Seattle Pacific University

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 10/27/2020. To update the information in this column, please email:


Students at Seattle Pacific University experience a world-class education in a world-class city. We welcome students from around the globe to grow together and serve in a diverse community of thoughtful scholarship and outward-focused, living Christian faith.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Seattle Pacific University
3307 3rd Ave West
Seattle, WA 98119-1997


Phone: 206-281-2000


Organization details

EIN: 910565553

CEO/President: Dr. Daniel J. Martin

Chairman: Dennis Weibling and Arthur Gary Ames

Board size: 16


Year founded: 1943

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


We have adopted three Core Themes to guide us as we engage the culture and help to bring about positive change in the world: Academic Excellence and Relevance, Transformative and Holistic Student Experience, Vital Christian Identity and Purpose.

Mission statement

Seattle Pacific University is a Christian university fully committed to engaging the culture and changing the world by graduating people of competence and character, becoming people of wisdom, and modeling grace-filled community.

Statement of faith

As a Christian university, SPU encourages students to engage with and be changed by faith. Our community sees service, academic study, and vocation as intentional outcomes as we celebrate the Church's rich diversity worldwide. To us, faith for the future is an invitation for all students to consider, explore, or go deeper in this Christian faith. Along the way, we encourage and equip each other to learn, grow, and serve in community.

1. We are historically orthodox

We affirm the historic Christian faith, as attested in the divinely inspired and authoritative Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and as summarized, for example, in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds. We affirm that God is triune, and that the three divine Persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - are coequal, coessential, and coeternal. We affirm that by the grace and power of God the universe was brought into being, is continually sustained and governed, and will ultimately be brought to its promised consummation. We affirm, further, that we human beings are created by God in God's own image to be stewards of creation, and that we are called to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love others as ourselves. In these divinely appointed tasks we have failed, so that we are now subject to judgment and death. Yet we rejoice that God's grace is available to us through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and that through faith in Christ we are delivered from sin and death and empowered by the Holy Spirit for lives of joyful obedience to the Father. Finally, we respond to the Spirit's call to participate in Christ's body, the church; to embrace Christ's mission to the world; and to live in the hope and assurance that Christ's return will bring to completion God's saving work.

2. We are clearly evangelical

We stand within the broad evangelical tradition of Christianity and, as such, we joyfully accept the task of proclaiming the evangel - God's good news - to the world. We understand this to mean that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior of the world and that he alone can liberate broken and fallen human beings from sin and death. We lift high the authority of holy scripture as divinely inspired, embraced by the church as central to our understanding and witness. We affirm that the Holy Spirit works in human hearts to kindle faith in Jesus Christ, to restore people to a right relationship with God and each other, and to begin transforming people into the likeness of Christ. And we believe the gospel promise that light, health, wholeness, and peace are abundantly available to everyone who asks. Yet we also believe that we are called to practice what we preach: first, by cultivating vital Christian piety; and second, by engaging the surrounding culture through public testimony and loving service.

3. We are distinctively Wesleyan

Standing within the Wesleyan holiness branch of historic and evangelical Christianity, and recognizing the Free Methodist Church as our founding denomination, Seattle Pacific University is informed by the theological legacy of John and Charles Wesley. We share their conviction that God's saving purpose is the renewal of human hearts and lives in true holiness through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. We are shaped by their emphasis on the importance of the human response to the Spirit's renewing work, including the vital role of the spiritual disciplines and practices - such as prayer, meditation, worship, Scripture study, charitable giving, public witness to Christ's saving love, and service to those in need - all of which serve as means of God's grace. Above all, we embrace the Wesleys' hope that God's transforming love is offered to all persons, addresses all areas of life, and will not rest content until it has redeemed the whole creation.

4. We are genuinely ecumenical

As heirs of John Wesley's catholic-spirited Christianity, we seek to gather persons from many theological and ecclesial traditions who have experienced the transforming power of Jesus Christ. We believe that theological diversity, when grounded in historic orthodoxy and a common and vital faith in Christ, enriches learning and bears witness to our Lord's call for unity within the church. We are also well aware of other dividing walls that separate people from one another, walls that Christ desires to break down - walls of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, language, and class. We believe that Christ calls us to value diversity and to seek ways for all persons in our university community to grow in their individual giftedness and to contribute in meaningful ways to our common life and work. Thus, in all of our diversity, we are centered in Christ, and called by him to shape, model, and participate together in grace-filled community. Therefore, we commit ourselves to this faith, and to these shaping influences that define our community of faith, and we pledge ourselves, with humility and conviction, to live as best we know how in loving relationship with Jesus Christ and in faithful service to others. This we believe to be the defining center of our lives and the guiding aspiration of our life in community at Seattle Pacific University.

