"The Christian scholar is one who studies carefully the body of information in his or her discipline and at the same time is truly in the Scriptures, truly part of a worshipping body, and truly in relationship with God. What can emerge is a sense of the meaning and application of scholarship that can't come if those pieces are not brought together."
- SPU Provost Bruce Murphy
The Grand Tetons From Christian Creek
A nationally renowned painter, Caldwell visited Wyoming in the summer of 1999 and was "awestruck" by the color, light and grandeur of the Grand Tetons mountain range. Last year, he received a Seattle Pacific University Faculty Renewal Grant to commit that grandeur to canvas for Arts for the Parks. The grant which supports faculty in research or creative activities funded an adjunct professor to teach one of Caldwell's classes while he prepared for the competition.
Begun in 1987, Arts for the Parks is sponsored by the National Park Academy of the Arts and the National Park Foundation. Each year, the competition showcases paintings of national parks and monuments, and the Top 100 tour nationwide. The tour which has featured leading artists such as Richard Schmid, the late Lanford Monroe, and Scott Christensen consistently breaks attendance records.
Although the competition was demanding, Caldwell says he'll enter a landscape of the Tetons or the North Cascades in 2001. The experience, he adds, trickles down to his students. When students learn under a working artist, they learn firsthand the commitment and hard work art requires.
The current Arts for the Parks National Tour runs till September 2001. It is in two Missouri galleries till early March, in Arizona from April to June, and finishes in Iowa between late July and September. For more information about the tour and Arts for the Parks, or to see Caldwell's painting in color, visit the Arts for the Parks Web site.
Michael Hamilton thinks it is. The Seattle Pacific University graduate of 1986 has returned to his alma mater as an assistant professor of history with a doctorate from Notre Dame, and as an academic grant writer with a passion for promoting Christian scholarship. These two interests combine to give him an unusual vision for what Christian universities can achieve.
As a historian of the last hundred years of American life, Hamilton has traced the secularization of society, which he says has nearly eliminated the voice of faith in public life. His solution for this problem resonates with Seattle Pacific President Philip Eaton's challenge to "engage the culture and change the world."
Hamilton is convinced that the research done by both students and faculty in the "ivory tower" of intellectualism percolates through society at large. "Scholarship makes a difference, and Christian scholars have some really important ideas to bring to public discussion," he explains. "Not too many people know that. The dirty little secret is that not too many people in Christian colleges know that. One reason I am here is that I think SPU is pointed in the right direction."
True effectiveness in the arena of Christian scholarship will take academicians of all denominational persuasions coming together to find common ground in their research. Says Hamilton, "SPU has one of the most diverse Christian faculties I know about. That is another reason why I am glad to be here."
Putting feet to his convictions, Hamilton is consultant to Notre Dame's Christian Scholars Program, a consolidation of three Pew Charitable Trust programs that encourage Christian scholarship. Collectively, these programs help finance scholars doing important research in the humanities and social sciences; sponsor summer seminars so that students can work in small groups with leading Christian scholars; and offer grants to colleges to encourage their "best and brightest" to consider scholarship as Christian service.
As a Seattle Pacific history faculty member, Hamilton teaches the sophomore Common Curriculum course, "The West and the World," and a senior research seminar, "America in the 1960s." As a part-time University Advancement staff member, he writes grant proposals for academic program development on campus.
Members Join SPU
The new faculty members are:
Cynthia Bishop, Visiting Assistant Professor in Biology. Bishop is an SPU alumna and practicing small animal veterinarian who earned her doctorate at Washington State University.
Lisa Bjork, Director of Continuing Education and Professor of Graduate Education in the School of Education. With an Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Bjork most recently served as superintendent of the South Whidbey School District in Washington.
E. Christine Chaney, Assistant Professor of English. Chaney has taught at SPU as a part-time adjunct instructor since 1995. She holds a Ph.D. in Victorian literature from the University of Washington.
Roger Feldman, Professor of Art. A nationally recognized sculptor, Feldman earned an M.F.A. from Claremont Graduate University. He comes to SPU from the faculty of Biola University.
Ernest Grigorian, Visiting Associate Professor of Math. A professor at Moscow State Pedagogical University and president of the Institute for Social Sciences in Moscow, Grigorian received his Ph.D. from the State Academy of Sciences of Russia.
Sharon Hartnett, Assistant Professor of Education and Chair of the Undergraduate Educational Foundations Unit. With a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Gonzaga University, Hartnett taught at Whitworth College before coming to SPU.
Christine Henshaw, Assistant Professor of Medical Surgical Nursing. Henshaw anticipates the completion of her Ed.D. from Seattle University in March. She has taught at Highline Community College, and has been a practicing nurse.
Ken Himma, Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Himma holds a J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law and will defend his doctoral dissertation in philosophy from the UW this year.
Lorelle Beth Jabs, Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication. A former advanced process engineer and product engineer, Jabs received her doctorate in organizational communication from the University of Washington.
Greg Oakes, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Oakes recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of Washington. He has taught at Columbia College and the UW.
Francis Owusu, Assistant Professor of Geography. The recipient of a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, Owusu helped establish the African Christian Union of Minnesota for students at UM.
Andrew D. Ryder, Associate Professor of Theatre. Ryder comes to SPU from Fresno Pacific University, where he taught in the Theatre Department. He holds a Ph.D. from Bowling Green University.
Ed Smyth, Professor of Educational Ministries. Smyth is a former SPU professor and director of church relations with an Ed.D. from Boston University. He returns to SPU after work in worldwide Christian ministries.
Tamara Still, Instructor of Music. An adjunct instructor of organ at SPU since 1995, Still joins the faculty for a one-year position. She has an M.F.A. from UCLA.
Nicole Swedberg, Instructor of Reading and Elementary Education. Swedberg received her M.Ed. at SPU and is currently enrolled in the Ed.D. program.
Gregory Wolfe, Writer-in-Residence. Wolfe has been the editor of Image, the leading Christian arts quarterly in the nation, for the past decade. He earned an M.A. from Oxford University.
Suzanne Wolfe, Instructor of English. The executive editor of Image, Wolfe holds an M.A. from Oxford University.
Daniel Woolsey, Visiting Instructor of Spanish. Bilingual in Spanish, Woolsey comes to SPU from Wheaton College. He earned an M.A. in educational ministries from Wheaton.
Sharon Young, Associate Professor of Math. Young returns to SPU after a year as a stay-at-home mom. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado and is a former elementary school teacher.