The story we share: Toward a unifying campus vision

"It’s taken me these first four weeks just to get comfortable with what’s going on here. I didn’t know other Christians could think this differently!”

I was sitting across the table from one of the students who help run our campus’s worship ministry. In this role he works with a group of 11 other students—people from Christian faith traditions representing a spectrum of convictions on doctrinal and social issues. This student wanted to talk about ways his religious convictions had been challenged since he’d arrived at school.

Seattle Pacific is a Christian university of over 4,200 students; most of the undergraduate students are women, and 32 percent are ethnic minority students. We’re an open enrollment school: we have no faith statement to sign and no expectations about religious practice. Yet over 80 percent of our undergraduates claim a strong personal Christian faith. Although their faith orientations tend toward mainstream evangelicalism, the students come from more than 50 different denominations. Because of our nonsectarian approach to Chris­tian education, we attract students who are conservative to progressive, Protestant to Catholic to Orthodox.