Transparency grade


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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating449 of 81774 of 100
Fund acquisition rating566 of 81779 of 100
Resource allocation rating133 of 8177 of 100
Asset utilization rating595 of 81787 of 100

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$7,704,918$11,046,212$9,819,114$10,750,867$11,449,212
Short-term investments$0$0$0$110,758$92,546
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$24,793,593$32,068,522$34,359,491$30,282,236$28,820,764
Long-term investments$140,150,002$129,945,884$118,954,184$102,205,003$106,586,897
Fixed assets$158,505,476$151,979,389$151,672,071$154,620,740$155,088,961
Other long-term assets$6,730,257$7,792,170$8,366,900$8,814,542$8,919,205
Total long-term assets$305,385,735$289,717,443$278,993,155$265,640,285$270,595,063
Total assets$330,179,328$321,785,965$313,352,646$295,922,521$299,415,827
Payables and accrued expenses$13,899,571$13,422,364$11,833,137$12,659,375$12,625,380
Other current liabilities$5,251,183$5,180,804$5,016,412$5,148,639$5,075,318
Total current liabilities$19,150,754$18,603,168$16,849,549$17,808,014$17,700,698
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$14,574,042$13,392,753$15,737,047$18,968,101$17,358,683
Total long-term liabilities$76,661,216$79,789,824$86,429,283$94,188,101$96,823,683
Total liabilities$95,811,970$98,392,992$103,278,832$111,996,115$114,524,381
Net assets20192018201720162015
Temporarily restricted$42,635,712$37,571,097$32,028,521$24,353,851$29,074,691
Permanently restricted$44,683,749$42,802,086$41,294,949$39,391,502$37,959,437
Net assets$234,367,358$223,392,973$210,073,814$183,926,406$184,891,446
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$8,916,325$8,500,788$15,820,056$8,362,910$16,581,530
Program service revenue$159,610,914$154,434,531$159,090,406$155,473,490$153,084,926
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$3,983,182$3,249,464$2,535,578$1,978,810($3,597,142)
Other revenue$380,287$359,286$373,855$513,997$418,912
Total other revenue$163,974,383$158,043,281$161,999,839$157,966,297$149,906,696
Total revenue$172,890,708$166,544,069$177,819,895$166,329,207$166,488,226
Program services$157,183,722$152,835,274$153,719,730$149,488,281$143,404,402
Management and general$10,798,436$10,404,376$9,170,038$9,408,318$9,906,458
Total expenses$170,987,482$165,952,043$165,887,968$161,872,018$156,071,802
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$1,903,226$592,026$11,931,927$4,457,189$10,416,424
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$1,903,226$592,026$11,931,927$4,457,189$10,416,424


Daniel MartinPresident$633,446
Craig KispertVP for Finance and Business Affairs$336,334
Jeffrey Van DuzerProvost$312,520
Donald MortensonSenior VP Planning and Administration$306,500
Louise FurrowVP for University Advancement$237,593
Ross StewartDean$222,092
Debra SequeiraDean$209,259
Jeffrey JordanVP for Student Life$206,121
Lorie WildDean$198,842
Nathan MouttetVP for Enrollment Management and Marketing$198,652
Bruce CongdonDean$195,543
Kimberly SawersAssociate Dean$189,785

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2019

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 10/27/2020. To update the information below, please email:


