In the Loop

October 2021

SPU's Demaray Hall in the fall

SPU again named a “Best National University”

For the sixth year in a row, Seattle Pacific has been named a “Best National University” in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 best college rankings. 

U.S. News & World Report defines national universities as those institutions offering a full range of undergraduate majors plus master's and doctoral programs and a commitment to producing groundbreaking research.

Seattle Pacific also received high rankings in social mobility, which U.S. News describes as institutions that enroll and graduate large proportions of disadvantaged students who receive Pell Grants. (Pell Grants are a need-based federal financial aid program aimed at helping low-income families pay for college). Other highly ranked SPU programs were undergraduate engineering, ranked #62 out of 239 schools in the category.

To learn more, check out SPU’s 2020 Year in Review to see what else makes Seattle Pacific University a leading university.

Video: Orientation 2021


Watch a short video showing September’s 2021 Orientation highlights — from families helping their students move into residence halls to the New Student Convocation with faculty, and more.

An adult accessing a website

Student Resource Hub: Your portal to campus offices and student support

Whether you have questions about campus housing, financial aid, wellness resources, or anything else, the Student Resource Hub can help connect you to the campus offices and departments with the answers you need.

The Student Resource Hub is one convenient place for students and their families to find links to academic support services, student life resources, career resources, health and wellness links, and more.

With these important links all in one place, you and your student have a portal to everything needed to succeed at Seattle Pacific University. Bookmark the Student Resource Hub today, so you have the link when you need it.

An icon representing two notebooks

Level up and get noticed with a “Career Accelerator”

Something for you: Seattle Pacific University has launched 10 new “Career Accelerators” courses to its library of continuing-education courses. Built by industry experts for busy professionals and those looking to re-enter the workforce, these courses are available online and self-paced.

Whether you want to build workplace skills for your current career, or you want to gain aptitude in preparation for a new career path, the Career Accelerators can extend your marketability while letting you experience the same academic excellence and relevance for which SPU has been known since 1891.

Choose the course that’s right for you — from Everyday Finance, Project Management, Leadership in Health Care, Financial Success and Professionalism, to Foundations of Data Analytics and more. Each course costs only $250.

If it’s time to develop your skillset with an online, self-paced curriculum led by respected industry leaders, check out the complete list and learn more.

SPU young alumna, Olivia Heale '21

Student’s time abroad in Morocco becomes career path

When Olivia Heale ’21 started college at Seattle Pacific University, she knew she wanted to study abroad. What she hadn’t expected was how her time in Morocco would impact her future.

Heale, who originally double majored in Global Development Studies and the Honors Liberal Arts program, later added a third, self-designed major to her repertoire: Middle East and North African Studies. Her interest in North Africa led her to study in Morocco for its geographic diversity. Read more in SPU Stories.

An SPU student employee gaining real-world experience

Student employment benefits: More than a paycheck

Whether students work in on-campus or off-campus jobs while attending college, they gain the real-world experience today’s employers seek in their new hires. In fact, once those students graduate, they often have job-ready skills and competitive résumés and are more likely to find employment. Other benefits to students include these:

  • Students who work during college do just as well, or better, than their non-working peers, studies have shown.
  • Grades typically improve when students work up to 20 hours a week.
  • Students gain skills for handling their time and money.
  • They also gain real-world references for future positions.
  • And by graduation, students already have a strong, professional résumé.

If your student is seeking a part-time job, encourage your student to visit Student Financial Services and its Student Employment web page for tips and a link to Handshake, SPU’s online hub for career resources.

A student being contemplative while walking

Mental health resources for students

Although high levels of stress likely affect incoming students before attending college, they may not have felt comfortable telling their parents they need help. “Coming to college, they can autonomously seek out mental health care at no cost,” said Sharon Barr-Jeffrey, director of the SPU Student Counseling Center.

Barr-Jeffrey began her work at SPU’s counseling center in 2010, and each year she has seen more students seeking treatment than during the last. In general, 25% of the student body comes in annually. Read the full article at SPU Stories, which includes tips on how parents can support their student.

An image of the stained glass window in Alexander and Adelaide Hall on the SPU campus

Earn a graduate certificate in Christian Studies

SPU’s Graduate Certificate in Christian Studies can equip you with an understanding of Christian formation and vocation — and the practices that nurture an ongoing life of discipleship and mission in the 21st century.

Through this program, you can develop the knowledge base, skill set, and multicultural sensitivities needed to understand the Christian faith and put it into practice in a hurting world.

