Essay Prompts

As a part of your application to SPU, you’ll submit one essay and answer one SPU writing prompt. These two pieces will help us better understand you, your experience, and your skills as a writer.

Essay 1: Your personal statement/Common Application Essay

In the main portion of the Common Application, you'll be asked to select one of the following prompts (in 250 to 650 words):

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? 
  4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Writing Prompt: SPU Mission Fit/Vision Statement

In the SPU writing prompt, you'll be asked to respond to one of the below statements (in 100-500 words):

  1. How does SPU's vision to “engage the culture and change the world" align with your desire for college?”
  2. Why are you interested in attending SPU and how do you hope your faith will grow or be developed in SPU's Christ-centered education?

Essay tips

Please write an essay that will help us get to know you apart from your grades and test scores. Example topics include:

  1. A major obstacle you have overcome.
  2. An experience that resulted in personal growth.
  3. A goal you are passionate about.
  4. An idea or concept that captivated your imagination
  5. A significant part of your identity, background, or story.

Be creative — but, even more importantly, be authentic.