Founded in 1891 by Free Methodist pioneers, Seattle Pacific University has grown from humble beginnings on a small piece of land in early Seattle, Washington, into one of the nation's premier Christian universities, located in the heart of one of the world's great cities. The early vision of the institution was to train missionaries for overseas service. Today that vision has grown to focus on equipping 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students to engage the culture and change the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Seattle Seminary opened with two faculty members, President Alexander Beers and his wife, Adelaide. In its first academic term, the seminary registered 34 students in a college preparatory curriculum that included primary and intermediate grades. In 1905, a new administration building was added, later named Peterson Hall after founder Nils Peterson. College-level courses for freshmen entered the curriculum in 1910, and the school's name became Seattle Seminary and College in 1913. Two years later, the name was changed again to Seattle Pacific College, with five students becoming SPC's first graduating class in 1915. From the beginning, the new college focused on building bridges into the city for serving the wider community. President Orrin E. Tiffany's wrote that SPC should "enlarge her borders and become the center of all the deep spiritual movements of the Northwest ... ." He also envisioned an aggressive program that would develop Seattle Pacific into Free Methodism's finest college. In the 1920s, Seattle Pacific College established a normal school for teacher training. The College also began to communicate its expanding programs to a wider audience, and enrollment climbed from 40 to more than 400. The first summer school program opened in 1931, and SPC's three-year normal school was accredited in 1933. Full accreditation of the College's four-year liberal arts program came in 1936 by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. When World War II ended in 1945, the College continued to grow - from 400 students to 1,400. And it would be less than a decade when the first graduate degree, a master of arts in religion, was awarded in 1952. Later, the graduate curriculum expanded to include programs in religion and philosophy, missions, biblical literature, and Christian education. And by 1955, the first master of education degree was awarded. Between 1945 and 1959, five additional buildings were constructed on campus. One was Royal Brougham Pavilion, which housed a new School of Recreational Leadership that included facilities for physical education and intercollegiate sports, and programs for the community and city youth. Other buildings constructed before 1960 included McKinley Auditorium, Watson Hall, Moyer Hall, and Marston Hall, the latter three built as residence halls to house the college's increasing on-campus enrollment. In 1955, Seattle Pacific also acquired 155 acres on Whidbey Island called Camp Casey. Purchased from the U.S. government as part of a surplus turn-of-the-century (19th) fort, the College converted the property into a seaside campus for field study and outdoor education. In the 1960s, 15 new campus buildings were constructed, including Demaray Hall, Crawford Music Building, Beegle Hall, the Student Union Building, Weter Memorial Library, and Hill and Ashton residence halls. In addition, Seattle Pacific remodeled 10 existing buildings, including improvements to Camp Casey, and acquired more than 70 real estate properties. In the 1970s, the decision to pursue a university model as the standard for Seattle Pacific's future led to a new academic curriculum, academic reorganization, and higher professional standards for faculty. The College officially became Seattle Pacific University on June 5, 1977, by a vote of the Board of Trustees and began a new era of academic offerings and achievement. The decade of the 1970s saw the most dramatic development of resources and programs for learning in SPU's first century. In 1982, McKenna Hall was constructed, housing the University's AACSB-accredited School of Business, Government, and Economics. New courses, majors, academic programs, and approaches to learning demonstrated the innovative character of Seattle Pacific. For example, in 1976, Seattle Pacific received a gift of 965 acres on Blakely Island in the San Juan Islands. A cutting-edge research station was built on site for faculty and students studying marine and wildlife biology. During the 1980s, SPU continued to strengthen its relationship with the church community, and student participation in city and overseas ministry grew rapidly. SPRINT (Seattle Pacific Reachout International) teams served from Alberta, Canada, to India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. By the 1990s, Seattle Pacific University had become one of the nation's premier Christian universities. In 1991, the University celebrated its Centennial, celebrating with leading scholars and artists from around the world. In 1994, it opened a $10-million Library that now serves as the heart of the academic program. Under the leadership of President Philip W. Eaton, who took office in 1996, SPU built upon its historical commitment to outward-focusing involvement in the community and beyond and forged a bold, new vision for engaging the culture and changing the world. The "Common Curriculum," a creative, cohort-based approach to general education, launched in 1998. In 2003, as part of a successful $52 million capital campaign, a 64,000-square-foot science building opened, and Otto Miller Hall (formerly the Miller Science Learning Center) underwent a major renovation. In all, the University invested $42 million in classroom and laboratory space for undergraduate science research and learning. Other significant capital projects built during President Eaton's tenure include the award-winning Gwinn Commons student dining facility and Emerson Hall, a suite-style residence hall accommodating more than 300 students. In 2005, President Eaton unveiled 2014: A Blueprint for Excellence that created a strategic plan for the University's future. By 2012, SPU had fulfilled much of the Blueprint and remained focused on taking the University to a new level in academic achievement and cultural engagement. On September 20, 2011, President Eaton announced his retirement, effective July 1, 2012. After a nationwide search, on April 10, 2012, the SPU Board of Trustees elected Dr. Daniel J. Martin as the 10th president of Seattle Pacific University. On May 23, 2012, the SPU Board of Trustees also announced it had named the science building in honor of the Eatons: the Philip W. and Sharon K. Eaton Hall. Dr. Martin had been the president of Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio, and he assumed his duties as president of SPU on July 1, 2012. Since taking office, President Martin has been overseeing a strategic planning process that will guide the University in four areas: academic excellence and relevance, transformative and holistic student experience, vital Christian identity and purpose, and capacity development and operational effectiveness. In keeping with SPU's vision, he is committed to facilitating the University's active participation in helping to address the needs of the city of Seattle, the Pacific Northwest region, and the world.

Program accomplishments