Professional Development

Annual Diversity Lecture

Beginning in 2019–20, the Office of Inclusive Excellence will host an annual diversity lecture to provoke thought, extend conversations, and inform current practices related to our universitywide diversity efforts. The series will bring thought leaders to campus who can inspire and challenge us to engage the theological, cultural, and institutional aspects of this work. This soon-to-be annual event is part of a larger effort to establish community rhythms that focus on learning together and living into our diversity commitments as a university.

Watch the January 22, 2020 lecture with Jemar Tisby.

DEI Workshop Series

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Workshop Series is a three-part professional development plan designed to equip employees with the habits of mind and tools to address diversity-related matters on campus and contribute positively to a culture of belonging at SPU. The series is guided by a belief that employees are better able to increase their diversity competencies when they have opportunity to develop this knowledge and skillset within the context of their professional roles. Upon completion of the series, we encourage participants to apply their learning to real-life situations on campus by working collaboratively towards the development of a department-level diversity action plan.

Diversity 101: Exploring the What, Why, and How of Diversity at SPU

Required of all new employees/Open to all employees

What do we mean by “diversity” at SPU, and why does it even matter? This introductory professional development workshop is divided into three parts and provides a shared language and framework for SPU employees to move forward productively in the work of diversity. Part I (the what) seeks to move participants from a narrow understanding of diversity that focuses on visible aspects of our social identities to a more complex understanding that includes an awareness of how institutional biases can reproduce group-based inequities. Part II (the why) examines SPU’s biblically-informed rationale for this work and introduces participants to Seattle Pacific’s diversity timeline to provide context for current engagement around issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Part III (the how) provides an overview of the role and function of the Office of Inclusive Excellence and resources available to employees. The workshop concludes with a call to action for participants to commit to continued learning and engagement in SPU’s DEI efforts.

Next Session: October 1, 2020, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Register on SkillSoft here.

Diversity 102: Understanding Our Social Identities in the Context of Christian Community

Open to all employees/Prerequisite: Diversity 101

How do our social identities affect the way that we view ourselves and others? In this 1-hour intermediate level workshop, participants have an opportunity to reflect on and discuss aspects of their social identities and explore the connection between becoming culturally self-aware and culturally responsive. Participants will leave the workshop with a better understanding of how their social identities shape the lenses they bring to the workplace, the barriers to truly hearing and understanding one another's positions and values, and the opportunities made available in Christian community to embrace, value, and engage differences with competence and care.

Next Session: October 15, 2020, 12-1 p.m. Register here.

Diversity 103: Becoming a Faith-Formed Inclusive Community

Open to all employees/Prerequisite: Diversity 102

This 1-hour advanced workshop provides an opportunity for participants to play the role of diversity detectives who discover clues to help SPU become a more diversity-aware, equity-focused, and welcoming campus community. Join this interactive workshop and bring your sleuthing skills to uncover the biases and normalized aspects of institutional life that can remain hidden to the untrained eye. The workshop incorporates a brainstorming technique that encourages participants to identify and approach existing barriers with new solutions. Participants will conclude the session by identifying what bold steps they might take, individually and collectively, to strengthen SPU’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Next Session: October 29, 2020, 12-1 p.m. Register here.

Navigating Difficult Conversations

Open to supervisors

This workshop provides practical strategies for navigating difficult conversations in the workplace around issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Participants explore common examples of difficult dialogues; examine how past experiences, biases, and fears can trigger unproductive responses; and acquire tools to turn challenging situations into opportunities for growth. This session is intended for supervisors who want to learn how to communicate across differences more productively and with less stress and anxiety.

Next Session: Fall 2020, TBA.

DEI Hiring Strategies

For hiring managers, search committees, and departments

Are you wondering how to develop a diversity-aware strategy for hiring? Do you want to become more aware of unconscious assumptions that can lead to biased outcomes in the hiring process? The Office of Inclusive Excellence can provide strategies and guidelines for hiring managers to use at various stages of the search process.

Schedule a one-hour training.

Inclusive Syllabus Design

For faculty and instructional staff members

Looking to incorporate strategies into your teaching and course design to foster an inclusive classroom environment? Schedule an appointment to receive feedback and suggestions for designing your syllabus as a tool for inclusive teaching and learning. 

Inclusive Leadership Self-Assessment and Debrief

For academic deans/associate deans, department chairs, and program directors

Want to become a more inclusive academic leader? Schedule an appointment to meet with the VPDEI to explore your role in setting the direction for diversity progress. We will use the self-assessment developed by Edna Chun and Alvin Evans (The Department Chair as Transformative Leader: Building Inclusive Learning Environments in Higher Education) to identify your current efforts and future opportunities to embed diversity considerations into the following domains: classroom, curriculum, research agenda, departmental climate, recruitment and hiring of diverse faculty, retention of faculty of color, and student development. Participants will receive a copy of the Chun and Evan’s book.

Schedule a one-hour session.

Diversity Learning Lab Program: Diversity Action Planning

For departments

This program, which includes guided instruction and individual coaching, walks departments through the planning process from conceptualization to development of a diversity action plan. Upon completion of the program, participants will be able to submit their department-level diversity action plans for consideration for seed-grant funding.

Schedule a one-hour training.

Networking Luncheons

For faculty and staff of color

The purpose of these quarterly events is to provide a point of connection with the Office of Inclusive Excellence and an opportunity for faculty and staff of color to network with colleagues across campus. 2020–2021 schedule TBA.


The Office of Inclusive Excellence is available to consult with students, staff, and faculty on diversity-related matters, with the goal of seeking solutions and identifying resources for further learning.

The Office of Inclusive Excellence is also available to make presentations to classes, departments, or student groups. Topics might include, but are not limited to incorporating diversity into the curriculum, completing the Departmental Readiness Evaluation, planning a diversity-related program or event, facilitating difficult conversations, or addressing a diversity incident.

Schedule a 30-minute, 45-minute, or 60-minute consultation, or send an email to inquire about a classroom visit or to request a particular presentation topic.