Preacher. Missionary. Teacher. Evangelist. These were the intended professions of the 13 graduating seniors in Seattle Pacific College’s class of 1924. In 2014, more than 1,200 students earned their undergraduate and graduate degrees from what is now Seattle Pacific University. They will become clergy, businesspeople, engineers, psychologists, authors, medical researchers, educators and professionals in every field — and help meet the needs of people around the world.
Throughout its history, SPU’s vision has remained constant: to equip graduates who will use their education in service to others. This was the driving purpose of the group of Free Methodist pioneers who founded Seattle Pacific in 1891, and it is the university’s purpose today.
This holistic approach to education drew Jaymes Lackey (’14) to enroll at Seattle Pacific Seminary. “The professors didn’t let us stay in the ivory tower of academia,” he says. The program is academically rigorous, and focuses on intentional Christian community, discipleship, urban and global multicultural experience, and service.
Jaymes was involved in small groups with other seminary students, had professors and a local pastor as his mentors, brought his wife and children to a regular dinner with faculty and students, traveled to Central America, and interned at Seattle’s First Free Methodist Church for two years.
“Seattle Pacific Seminary strengthened my love for the local church as something that brings hope and healing to communities,” says Jaymes. Now he is planting a Free Methodist church in Thermalito, California, where he grew up. “There is a lot of brokenness here. We hope to get to know the people around us, go on a journey with them, and be a church presence in their lives.”
For Jaymes and other graduate and undergraduate students, an SPU education offers unique advantages. Academic programs are complemented by rich opportunities for learning, working and serving in the city of Seattle. Professors are not only scholars, but also mentors and role models. Students, faculty and staff thrive in a diverse and close-knit community that values learning, dialogue and an active Christian faith.
With a degree from Seattle Pacific, graduates such as Jaymes go out to serve communities in every area of the globe. From this place, they influence the world for good.