (ASP) has served hundreds of students from council-member institutions as a “Washington, D.C., campus.” The ASP uses Washington, D.C., as a stimulating educational laboratory where collegians gain hands-on experience with an internship in their chosen field and explore pressing national and international issues in public policy seminars that are issue-oriented, interdisciplinary, and led by ASP faculty and Washington professionals.

  • Internships are tailored to fit the student’s talents and aspirations and are available in a wide range of fields.
  • The ASP bridges classroom and marketplace, combining biblical reflection, policy analysis, and real-world experience.

Students are exposed to on-the-job learning that helps them build for their future and gain perspective on the calling of God for their lives. They are challenged in a rigorous course of study to discover for themselves the meaning of Christ’s lordship in putting their beliefs into practice. The aim of the program is to help Council schools prepare their students to live faithfully in contemporary society as followers of Christ. Students earn 24 quarter hours of credit.

Course descriptions

SBS 4800 ASP: Mentorship (1.5) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance in the American Studies Program. Taught through a semester-long program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C. The ASP mentorship course allows you the opportunity to build relationships with ASP’s vibrant community of alumni and friends of the program. ASP mentors are established leaders in their respective fields with at least seven years of professional experience. They are thoughtful Christians who take seriously the ideas of vocation and calling. You meet once a month to discuss matters of professional development and faith integration.

SBS 4803 ASP: Leadership & Vocation (4.5) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance in the American Studies Program. Taught through a semester-long program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C. Whether strategic communication or public policy brings you to ASP, you will join a leadership community bound by a shared commitment to learn how to translate your campus convictions into real-world application. Come to D.C. to catch a vision for what it takes to lead institutions against the injustices facing our nation and our world.

SBS 4812 Public Policy Seminar (4.5) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance in the American Studies Program. Taught through a semester-long program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C. An interdisciplinary examination of selected topics in the American political, historical and cultural context. Reviews both domestic and international issues. Attributes: Social Science A or Ways of Knowing in the Social Sciences and Upper-Division. Class not open to freshmen and non-matriculated students.

SBS 4813 Public Policy Research Project (4.5) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the American Studies Program. Taught through a semester-long program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C. This course challenges students to build upon the findings from their group policy studies by applying the same analytical framework to a policy issue of their own choosing. Each student writes a policy report that provides a comparative analysis of the competing positions and underlying value disputes in a current public policy debate.

SBS 4945 ASP: Internship (9) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the American Studies Program. Taught through a semester-long program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C. Students may select part-time placements in Washington, D.C., in agencies or programs associated with communication, arts, urban ministries, marketing and corporate enterprise, legal matters, trade associations or federal policy formation. Attribute: Upper-Division. Class not open to freshmen and non-matriculated students.

Australia Studies Center (Sydney)

The Australia Studies Centre (ASC) is offered in partnership with Christian Heritage College (CHC), a CCCU affiliate member in Carindale, a suburb of Brisbane, Queensland.

The ASC is designed to integrate the firsthand observation and study of Australian culture, history, religion, politics and indigenous cultures together with experiential service learning and formal instruction in Christian studies, business, ministries, social sciences, and education and humanities.

  • The program is comprised of two 6-credit core courses designed especially for ASC students, and two 6-credit elective courses or an internship plus a co-requisite course, for 24 quarter credits total.
  • The Australian school year is divided into two semesters: Semester 1 (February–June) and Semester 2 (July–November).

Course descriptions

See current description at www.bestsemester.com. Courses will be built and added to the catalog if one or more SPU students will participate in the program in 2016–17.

China Studies Program (Xiamen)

The China Studies Program (CSP), which began in the spring of 1999, allows students to engage this large and intriguing country from the inside. While living and experiencing Chinese civilization firsthand, students participate in seminar courses on the historical, cultural, religious, geographical, and economic realities of this strategic and populous nation.

