In the Loop

Winter Quarter 2023

A exterior image of SPU's McKinley Hall

SPU’s Enduring Commitments

With recent debates that have affected SPU collectively and its students, staff, faculty, alumni, and extended community members, SPU’s Board has worked to articulate a vision meeting the University’s contemporary needs and aspirations while honoring its history, mission, and legacy.

As the University’s foundational robust Christ-centered educational identity endures in the next chapter of its history, the Board has identified seven interrelated enduring commitments that will intentionally, strategically, and sustainably shape decisions and actions and determine resource allocations. You can read SPU’s seven Enduring Commitments here.


Students gather during Commencement

New! 2023 Commencement site and Class of 2023 Facebook group

Only six months till graduating seniors and their families are celebrating Commencement 2023!

If you're one of those families and your student is preparing to graduate, you are invited to join the new Class of 2023 Facebook page at Ask questions, find the latest news, connect with others as the Class of 2023 members prepare to become SPU young alums.

For even more information, you are also invited to the Class of 2023 Commencement page for information about Ivy Cutting, caps and gowns, Seattle hotels, and the complete schedule for the Commencement Weekend.


SPU parents with their student on campus

SPU Family Weekend coming Feb. 3–4!

Parents and families, make plans to join us for SPU's Family Weekend, Feb. 3–4, 2023! Cheer on the men’s and women’s basketball teams as they take on Simon Fraser and Western Oregon in Brougham Pavilion. Get ready for a Hitchcock whodunnit theatre production on the E.E. Bach Mainstage; and don’t miss the virtual trivia, a campus scavenger hunt, and prayer and worship with other SPU parents and families.

When you get hungry, stop by Gwinn Commons or one of the many delicious locations across campus to delight in a meal together. “Parents won’t want to miss this special time to bond with their students during Family Weekend,” said Jennifer Hunt, assistant director of Alumni and Family Relations. “They’ll see where their students live and learn and how they enjoy campus life at Seattle Pacific.”

On Feb. 3–4, you and your student can make wonderful memories to last a lifetime! Check out the schedule of events and opportunities to experience Seattle Pacific with your student. There is something for the whole family!

No registration is required. Sign up for select individual events online at


An exterior image of SPU's Demaray Hall in the fall

2022 Autumn Quarter Dean’s List now available

The Dean's List quarterly honors were recently awarded to undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students who completed at least 12 credit hours at Seattle Pacific University and attained a 3.5 or higher quarterly grade-point average. Check out the Autumn Quarter Dean’s List here.


SPU Voices Podcasts: “Nine Advent Lessons”

Amanda Heath Stubbert ’95 and Corbett Stubbert ’97 present a special Christmas episode, the personal story of Jesus Christ. There are many different readings at Christmas, if you go to Christmas services, including Christmas carols and concerts. One of the most loved traditional Christmas festivals is the Nine Lessons and Carols, which are broadcast every Christmas Eve from King's College, Cambridge.

Listen, or read the transcript here of the “Nine Advent Lessons.” You can also listen to past episodes, view transcripts, and explore past shows. Subscribe on all streaming platforms.


A nighttime shot of downtown Seattle

Urban Plunge 2022

In mid-November, a small group of SPU students began an “Urban Plunge,” each carrying $2.75 and a bus pass. For the next three days, the students would have an immersive learning experience to give them firsthand insight into homelessness.

“The most impactful thing I encountered during Urban Plunge was how invisible we were,” said one student participant. “It was a really eye-opening experience. It’s so easy to look away from a person, and I'd never considered what it felt like to be the one ignored.”

Under the guidance of the JPC Learn & Serve ministry of SPU’s John Perkins Center, the students spent their days exploring Seattle, eating at meal sites* that serve homeless individuals, listening to at-risk individuals, and visiting organizations that serve the Seattle homeless community. They slept in a Seattle church each night to reserve shelter space for individuals actually experiencing homelessness.

One of those days, students joined the Seattle Union Gospel Mission “Search and Rescue” outreach program to provide meals, hot cocoa, hand warmers, and blankets. They also learned about the services provided at such area nonprofits as Compass Housing Alliance, New Horizons Ministries, and Operation Sack Lunch.

“I learned that there are a lot of factors that contribute to urban homelessness, as well as lots of organizations who are trying to help,” the student added. “I hope to engage in this change by carefully researching and donating to organizations, as well as volunteering in my local community to form friendships with the people in it.”

For more information about JPC Learn & Serve and the John Perkins Center at SPU, visit the website at

*The Perkins Center reimbursed meal sites.


An illustration of black people in profile singing

“Go tell it on the mountain”

It is Christmas Eve 2021, and here I am, a descendant of enslaved Africans, leading my predominantly white Presbyterian congregation in Atlanta, Georgia, in singing the Black spiritual, “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”

My great-grandfather six generations removed, Michael, who was enslaved less than 100 miles from here in Jones County, Georgia, would never have imagined such a picture.

Read the full article in Response magazine, written by Stephen Michael Newby, SPU professor of music and director of the Center for Worship.


Three SPU students walk up a long exterior stairway on campus

Reminders from SFS

Watch your mailbox — 2022 IRS form 1098-T is coming soon

The IRS 1098-T is a tax-related document that shows all account charges and financial aid payments that occurred in tax year 2022 for your student. Forms will be mailed by Jan. 31 to each student’s permanent address. The form can also be accessed electronically through the Banner Information System.

You can find more information regarding the 1098-T and other educational tax benefits on the Student Financial Services website. Please contact SFS if you have questions about your student’s 1098-T form once it’s received.

Also check out the Educational Tax Benefits webpage on the SFS website to learn more about tax credits and tax deductions of which you may be eligible to take advantage.

FAFSA deadline coming for financial aid priority consideration

Wednesday, March 1, 2023, is the deadline for priority consideration for financial aid for first-time freshmen students. Saturday, April 1, 2023, is the priority deadline for continuing students. Find out more at the Student Financial Services File FASA webpage.

Financial aid award letters

Enrolled first-time freshmen will begin receiving their financial aid award letters early next year. Continuing students can watch their student portals for their 2023–24 award letters beginning in mid-May.

Outside scholarships

Now is a good time for students to apply for outside scholarships. Unlike loans, scholarships and grants do not need to be repaid. Student Financial Services lists a host of scholarships, including the $5,000 Folds of Honor Higher Education Scholarship, the Gloria Barron Scholarship, and the $1,000 WIN-WIN-WIN Scholarship. Check out scholarships on the Outside Scholarships webpage.


SPU's Alexander and Adelaide Hall from a unique perspective, with flowers in front of it

SPU’s presidential search website

Find the latest official news about Seattle Pacific's search for its next president and more on the University's Presidential Search website.

On this website, you'll see information about our SPU community, the candidate profile, comments from past SPU presidents, and more. Visit the SPU Presidential Search website here.


an illustration of a heart and brain to show the connection of the two

SPU consolidated Health Services and Counseling Center

With students' well-being in mind, Student Health Services and the Student Counseling Center have joined forces as the Student Counseling, Health, and Wellness Center.

“We are excited to bring two departments together to more collaboratively support students’ mental and physical health care needs,” said Sharon Barr-Jeffrey, director of the center's director. “Additionally, we look forward to expanding campuswide programs which address multiple dimensions of student wellness.”