About the School of Education

Peterson Hall

The School of Education at Seattle Pacific University offers programs for undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in teaching, counseling, or leadership careers in all fields of education. SPU-educated teachers, counselors, and administrators are in high demand throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. If you want to make a positive difference in the lives of children and families, and in schools, SPU can equip you to do just that.

A Vision of Hope

There is no medicine like hope, and education offers hope by extending the privilege of learning. The School of Education aims to positively influence the region, the nation, and the world by equipping educational leaders. This goal is shaped by our Christian faith and values as articulated in Micah 6:8: And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. 

We are committed to preparing you for service and leadership among diverse learners in schools and communities, including specifically urban schools and communities. And we are committed to doing this by developing both your professional competence and personal character as an educator in order to positively influence student learning. Through the integration of service, leadership, character, and competence, the School of Education prepares you to live out SPU's mission: to engage the culture and change the world.

A History of Excellence

Seattle Pacific was founded more than 120 years ago, and the University has been preparing some of the most sought-after educators in the region for the past century. Today, entrance to School of Education programs can be highly competitive. Faculty members have worked to develop programs of quality, rigor, and relevance based upon current research and best practice in the field.

All faculty members hold a doctorate and teach their own classes, and many have a national and international reputation in their areas of expertise. They are known for mentoring their students during and following their educational programs. These professors model lifelong learning through scholarly activities of their own, publishing frequently and presenting at professional conferences.

A Wide Variety of Offerings

The School of Education offers three undergraduate and graduate teacher certification programs, two doctoral programs, seven master's degree programs, five graduate certification programs, and a Center for Professional Education. While many students train to become teachers, others prepare for roles as school counselors, principals, superintendents, district office personnel, or professors in higher education.

Embracing change and producing qualified teachers for hard-to-fill positions are the reasons for a dramatic shift in SPU teacher education. Firmly rooted at the undergraduate level for the School of Education's first 70 years, today more than half of those recommended for teaching certificates have completed a master's degree program.

A Focus on Diversity

At the heart of Seattle Pacific’s approach to the discipline of education is a focus on opportunity for all, including those who have traditionally been underserved and underrepresented in society. The School of Education values the richness that diversity brings to the learning community at SPU, and faculty and students strive to love their neighbors, seeking to help reconcile people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or class.

As part of its efforts to create a hospitable, diverse community – on and off campus – the School of Education works to increase the diversity of faculty, staff, and students; creates opportunities for students to engage within the greater community and among diverse populations; and addresses issues of diversity and reconciliation through the academic program.

An Engagement With the Community

In keeping with their commitments to leadership and service, the School of Education faculty and students are fully engaged in the community at the local, regional, national, and international levels.

Community engagement takes many different forms, including grants for community-focused research; annual "Go to College" days on the SPU campus for children from inner-city schools; SPU-sponsored conferences for educators and community members; and academic exchanges with educators around the world. Because of longtime partnerships with regional schools, School of Education undergraduate and graduate teacher and administrator certificate interns have been active in the lives of students throughout the area for decades.

On Point SOE

What's Happening in SOE

Explore the newsletter for alumni and friends of SPU's School of Education.

Andrew Hays

Changing Lives as a Teacher

“My courses at SPU pushed me to think about how I might go beyond teaching basic skills — and think about how I might teach in a way that actually changes my students’ life prospects,” says Andrew Hays, graduate of SPU’s ARC program.

SOE Conceptual Framework

Read about the vision, mission, and commitments that guide the School of Education as it prepares educational leaders.

Alumni share video

Alumni share about Integrated Studies

Real stories, real graduates. It’s always good to hear how alumni have found their way into the world of teaching.

Students share video

Students share: SPU's School of Education

Is this the right teacher preparation program for you? Compare notes with current students as they share their dreams and their stories.