In addition to the study of standard Chinese, students will assist Chinese students learning English, allowing one-on-one interaction. The China Studies program is hosted by Xiamen University located on the beautiful garden island of Xiamen in southeastern China.

  • The program introduces students to the diversity of China with trips to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Xi’an.
  • This interdisciplinary, cross-cultural program of study enables Christian students to deal with this increasingly important part of the world in an informed, Christ-centered way.
  • Students earn 22.5–27 quarter hours of credit.

Course descriptions

See current description at www.bestsemester.com. Courses will be built and added to the catalog if one or more SPU students will participate in the program in 2015-16.

Contemporary Music (Nashville)

The Contemporary Music Center offers students the opportunity to spend a semester studying, living, and working with faculty, music industry experts, and other students who share their interest in making and marketing contemporary music. It is a chance to devote serious time to discovering how God would have a student integrate his or her faith, love of music, and the music marketplace.

  • In addition to core courses investigating the music industry and the intersection of faith and culture, students can choose between the Artist track or the Music Executive track.
  • Students will get many hours of hands-on experience, plus lectures, seminars, directed study, and an intensive field experience in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • When not in class, students will be in the studio or in music-business offices. Students earn 24 quarter credits through this program.

Together with classmates, students will make and market a CD of original music. The Center is located in Nashville, Tennessee.

Course descriptions

See current description at www.bestsemester.com. Courses will be built and added to the catalog if one or more SPU students will participate in the program in 2016–17.

Film Studies Program (Los Angeles)

The Los Angeles Film Studies Center (LAFSC), a program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, offers a semester-long liberal arts exposure to the workings of the film industry, exploring the ethical considerations and cultural influences that arise from the industry’s operations and product.

  • Enrollment in the program is competitive and limited to upper-division undergraduates.
  • A block of 24 SPU credits may be earned by those accepted into the program.
  • Consult the film-studies coordinator for details.

The Los Angeles Film Studies Center, located in Burbank, California, provides students a unique opportunity to study the film industry in an “on location” intensified experience. Participants have opportunity to meet working professionals from all aspects of the film industry, to visit facilities found only in Southern California, and to utilize film research libraries unique to the area.

The curriculum is intended to appeal to students from a variety of academic disciplines with the intent of providing an interdisciplinary study of film and the film industry, and with a secondary goal of providing opportunity to investigate future academic and/or vocational opportunities.

Course descriptions

FLM 4120 Hollywood Production Workshop (6) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Los Angeles Film Studies Center. Taught through semester-long program of the Coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities in Los Angeles. The course runs on two tracks, a professional track and an exploratory track. In the professional track, students work collaboratively in groups to create a festival-ready piece, including all the legal documentation and rights to enable the finished production to qualify for festival submission. The track offers students the opportunity to make a motion picture production using Hollywood locations, resources, and protocol. In the exploratory track, students will have the opportunity to explore various aspects of the film discipline. Students will work in groups on projects determined by the class. Topics may include documentary filmmaking, After Effects, music videos, church media production and other relevant areas of study. Students in both tracks will participate in a competitive vetting process of projects. This course compliments the more specialized, skill-focused elective courses and is taught by professional, experienced Christian filmmakers with credits in the Hollywood industry. Attribute: Upper-Division.

FLM 4135 Faith and Artistic Development in Film (4.5) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance into Los Angeles Film Studies Center. Taught through semester-long program of the coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities in Los Angeles. A class that explores the connection between the eye, the heart and the hand, this course focuses on the integration of faith and learning as well as developing the necessary skills for analysis of the culture of Hollywood. The first section of the class emphasizes the eye: discovering your own identity, looking at film’s historical impact, spiritual impact, audience trends, the auteur movement, and vision in film, as well as providing a basis for heart preparation for production. The second section of the course emphasizes the heart: ethics, relationships and communication, passion and art. The last section of the course emphasizes the hand, exploring the collaborative process in Hollywood Production Workshop and Narrative Storytelling: roles and aspects of production, the production process, relationships on set, and communication. All students participate in this team-taught lecture seminar led by the faculty of The Los Angeles Film Studies Center. Attribute: Upper-Division.

