Academic Catalog

Our Educational Philosophy

At Seattle Pacific University we are committed to an academically rigorous education that prepares students for an increasingly complex, global, and multicultural world. Through our curriculum we seek to carefully investigate the critical issues of our time and offer thoughtful and Christian insight to these issues. 

Our faculty and staff are committed teachers and learners, dedicated to mentoring students through both curricular and co-curricular experiences. We are convinced that education best occurs within a relational context between the teacher, student, and subject matter. We therefore prize the relationships among faculty, staff, and students. 

We are committed to a holistic and transformative student experience where each student has multiple opportunities for spiritual, physical, emotional, vocational and character development. Our student life offices and organizations, residence life programs, student leadership, university ministries, study abroad office, and athletics partner with our faculty and academic units to provide a variety of learning opportunities in rich learning environments. 

Our Curriculum

Seattle Pacific University is a comprehensive university that offers a liberal arts education grounded in the Christian faith. This education is one that empowers students to live in a complex, diverse world by:

  • Providing multiple opportunities for intellectual and personal development.
  • Developing skills in critical and analytical thinking; problem solving; communication; and the ability to apply those skills in real-world settings.
  • Emphasizing broad knowledge of humanities, arts, social sciences, sciences, and quantitative reasoning.
  • Growing and deepening expertise in a specific field of interest. 

We offer majors and minors across the humanities, arts, social sciences, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and professions such as nursing and education. The SPU curriculum requires that all students complete at least one major field of study along with their General Education requirements.  

General Education

The General Education program has two different tiers. The first tier is the Common Curriculum, which provides common intellectual experiences for students. The Common Curriculum consists of:

  • The University Colloquium completed in the first quarter at Seattle Pacific.
  • Two academic inquiry and writing classes completed in the first year.
  • Three University Foundation courses, where students study and reflect on the Christian life, Scriptures, and Christian theology.
  • Two Core courses that examine the intersections of Christian faith with contemporary society and thought.

Through courses in the second tier of the General Education program, the Exploratory Curriculum, students learn to understand the world through study in the humanities, the arts, social sciences, sciences, and quantitative reasoning. These courses provide an opportunity to apply new-found knowledge to current issues and problems.

Our Faculty

Our curriculum is planned and taught by the SPU faculty. We employ teaching faculty members with advanced degrees and professional qualifications in their respective disciplines. They are committed to teaching excellence and student success. 

Because we believe that academic growth is best fostered in a relational context, many of our classes are conducted in learning environments that encourage collaborative and active learning. To further strengthen relationships, our professors also serve as academic advisors to our students.

Core Themes

Our Core Themes frame our educational goals for our students and are directly derived from our University’s mission statement. These Core Themes are as follows:

  • Academic Excellence and Relevance
  • Transformative and Holistic Student Experience
  • Vital Christian Identity and Purpose