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Candidate Profile

The clock tower on Seattle Pacific University's Demaray Hall in the spring.

Primary characteristics of the ideal candidate for the President position will include:


  • Well prepared academically, with an earned terminal degree from an accredited university strongly preferred.
  • A background with appropriate understanding of, and appreciation for, the liberal arts, alongside a commitment to programs with a sharp focus on preparation for professional pursuits.


  • A deep, living relationship with God through Jesus Christ, fostering a love for education; outreach to marginalized people; and a desire to see others thrive so that actions lead to positive results. Succinctly, in words attributed to Charles Wesley, “to unite the pair so long disjoined, knowledge and vital piety.” The true and helpful and relevant fusing of faith and learning is a staple of SPU’s existence, celebrated across academic disciplines.
  • A personal belief that education, through the Wesleyan tradition, leads to betterment.
  • Demonstrated support for diverse populations as a personal commitment to love our neighbors.


  • Demonstrated creative and constructive leadership in the academic community, or a background that reflects a thorough understanding of academic life.
  • Proven leadership with multiethnic and multicultural engagement, promoting fairness, justice, and a sense of belonging, with an acknowledgment that a wide range of opinions exist regarding many fractured discussions surrounding these topics.
  • Propensity to cast and articulate a vision for the institution that may include a broader vision than found in traditional higher-education environments, coupled with the skills to organize SPU’s resources to fulfill the vision.
  • A demonstrated ability to provide leadership excellence and academic integrity and accountability in higher education.
  • An ability to promote the Christian mission and values of SPU, as well as work collaboratively with various stakeholders and government and civic leaders.
  • A leader who will communicate clearly in a spirit of open dialogue and transparency with trustees, faculty, staff, and students.
  • Fundraising skills, with demonstrated propensity for raising funds within broader Christian settings.
  • A leadership style that emphasizes accountability, is pliable, and engages openly with faculty, staff, and students.

Personal Characteristics

  • Agreement with SPU’s mission, purposes, policies, and objectives, coupled with an ability to articulate these elements in a winsome way to all segments of the SPU constituency.
  • Ability to manage, to make difficult decisions, and to place principles of integrity over expedience.
  • A person with a deep commitment to Jesus Christ. The president must be, or become, a member of the Free Methodist Church, and be an inspirational servant-leader whose integrity and spiritual example will be known and respected.
  • Transparent willingness to engage with students as the most meaningful aspect of service as SPU’s leader.
  • Proven leadership with fundraising and marketing.
  • A strong background in higher-education operations and/or demonstrated results in an organization with a substantial operating budget.
  • A strong entrepreneurial history of building effective academic programs and increasing effectiveness is highly preferred.
  • A management style that is fair, spiritually driven, consistent, open, and inclusive, but emphasizes accountability and measured results, taking into account the learned engagement with constituents to shape, alongside the trustees, effective policy.
  • Demonstrated relationship skills that foster trust and teamwork and a common focus on excellence in all areas; one who genuinely enjoys student relationships and is approachable.
  • Impeccable integrity, guided by a carefully considered understanding of ethical principles.