FLM 4140 Screenwriting (4.5) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance into Los Angeles Film Studies Center. Taught through semester-long program of the coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities in Los Angeles. An introduction to contemporary screenwriting, including an understanding of dramatic structure, character and dialogue development, and the writing process. Students complete a full-length screenplay for a feature film or "movie-of-the-week." Emphasis is given to the role of Christian faith and values as they relate to script content. Attribute: Upper-Division.

FLM 4160 Narrative Storytelling (4.5) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance into Los Angeles Film Studies Center. Concentrating on the art form of narrative storytelling, the course places special emphasis on the visual aspect of the discipline. Two tracks are offered in the course. The Structural track covers topics ranging from the history of story in culture and film to the mechanics of story creation to the development of story-writing skills. Instruction in the Technical Story track focuses on advanced methods of cinematography and post-production and how those techniques can be used to improve visual storytelling. After the core instructional period in each track, students from both tracks are reunited and will have the opportunity to hone their narrative analysis skills, participate in workshop style labs and make two short films that demonstrate their ability to utilize storytelling theory on screen. Attribute: Upper-Division.

FLM 4170 Acting for the Camera (4.5) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance into Los Angeles Film Studies Center. An advanced workshop in the practice and process of acting for the camera aimed at students who have a desire to pursue acting as a career. Instruction includes an overview of current camera acting techniques and thorough discussion of the art of acting. The class primarily consists of acting scene work with all scenes being filmed and critiqued on the big screen. Students will also be required to pursue roles in student and independent films. Several class sessions throughout the course will be devoted to the business of acting for film and television in the Hollywood entertainment industry with an emphasis given to developing the materials and relationships necessary for a successful career. This course offers two tracks, a professional track and an exploratory track. The professional track is for students hoping to have a professional acting career in Hollywood. It requires students to learn about the business of acting and participate in real auditions and film projects. The exploratory track is for students who don't necessarily want to act as a career but are interested in learning about acting in order to work with actors or just act part-time. Attribute: Upper-Division.

FLM 4943 Internship: Inside Hollywood (9) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Los Angeles Film Studies Center. Taught through semester-long program of the Coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities in Los Angeles. Students participate in an internship experience in some aspect of the Hollywood film or television industry. These are non-paying positions primarily in an office setting such as development companies, agencies, personal management companies, production offices, etc. Students work 20 to 24 hours a week throughout the length of the semester. The internships do not include positions on actual film-making locations. Instead, students work in offices as support personnel to producers, writers, directors, agents, post-production personnel, and others involved in the total process of producing and distributing a major motion picture. The LAFSC provides interns to many of the major companies within Hollywood. Attribute: Upper-Division.

Latin America Studies program (San Jose, Costa Rica)

Students of Council member colleges have the opportunity to live and learn in Latin America through the Latin American Studies Program (LASP), based in San Jose, Costa Rica. The program seeks to introduce students to as wide a range of Latin American experiences as possible through the study of language, literature, culture, politics, history, economics, ecology, and religion of the region.

Living with a Costa Rican family, students experience and become a part of the day-to-day lives of typical Latin Americans. Students also participate in a service opportunity and travel for three weeks to nearby Latin American nations. In addition to the regular program of interdisciplinary offerings, three specialized academic tracks are available to qualified students:

  • Advance Language and Literature Studies (limited to Spanish majors and offered both Autumn and Spring Quarters)
  • International Business and Management (offered in only Autumn Quarter)
  • Tropical Sciences (offered in only Spring Quarter).

Depending on course selection, students earn 24-27 quarter hours of credit.

Course descriptions

SBS 4911 Latin American Studies Program: Business Seminar (4.5) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance in Latin American Studies Program. Taught through semester-long program of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities in Costa Rica. Students investigate management and marketing in Latin America. Attribute: Upper-Division. Class not open to freshmen and non-matriculated students.

