Author Archive

The 10th Annual John M. Perkins Lecture

May 21, 2015

John Perkins CenterDr. 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.

2014-2015 Opening Communion and the State of the University

October 7, 2014

Opening Communion and State of the UniversityIt’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.

Justin Lee and Ron Belgau: Let’s Talk About [Homo]sexuality

May 9, 2014

Let's Talk About [Homo]sexualityOur 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.


Sonny Vu: Business as a Calling Day 2013

November 20, 2013

Sonny Vu

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.

Day of Common Learning 2013: Helping Youth Flourish

October 25, 2013

Day of Common Learning 2013: Helping Youth FlourishDr. 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.

Called to Resurrection: 1 Corinthians 15

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.

Changing What We Tax: Prospects for a Free-Enterprise Solution to Energy Security and Climate Change

May 20, 2013

Changing What We TaxIf you listened to the most recent episode of This American Life, you heard former US Representative Bob Inglis (R) lay out a conservative solution to climate change and energy security. Back in November, he joined Todd Myers, Director of the Center for the Environment’s Washington Policy Center, and Mike Wallace, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Washington, for a panel discussion sponsored by SPU’s Department of Political Science. Watch their talk here.

Walter Bruggemann: “The Alternative World of the Psalms”

April 19, 2013

Walter Brueggemann: "The Alternative World of the Psalms"On March 21, 2013, Walter Brueggemann, one of the world’s foremost Old Testament scholars, was at SPU. Listen to his lecture, “The Alternative World of the Psalms”. Presented by the Center for Biblical and Theological Education and the School of Theology in conjunction with the Wesleyan Theological Society and the Society for Pentecostal Studies.

2013 Homecoming Luncheon: Margo Engberg

March 8, 2013

2013 Homecoming: Margo EngbergDid you miss Homecoming this year? Want to relive some of the best moments? We’ve got the Luncheon right here. Alumna of the Year Margo Engberg (class of 1989) talks about founding and running her successful gourmet cupcake boutique, PinkaBella Cupcakes. Also honored are this year’s Medallion Award Winners, John Erma (class of 1975) and Sheryl Erickson Erma (class of 1976), and Gloria Biggar Wall (class of 1979) and Larry Wall (class of 1976).

2013 Marston Lecture: “Reading the Persian Empire”

February 23, 2013

The C. May Marston Lecture In ClassicsIn Dr. Owen Ewald’s 2013 C. May Marston Lecture In Classics, “Reading the Persian Empire”, Persian realities and representations in ancient and modern literature are explored. Although Persia was one of the largest empires in human history before its conquest by Alexander the Great, it remains an enigma. Since few Persian documents have survived, we see Persia mostly through the eyes of others, especially its Greek subjects. Modern novels such as Stephen Pressfield’s Gates of Fire and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis have also taken up the challenge of depicting ancient Persia. Professor Ewald juxtaposes modern and classic literature to bring to life this neglected classical civilization.


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