Response Online



President's View Engaging the Culture, Changing the World

A Question for Our Readers

Fill in the blank.

“I would be energized if I knew [blank] was in SPU’s future.”

G.K. Chesterton was an important apologist for the Christian faith; he found in Saint Thomas Aquinas a voice that could speak into the disintegrating culture. If you are interested in medieval philosophy and theology, and want to learn about one of the towering figures of Christian history, this wonderful biography is for you.

For more than six months, that’s what President Martin has been asking of a wide range of Seattle Pacific University constituents — from faculty, staff, and students to alumni, trustees, and community members.

What has he heard so far? Here are a few examples of the kinds of responses he has received:


Voice Your Opinion

President Martin wants to hear from you.

How would you complete the sentence: I would be energized if I knew [blank] was in SPU’s future? Your ideas will inform SPU’s emerging strategic plan.

Add your comments to this moderated discussion. See how others have filled in the blank.


* = Required

I would be energized if I knew ...

Emily Sheldon ’05

Thursday, December 5, 2013, at 4:15 p.m.

I would be energized if I knew that support, acceptance, and equality for LGBT students, staff, and alumni were in SPU’s future.


Wayne Brown ’67

Sunday, November 17, 2013, at 1 p.m.

I think I could be energized if I knew that some sort of “hands on” experience (internship, practicum, international travel, inter city work, etc.) was part over every graduate’s experience. I know those opportunities exist at the University (which is wonderful) but to have those sort of experiences integrated across the curriculum would be good for students’ education and strengthen the University’s ties to the community. If this is currently the case, then I’m excited. If it could be, then I’ll get excited!


Andrea Belleville, SPU Sophomore

Monday, November 11, 2013, at 9:33 a.m.

I would be energized if I knew rigorous and cutting-edge academics were in SPU's future.

Monique Vandenbroucke, SPU Freshman

Sunday, November 10, 2013, at 2:07 p.m.

I would be energized if I knew sustainability and more recycling receptacles were in SPU’s future. Sometimes its just way too hard to recycle at SPU.


Keturah Wik, SPU Sophomore

Friday, November 8, 2013, at 1:39 p.m.

I would be energized if I knew a library sciences program was in SPU’s future. I’d love to come back to SPU for grad school, instead of heading over to UW.


Margel Snyder ’13

Friday, November 8, 2013, at 9:34 a.m.

I would be energized if I knew a graduate program in the biology department was in SPU’s future. I know that this is a not the most likely thing to happen, but if it did, God knows what I would do.


Debbie Caryl, mother of ’08 and ’11 SPU graduates

Monday, October 28, 2013, 3:42 p.m.

... prayer was in SPU's future. I know that SPU was “built on faith and vision” ... and much prayer. We should not assume prayer is an integral aspect of today’s faith. While “we pursue a vision that will challenge us” we should be in constant prayer for God's will as we “solidify our future as one of the nation's leading Christian universities.” How could we possibly “fulfill our mission and advance our vision” if we aren't consulting the God who leads and directs us? He has the ultimate “dynamic strategic plan.” And we must boldly pray in the name of Jesus, who paid the ultimate price to make our joyous futures possible. Prayer is the rich soil in which our faith in Jesus grows. Unfortunately, some of the SPU community do not realize the power of prayer and others still need to be taught it.

Dear Lord, may You bless SPU’s efforts to continue to engage the culture and change the world. May we lean on our relationship with You, Jesus, for answers and guidance. Forgive us when we confuse tolerance for acceptance, especially as we try to diversify faculty, cultures, and curriculum. Help us to stay true to our calling as Christians of sharing Your Good News. Hear our prayers as we seek to honor You. And we will give you the glory. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Denise Russell, SPU parent

Saturday, october 26, 2013, at 8 a.m.


I would be energized if I knew a new student rec center was in SPU’s future.

Darren Walsh
Wednesday, October 23, 2013, at 7:54 p.m.


Introduction of new media degree programs utilizing social media, vlogging, film (writing, creation, production), and digital arts (see Biola & Chapman U).

Bolstering Computer Science programs with business, engineering, and gaming tracts. Infusing "cross pollination" of complimentary degree programs based on real-world connections with area business. Increased student housing to encourage students on campus in their junior/senior years. New student activities center. Ensuring that Faith and Apologetics infuse all aspects of student life. Sorry for the kitchen sink!

Chris Larson ’90
Friday, October 18, 2013, at 4:54 p.m.


I would be energized if … I had confidence that a positive view of the intelligent design movement was encouraged and represented inside the Departments of Science and Religion. I hope that’s part of the future or perhaps even a part of the present. But from what I understand this is not currently the case. Theistic evolution is the primary viewpoint … a sort of Christianized Darwinism. I’d like my sons to have a chance to learn from scientists who have not swallowed unsupportable Darwinian assumptions. It’s my belief there is zero evidence for many macro-evolutionary theories and that the Discovery institute in Seattle has a better pulse on real science in this case. Believing God created “kinds” and that humans in particular are uniquely imprinted with the Imago Dei is essential to a Biblical Worldview. We are more than simply grown up germs or sophisticated apes. I would love to be proved wrong about my take on the prevailing viewpoint in these departments… but the only evidence I have leads to a rather disappointing conclusion. If SPU hired Seven Myer and former faculty member John West to team teach a course on Intelligent Design, I’d sign up myself … now that’s energized!


Dawn Jenne White ’85
Friday, October 18, 2013, at 4 p.m.

I would be energized if I knew that the alumni weekend was brought back to Camp Casey on Labor Day weekend! I always enjoyed those weekends, and it brought back alumni from all different years. It was always beautiful and all ages enjoyed it, especially the salmon dinner!


Claire Nieman
Thursday, October 17, 2013

I would be energized if I knew that resources, recognition, and equality for SPU’s many LGBT students, staff, and alumni — myself including — was in SPU’s future.

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