Seattle Pacific University (SPU) is a private university affiliated with the Free Methodist Church and one of the 13 members of the Christian College Consortium.
The university is primarily based on a 43-acre campus near the Fremont neighbourhood of Seattle, although there are two satellite campuses too – a wilderness field station on Blakely Island, in the San Juan Islands close to the Canadian west coast, and also a conference facility on Whidbey Island, just off the Washington state coast.
The institution opened as Seattle Seminary in 1891 after it was founded by Free Methodist pioneers, with a view to training missionaries for overseas service. Over the years the institution grew rapidly, expanding to include a range of different study fields and today the university has six major schools, including major academic areas such as arts and sciences, health sciences, business, government and economics, psychology, education, and theology.
In 2016 SPU celebrated its 125th anniversary, and commemorative events over the year included an Alumni Grand Reunion, an SPU Alumni Art Exhibition and the 125,000 Service Hours Challenge, where Seattle Pacific Reachout International teams started the universities campaign to rack up 125,000 hours of community service during the 2016/17 academic year.
University traditions include Ivy Cutting, where graduates receive a ring of ivy to symbolize the graduates ties to the university, as well as Baccalaureate, which happens on the evening before graduation where students enjoy a service of worship and reflection before graduating.
Notable former students include international soccer player Marcus Hahnemann, tenor Jim Cornelison, and clergyman and author Eugene H. Peterson.