Whether you just want to deepen your understanding of the Christian faith and reflect on issues of vocation and ministry, or you are considering entering full-time professional Christian service, the flexibility of the GCCS program will work for you. Learn more.

When it Mattered Most

SPU VOICES PODCAST: “When It Mattered Most” and "The Art of Making"

The SPU Voices Podcast is a bimonthly interview show dedicated to telling inspiring and compelling stories about the greater SPU community. Recent episodes include:

  • When It Mattered Most,” with Kevin Ticen, about his new book, When It Mattered Most, which tells the forgotten story of America’s and Seattle’s first Stanley Cup champions. Now a member of SPU’s Advancement team, Ticen formerly played and coached baseball professionally.
  • The Art of Making,” with Squire Broel ’92, a sculptor, painter, and owner of Broel Studio in Walla Walla, Washington. Employing his education, knowledge of art history, and experience, Broel creates art to visually express everyday objects and experiences with thoughtful honesty and reflection. His work is part of public and private collections around the world.

Visit the SPU Voices Podcast website to listen to the episodes, view transcripts, and explore past shows. Subscribe on all streaming platforms.

Upcoming events

Mid-Autumn Quarter “No class day”
Friday, Oct. 22

Classes beginning at 3 p.m. or later must meet.

2021 Fall Virtual Career Fair
Thursday, Oct. 28, 1–5 p.m. (Pacific Time)
On Handshake

Students can find jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, and more at this virtual fair. Students will have an opportunity to present themselves professionally to a potential employer, while showcasing their communication skills. They will have the chance to interact with employers on a 1:1 and on a group basis. More than 125 employers will be available at this virtual career fair.

2021 Engagement Series: Beyond Fall
Thursday, Oct. 28, 6–7 p.m. (Pacific Time)

In the fourth and final Engagement webinar, Provost Laura Hartley and leaders from across the academic and student life areas will discuss and answer questions about students’ opportunities at SPU for involvement, career planning, and leadership beyond their first term. To register for this webinar, or to watch earlier webinars, visit the 2021 Engagement Webinar Series website

SPU Theatre Autumn Mainstage: “Blood/Water/Paint”
Oct. 28–30, Nov. 3–6, 2021, 7:30 p.m., 6–7 p.m. (Pacific Time)
Oct 30, 2021, 2:30 p.m.
McKinley Theatre
Tickets available online or at the box office

Blood/Water/Paint” is a powerful production features the true story of a 17th century female artist whose rise to fame is violently betrayed by a trusted mentor. She then does the unthinkable as she fights against the church, the courts, and the status quo. Note: The University follows CDC and state guidelines for COVID-19, and audience members will need to show proof of vaccination and wear masks in the theatre.

Women’s Soccer vs. Western Oregon Wolves
Saturday, Oct. 30, 2 p.m.
Interbay Stadium
SPU Sports YouTube channel

Falcon women’s soccer team takes on the Western Oregon Wolves. Visit the Falcon Athletics website for ticket information. This year, fans are permitted in the stands, and you can also watch the game live on the SPU Sports YouTube channel.

Men’s Soccer vs. Western Washington Vikings
Saturday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m.
Interbay Stadium
SPU Sports YouTube channel

Falcon men’s soccer team takes on the Western Washington Vikings. Visit the Falcon Athletics website for ticket information. This year, fans are permitted in the stands, and you can also watch the game live on the SPU Sports YouTube channel.

Winter Quarter registration
Thursday, Nov. 11

Winter registration for all admitted undergraduate and graduate/doctoral students currently in attendance. Winter Quarter registration for new students begins Monday, Nov. 15.

Veterans Day 
Thursday, Nov. 11

No daytime classes; offices closed. Evening classes must meet.

Women’s Volleyball vs. Western Washington Vikings
Saturday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m.
Royal Brougham Pavilion
SPU Sports YouTube channel

On Senior Night, Falcon women’s volleyball team takes on the Western Washington Vikings. Visit the Falcon Athletics website for ticket information. This year, fans are permitted in the stands, and you can also watch the game live on the SPU Sports YouTube channel.

Final Exams
Friday–Tuesday, Nov. 19–23

Residence halls close for Christmas break 
Wednesday, Nov. 24, 10 a.m.

Christmas break for students 
Nov. 24–Jan. 3

Campus offices are open during this time, with the exception of Thursday–Friday, Nov. 25–26, and Friday, Dec. 24–Friday, Dec. 31.

Academic calendars

SPU academic calendars, including important deadlines, final exam schedules, holidays, and academic highlights for 2021–22.