SPU Blueprint Delivers Clarity of Vision and Purpose
BUILDING ON ITS HERITAGE of excellence in Christian higher education and a distinctive vision that has been crafted and refined over the last eight years, Seattle Pacific unveiled 2014: A Blueprint for Excellence, a bold plan that casts the University’s vision forward 10 years. The overarching question we sought to answer in the Blueprint was this: How can we best be obedient and faithful to God’s call for this institution, in this place, and for this time?
We seek to be a premier, national Christian university, a world leader at equipping people to engage the culture and change the world. We believe that the words Christian and excellence go together, and we aim to provide an educational and faith-shaping environment second to none. How will we achieve these goals? The Blueprint lays out specific objectives and strategies to guide us.
Seattle Pacific’s vision is unique in higher education, and the Blueprint begins by defining our distinctives — a critically important task which demonstrates that we know who we are and what we do. Among our distinctives are these:
- a faith identity that is historically orthodox, clearly evangelical, genuinely ecumenical, and informed by our Wesleyan tradition;
- a vibrant learning and intellectual community modeling Christian engagement for our students and the church;
- a community that knows what’s going on in the world;
- a faculty of distinction, recruited and empowered to carry out our vision of engaging the culture and changing the world;
- students, faculty, and staff who are theologically and biblically educated;
- a grace-filled community, supporting one another and going about our work with kindness, care, and civility;
- a focus on the sciences as a critical arena for academic and cultural engagement; and
- a serious commitment to reconciliation, addressing issues of race, culture, and ethnicity.
To define and declare our distinctives was the first step. Next we pressed ourselves to focus our energies and resources on those things that will enable us to carry out our vision with excellence. The Blueprint calls us to completely transform our resource paradigm by broadening our base of support, increasing our endowment, and carefully managing costs. It calls us to work to enhance SPU’s visibility, recognition, and reputation on the national stage. It calls us to expand our application pool in order to select those students who are best qualifi ed to fulfill the University’s vision. And it calls for strategic investments in faculty recruitment and development, focused academic programs, and facilities.
The Blueprint also maps out a carefully selected group of indicators — such as admit rate, graduation rate, endowment per student, faculty and staff salary averages — that will tell us where we stand on the way to reaching our vision. Each year, we will take stock of what has been accomplished according to our annual goals and these indicators.
Without a doubt, the goals set out in 2014: A Blueprint for Excellence are ambitious. But anchored by our vision and motivated by our call to excellence, we are moving into the next chapter at Seattle Pacific University with confidence and new energy.
— BY PHILIP W. EATON, PRESIDENT
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