Academic Excellence

Professor of Psychology and Biology Baine Craft talks  with a few of his students from the first cohort of the Master of Science in Research Psychology program.

New programs and modalities launched

To meet the evolving needs of students, a variety of new programs were launched. These include a master of science in research psychology and a master of arts in Christian ministry. Additionally, an undergraduate degree in early childhood education and a certificate in worship studies are now being offered. New programs currently under development include a master of science in nutrition, an online MBA, and certificates in creative writing and UX/UI (user experience and user interface) design. Other initiatives are being explored, promising growth and flexibility for future learners.

New assistant provost focused on student success

Jenny Lei Elsey began as the inaugural assistant provost for experiential learning and student success on July 1, 2021. She leads the University’s student success and retention efforts and works with the Center for Career and Calling, the Center for Learning, the Office of Global Engagement, and the undergraduate academic counselors. She helps guide institutional strategies and practices to strengthen programs and increase learning. She was previously dean of student success and equity at George Fox University and has 18 years of experience in Christian higher education.

Social Venture Plan Competition held in person after two years

The School of Business, Government, and Economics held its 16th annual Social Venture Plan Competition in person on campus in April. The $5,000 Herbert B. Jones Grand Prize went to “My Monster Monitor” for developing an app to help children monitor type 1 diabetes in a fun way using games and monster characters. Team members included business administration majors Faith Stehr, Manny Diaz, Joshua Erme, and Jeanell Vergara; visual communication major Jenna Rasmussen; and Lydia Porter, a self-designed music business major. Special thanks to Herbert B. Jones, Cummins Family Foundation, Tschetter Group, Belmont Cabinet Co., Northwest Center, Eastlake Real Estate Partners, Highland Private Wealth Management, and Skills Inc. for sponsoring this competition.

Read about the winning team and other social venture projects at

Bill Pollard Faith and Research Fellowship

Made possible by the faithful support of Bill Pollard, Chairman of Fairwyn Investment Company, who for a span of 25 years served twice as chief executive officer of The ServiceMaster Company, scholars from around the world apply for the Center for Faithful Business’ Bill Pollard Faith and Business Research Fellowship.

Selected scholars come to SPU for a short residency, where they draw upon Pollard’s vast collection of papers and speeches donated to the Work and Faith Collection at SPU. The Pollard papers and other books and documents compose one of the largest work and faith collections in the world. This distinctive collection is open to anyone who is interested in exploring the intersection of Christian faith and work.

The 2022 Pollard Scholars presented their research findings on campus in May, followed by a presentation by John Terrill, Executive Director, Stephen & Laurel Brown Foundation, Madison, Wisconsin, who won Best Paper for “The Role of Place and Placemaking in the Life of ServiceMaster.”

Watch John Terrill discussing “The Biblical Arc of Work” at