SBS 4918 Latin American Studies Program: Seminar in Latin American History and Contemporary Issues (4.5) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance in the Latin American Studies Program. Taught through a semester-long program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Costa Rica. This seminar introduces students to the historical development of Latin America, the variety of analytical perspectives from which Latin American reality is explained, the character, past and present, of U.S. policy in the region, and the nature and impact of the economic crisis in the region. Attributes: Social Science B; Ways of Engaging and Upper-Division. Class not open to freshmen and non-matriculated students.

SBS 4919 Latin American Studies Program: Seminar in Responses to Third World Reality (4.5) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance in the Latin American Studies Program. Taught through a semester-long program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Costa Rica. Students are challenged in a seminar that includes diverse perspectives, broad readings and hands-on experience in a practicum setting. Course content is adapted to changes in Latin American society. Attribute: Upper-Division. Class not open to freshmen and non-matriculated students. 

SBS 4921 Latin American Studies Program: Travel Practicum (1.5) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Latin American Studies Program. Taught through a semester-long program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Costa Rica. Part of the tropical science track/advanced language and literature track/international business track. Attribute: Upper-Division. 

SBS 4922 Latin American Studies Program: Literature and Language (4.5) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Latin American Studies Program. Taught through a semester-long program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Costa Rica. Part of the advanced language and literature track. Attribute: Upper-Division. 

SBS 4923 Latin American Studies Program: Community Immersion/Internship/Practicum (4.5) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Latin American Studies Program. Taught through a semester-long program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Costa Rica. Part of the advanced language and literature track. Attribute: Upper-Division. 

SPN 4000 Latin American Studies Program: Spanish Language Study (9) Registration approval: Travel Studies Form. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Latin American Studies Program. As a Latin American Studies participant, you study Spanish not only in the classroom, but also on the street, in your home, in your service opportunity and during travel throughout Latin America. Students come to Costa Rica with varying degrees of fluency in Spanish, so LASP places you in the Spanish class that corresponds to your level of oral and written proficiency based on the placement exam and interview you will receive during orientation. You will study grammar, conversation and/or literature, based on the results of your tests. Attribute: Upper-Division.

Middle East Studies program (Amman, Jordan)

Located in Amman, Jordan, the Middle East Studies Program (MESP) immerses students in the daily life, language, food, culture, religion and politics of one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Learn firsthand from locals how to work, play, and serve in the Middle East as you become their neighbor — and soon, their family — while learning adventurously at MESP.

The heart of the Middle East Studies Program is the authentic community you’ll forge with these neighbors, families, and peers. Although grounded in Christian liberal arts, MESP engages the religious culture and politics of the Middle East without bias.

  • You’ll examine the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from every perspective, live with a local family during a weeklong homestay, and worship with your roommates in the morning. 
  • You’ll sit at the feet of native experts to learn about topics most precious to the region and then serve that region through a long-term service project matched to your gifts, hopes, and calling.

Students earn 24 quarter hours of credit.

Course descriptions

Courses will be built and added to the catalog if one or more SPU students will participate in the program in 2016-17.

The Scholar's Semester in Oxford (Oxford, England)

Honors students from the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities have the opportunity to study in England in an interdisciplinary semester at Oxford University in England. The rigorous academic program, aimed at increasing critical-thinking skills and scholarship from a Christian perspective, allows participants to choose from a wide variety of tutorial study programs in numerous disciplines, including the arts, religion, history, literature, and philosophy.

  • In addition to two Oxford tutorials, students participate in a seminar and an integrative course through which they produce a scholarly project or term paper.
  • Field trips provide opportunities for experiential learning in England’s rich historical setting.
  • Students earn 25.5 quarter hours of credit as a member of Wycliffe Hall and visiting student of Oxford University.

