Our Educational Philosophy

At Seattle Pacific University we are committed to an academically rigorous education that prepares students for an increasingly complex, global, and multicultural world. Through our curriculum we seek to carefully investigate the critical issues of our time and offer thoughtful and Christian insight to these issues. 


Our faculty and staff are committed learners, dedicated to mentoring students through both curricular and co-curricular experiences. We are convinced that education best occurs within a relational context of the teacher, student, and subject matter, and we therefore prize the relationships among faculty, staff, and students. 

We are committed to a holistic and transformative student experience where each student has multiple opportunities for spiritual, physical, emotional, vocational and character development. Our student life offices and organizations, residence life programs, student leadership, university ministries, study abroad office, and athletics partner with our faculty and academic units to provide a variety of learning opportunities in a rich learning environment. 

Our curriculum

Seattle Pacific University offers a liberal arts education grounded in the Christian faith. This education is one that empowers students to live in a complex, diverse world by:

  • Providing multiple opportunities for intellectual and personal development.
  • Developing skills in critical and analytical thinking; problem solving; and communication; and the ability to apply those skills in real-world settings.
  • Emphasizing broad knowledge of humanities, arts, social sciences, sciences, and quantitative reasoning.
  • Providing opportunity for in-depth achievement in a specific field of interest. 

As a comprehensive university, we offer more than 60 major and 53 minor fields of study across the humanities, arts, social sciences, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and the professions such as nursing and education. The SPU curriculum requires that all students complete at least one major field of study along with their General Education requirements.  

The General Education program has two different tiers. The first tier is the Common Curriculum, which provides common intellectual experiences for students. The Common Curriculum consists of:

  • The University Colloquium completed in the first quarter at Seattle Pacific.
  • Two academic inquiry and writing classes completed in the first year.
  • Three University Foundation courses, where students study and reflect on the Christian life, Scriptures, and Christian theology.
  • Two Core courses that examine the intersections of Christian faith with contemporary society and thought.

Through courses in the second tier of the General Education program, the Exploratory Curriculum, students learn to understand the world through the lens of the humanities, the arts, social sciences, sciences, and quantitative reasoning, and have an opportunity to apply new-found knowledge to current issues and problems.

Our curriculum is planned and taught by the SPU faculty. We employ close to 220 teaching faculty with advanced degrees and professional qualifications in their respective disciplines. Our faculty members are committed to teaching excellence and student success. Because we believe that academic growth is best fostered in a relational context, many of our classes are conducted in learning environments that encourage collaborative and active learning. To further strengthen relationships, our professors also serve as academic advisors to our students.

Core Themes

Our Core Themes frame our educational goals for our students and are directly derived from our University’s mission statement. These Core Themes are as follows:

  • Academic Excellence and Relevance
  • Transformative and Holistic Student Experience
  • Vital Christian Identity and Purpose

Demaray Hall Clock Tower

University Leadership

Meet the SPU leadership — including President Daniel J. Martin, Provost Jeffrey Van Duzer, the vice presidents, and the Board of Trustees.