Seattle Pacific University

Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics

Mission Statement of the Department of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics


To produce majors in foreign language with the linguistic, cultural and literary

competence and the Christian character necessary to engage the world and be effective

agents of positive change in the world.

Goals of the Department of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics

1. To understand and appreciate the rich diversity of world languages and cultures, both ancient and modern.

All foundation courses in European studies and Latin American studies focus on this goal through the content of the individual courses. The major in Classics also focuses on this goal through the course offerings in classical literature and civilization. Since all the courses in the modern and classical languages emphasize the connections between the languages and cultures they express, they have this goal as a focal point as well.

2. To be a blessing as a stranger in another land and be hospitable to strangers in one's own land.

This goal is emphasized directly in language courses, beginning with the elementary level and continuing through the advanced (upper division) courses. Faculty work on broadening both the student's world view and recognition that while members of all cultures tend to view others from an ethnocentric point of view, all people should strive to refrain from judging others solely in terms of their own culture.

3. To reach stated levels of language proficiency, as defined by national standards, depending on the student's program in the majors.

This third goal is an essential part of all courses taught in the various languages offered at SPU. The four skills in the modern languages of listening, speaking, reading and writing are integrated with the study of the cultures lived by the members of the language groups. For the classical languages, the skills of reading and writing are integrated with the study of culture.