Institutional Milestones

Autumn Quarter brought nearly 3,000 undergraduates back to campus.


Autumn Quarter 2018 enrollment: 3,688

  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,876
  • Graduate enrollment: 788
  • Post-baccalaureate enrollment: 24

Academic Programs offered:

  • Undergraduate majors: 69
  • Undergraduate minors: 55
  • Master’s degree programs: 31
  • Doctoral degree programs: 6
  • Graduate certificates: 7

SPU ranked a “Best National University”

Seattle Pacific is the only private university in the Pacific Northwest to make the 2019 U.S. News and World Report’s Best National Universities list. SPU joins the University of Washington and Washington State University as the only three institutions from Washington state named to the magazine’s list. U.S. News defines national universities as those institutions offering a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs, and committed to producing groundbreaking research. SPU’s ranking results in part from growth in its graduate and doctoral programs in business, education, psychology, nursing, and theology. The ranking also recognizes an emphasis on undergraduate research, in which students work alongside faculty on important research and serve as interns at world-renowned companies or institutions in the Seattle area and beyond.

New brand expression launched

Last autumn, SPU began the messaging and visual rollout of its new brand identity. At its core, the rebrand builds upon three interdependent SPU distinctives: 

  • Seattle advantage (the opportunity to study and serve in a global epicenter)
  • Christian faith (encouragement to explore, or go deeper in, Christian faith)
  • academic rigor (a personalized, highly challenging learning experience)
Extensive research with current and prospective students, prospective parents, faculty, and staff helped inform this rebrand to strengthen SPU’s market visibility and recognition. Inspired by global traditions and visual influences, the new design features a stylized monogram with a nod to SPU’s legacy torch; a refreshed color palette with a darker maroon and vibrant red; and a bold typeface for institutional strength with a modern feel. The new brand expression is seen in print pieces, banners, our website, emails, videos, social media, signage, and more.

Social justice and cultural studies major begins

A popular new major in social justice and cultural studies began last autumn to help students understand the dynamics of power, history, and representation that form culture and produce patterns of inequity. The major has four tracks, promoting careers in law, policy, civil and human rights, refugee issues, art activism in graphic design, documentary film, creative writing and editing, social work and health/medicine policies, and mediation and activism in political or non-governmental organizations. New degrees in life science, mechanical engineering, and criminal justice also launched.

Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion expands programming, support

To support required departmental diversity action plans, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offered competitive seed grants to University departments. ODEI also began leading Diversity 101 training to explain what is meant by “diversity” at SPU and why it matters. With a focus on building individual and institutional capacity, this training provides a shared language and framework for SPU employees to move forward productively in the work of diversity. The office also created a visual display, “Remembrance & Witness: A Seattle Pacific Diversity Timeline,” to underscore key moments in Seattle Pacific’s history that inform our current diversity efforts.

September Session to launch

Beginning in August 2019, SPU will offer a new term called September Session. This shorter instructional period can help students earn or make up credits, complete their degrees more quickly, lighten loads in future quarters, and explore curricular areas of interest. The term will provide an opportunity for unique or specialty courses, offered in a number of nontraditional formats. Many of SPU’s global seminars will take place during this period. The regular courses may be especially attractive for student athletes and student leaders who are on campus during much of September.

Seattle Pacific Foundation posts excellent rate of return

Charged with stewarding endowment gifts to SPU, the Seattle Pacific Foundation continues to demonstrate an outstanding rate of return on investment. In a survey of 800+ higher education institutions with endowments, including schools such as Princeton, Stanford, and Yale, SPU’s endowment returns are in the top percentile over one-, three-, five-, and 10-year periods of investment. As of June 30, 2018, the value of SPU’s endowment was more than $113 million.