Course descriptions

SBS 4951 Oxford: Tutorial I (9) Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Oxford Scholar’s Semester in Oxford. Taught through a semester-long program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Oxford, England. The tutorial is the heart of undergraduate teaching at Oxford. It is an hour long conversation between a tutor who is engaged in research and one student who has spent the week reading and writing an essay in answer to an assigned, searching question. Accompanied by lectures by noted scholars, tutorials give students the chance to read in depth, to formulate their views on a subject, and to consider those views in the light of the detailed, analytical conversation in the tutorial. Students may choose their tutorials from a range of hundreds of topics within classics, English language and literature, history, history of art, modern languages, musicology, philosophy, and theology. Attribute: Upper-Division. Class not open to graduate students. Class not open to freshmen. 

SBS 4952 Oxford: Tutorial II (4.5) Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Oxford Scholar’s Semester in Oxford. Taught through a semester-long program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Oxford, England. Students have their secondary tutorial every second week during the university term and they choose a different subject from that studied for the primary tutorial: but in all other respects secondary tutorials have the same characteristics as primary tutorials. Attribute: Upper-Division. Class not open to graduate students. Class not open to freshmen.

HUM 4000 Oxford: British Studies Core Course (6) Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Oxford Scholar’s Semester in Oxford. Taught through a semester-long program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Oxford, England, this course examines selective themes from the British past and the traces they have left in present day Britain. Students explore how events, people, and ideas from the past are remembered, forgotten, and misremembered in literature, politics, philosophy, religion, art and architecture, and the material landscape, and investigate the meaning, use, and abuse of the past. Attribute: Upper-Division. Class not open to graduate students. Class not open to freshmen.

SBS 4953 Oxford: Undergraduate Research Seminar (6) Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Oxford Scholar’s Semester in Oxford. Taught through a semester-long program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Oxford, England.  Students follow the research seminar most appropriate to their primary tutorial subject (Classics, English, History, History of Art, Philosophy, Psychology, or Theology). Students attend 16 University lectures, discussion classes which address methodological questions in the students’ subject area, and consultations to help in planning and writing a substantial term paper. The course is graded by a long essay and a proposal for that essay, and participation. Attribute: Upper-Division. Class not open to graduate students. Class not open to freshmen.

Oxford Summer School (Oxford, England)

Students spend a summer term studying at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS) of Keble College at Oxford University in England. The program includes multi-disciplinary study of the Renaissance and Reformation through examination of philosophy, art, literature, science, music, politics, and religion of early modern Europe in a choice of lectures, seminars, and fieldtrips. Students earn 9 quarter credits, which are administered directly to member institutions by CMRS credits.

Course descriptions

HUM 4010 SSO: [Titles Vary] (4.5)
See current options and course description for Seminar & Tutorial A at www.bestsemester.com. Course title will be supplied at time of student registration for the course.

HUM 4020 SSO: [Titles Vary] (4.5)
See current options and course description for Seminar & Tutorial B at www.bestsemester.com. Course title will be supplied at time of student registration for the course.

Uganda Studies Program (Mukono)

The Uganda Studies Program (USP) seeks to prepare students to live the Christian life in a world that is religiously and culturally pluralistic, whether in Africa, North America, or other parts of the world.

The USP seeks to introduce students to the dynamic world of the global south, focused in the vibrant East African nation of Uganda. Christianity there is joyful and growing rapidly, even as it engages Islam and secularization. USP students will move through this society first in the classes and dormitories of Uganda Christian University and then as learners observing places and people of interest around the country. Students earn 24 quarter hours of credit.

Course Descriptions

See current description at www.bestsemester.com. Courses will be built and added to the catalog if one or more SPU students will participate in the program in 2016–17.

Washington Journalism Program

The Washington Journalism Center is an advanced, experiential semester on Capitol Hill that will cultivate professional news skills and encourage students to think through the implications of being a Christian working in the news media in a city that is home to the powerful and the powerless. Students in 24 quarter credits through this program.

Course Description

Courses will be built and added to the catalog if one or more SPU students will participate in the program in 2015-16.

SPU students in Paris on study abroad

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