June 29, 2015
Dr. Jonathan Tran (Professor of Theology and Ethics at Baylor University) explores it means to be an Asian-American Christian at this Gather service. Dr. Tran talks about what faith looks like as a part of a cultural collective experience and how this enriches the life of the Church. He engages the Asian American Christian experience, as well as provides insight into how we can participate in the ministry of racial justice and reconciliation.
Watch Dr. Tran’s talk here.
June 24, 2015
Seattle Pacific University’s beloved Professor of Theatre, George Scranton, delivers his “Last Lecture”. Before retiring this year, Professor Scranton has honored SPU with over four decades of dedicated teaching, and has over 100 directing credits under his name. In his “Last Lecture”, Scranton reflects on the intersection of comedy, theatre, life, food, and grace.
The concept of a “Last Lecture” is based on a 2007 lecture and 2008 book by Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor whose battle with pancreatic cancer inspired him to write and deliver a lecture on what would really matter if it was really the last lecture he ever gave. In subsequent Last Lectures, professors reflect on what matters most and what wisdom they would hope to share with others. Ivy Honorary is SPU’s chapter of the National Mortar Board Honor Society.
Watch George Scranton’s Last Lecture here.
May 29, 2015
Homelessness affects nearly 3.5 million Americans each year and 34% of the entire homeless population is under the age of 24. Homeless youth are often a forgotten part of our communities and service populations. Not only does homelessness affect a person’s physical surroundings, but it also has psychological, emotional, and spiritual effects.
This winter quarter, SPU was proud to host Tent City 3, an encampment area that provides free housing, food, and job and travel opportunities. Mary Steele, the executive director at New Horizons Ministries, a Christian organization that partners with youth to exit street life, and Dr. Joshua Aaron Ginzer, a psychologist, shared with us stories about the true effects of homelessness as well as a window into the lives of homeless young people in our city.
Watch their talk here.
May 21, 2015
Dr. John M. Perkins graces our Seattle Pacific University community for the 10th year with his annual lecture at First Free Methodist Church. Dr. Perkins is an author of several books, an SPU visiting professor, founder of several Christian institutions including Voice of Calvary Bible Institute of Mississippi, Christian Community Development Association, and the John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation. Dr. Perkins was a leading voice in the civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s, having experienced firsthand the atrocities racism including police brutality and prison torture. His 10th annual SPU lecture, entitled “Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With Your God”, touches on Biblical and racial justice and reconciliation, as well as the spreading the Gospel to the world. It is truly an honor to have Dr. John Perkins be present within our SPU community.
Click here to watch his lecture.
October 7, 2014
It’s a new academic year and here at Seattle Pacific, we begin every year by gathering together around the Lord’s table at the Opening Communion. This year, University Chaplain Dr. Bo Lim leads the service. His homily focuses on Psalm 126. So often in life we will, as the Psalmist puts it, sow in tears—like we did as a community after the shooting on our campus on June 5, 2014, or after the sudden passing of beloved staff member Jennifer Gilnett over the summer. But as Christians we also believe that we will reap with cries of joy. “Those who go forth weeping, / carrying sacks of seed, / Will return with cries of joy, / carrying their bundled sheaves.” (Psalm 126:6 NAB)
Immediately following Opening Communion, we observe another storied tradition: the State of the University Address. President Daniel J. Martin reflects on SPU’s past—including the tragic events of June 5—and sets out a plan for the future, centered around the theme of dance. President Martin reminds us that Paul Lee loved to dance.
And in case you’re interested in listening to Dr. Frank Spina’s Lectio series on the Psalms that President Martin turned to when he was preparing his reflections on June 5, you can find those here.
May 9, 2014
Our culture tells us that gays and Christians are enemies. So how can we as Christians have loving dialogue on the issue of homosexuality that changes hearts and minds for Christ? Ron and Justin use stories, humor, personal experience, and the Bible to discuss how they can be friends in the midst of strong theological disagreement, and how we as Christians can better show love to the gay community without compromising our convictions. Ron and Justin’s discussion touches on issues like common misconceptions each side has about the other; being missionaries with our language and avoiding the buzzwords that shut down conversation; understanding the difference between behavior and attraction; why dialogue is more effective than debate; and what Paul’s experience in Athens can teach us about representing Christ in the midst of disagreement.
Click here to watch their panel discussion and the following community question and answer session.
November 20, 2013
Seattle Pacific University’s School of Business and Economics and the Center for Integrity In Business welcomed Sonny Vu as the keynote speaker at this year’s “Business as a Calling” Day. Sonny is the founder, chair, and CEO of Misfit Wearables, makers of the Shine, an elegant activity monitor that can be worn anywhere and for any occasion. Sonny is also the founder, and former chair and CEO of AgaMatrix, a leading innovator in advanced diabetes technology. Sonny shared his experiences founding and leading two successful tech startups as well as why his faith plays such an important part in his life—both personally but also professionally. Watch his address here.
October 25, 2013
Dr. Thomas Maridada, II joined us at our annual Day of Common Learning to deliver the keynote address, “Transforming Your Youth – Transforming Our Nation: Partnering In Service to Invest In the Lives of Our Nation’s Youth.” His address served as the touchstone for the day’s events, lectures, and seminars as we explored this year’s theme, “Helping Youth Flourish: Partnering With Families, Public Institutions, and Private Organizations to Develop the Talents, Strengths, and Potential of Youth.”
Dr. Maridada is the Children’s Defense Fund’s Director of National Education Policy, Practice and Strategic Initiatives. Prior to joining CDF, Dr. Maridada served as superintendent of several urban school districts in Michigan, where he was named “Michigan Superintendent of the Year” by the National Association of School Administrators. He has acted as a “school turn-around specialist” for some of the most challenging schools and districts in the country.
Watch and listen to his address here.
June 21, 2013
We were saddened to hear of the passing of former professor of biology Cindy Fitch last week. She was loved and appreciated during her time at SPU, particularly by her students in the Pre-Professional Health Sciences Program, a program she led with an uncommon care and dedication.
Her 2012 Easter Chapel address was appropriately on resurrection. In it, she reflected on her journey to faith, the many seasons of growth and change as a Christian, and the beauty and meaning she found in the Apostle’s Creed, a creed based on 1 Corinthians 15.
Perhaps you’ll join me in watching her Chapel address and, at the end, recite that creed along with Cindy, those gathered to hear her that day, and indeed, countless Christians throughout the ages—many of whom have, like Cindy, passed on to their eternal rest—that we believe in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.