Alumnae Pilgrims

October 22nd, 2014 § 0

English-major alums Amanda Keithley, Hillary Morris, and Lainey Pereboom have just finished their pilgrimage. For 33 days and 500 miles, they walked the “Camino”—the pilgrimage road from France to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, an endpoint for spiritual seekers since the Middle Ages.  Over 250,000 people will have walked the Camino this year alone.

Each alumna had her own reason for becoming a pilgrim, but all were seeking discernment about the next stages in their lives and careers. Amanda writes about completing the pilgrimage:

 I have found that arriving in Santiago was less about the cathedral and more about the people you walked with on the Camino every day. It was the journey, not the destination, that I found sacred and beautiful. It was in the people I met and the friends who became family, and not in any individual spiritual experience, that I saw the love of God. On the Camino, there are the people you walk with every day  and those you meet at an albergue or on the path and see again and again when you least expect to in towns and places neither of you has ever been. The way that people weave in  and out of each other’s lives on the Camino in unexpected and surprising ways is why the Camino is known for mysteriously bringing people together. We have built a Camino family by just wandering into each other’s lives. I’m not sure exactly how I have been changed by these people, but I do know that their presence in my life has given me hope and shown me great love that people of all backgrounds and cultures can share.

Amanda will accompany Lainey, Hillary, and their friend Bri, also an SPU alumna, on a month more of European travel. We wish them well and safe travels!

Study Abroad in Spain & Morocco, September 2015

October 16th, 2014 § 0

Are you interested in travelling to Spain and Morocco for study abroad next September?

This Global Seminar takes you to an Islamic Palace, the most visited site in all of Spain, known as the al-Hambra. In Spain, we watch whirling Flamenco dancers, eat tapas, visit the Cathedral of Isabella de Catolica, stay in homestays in the lovely city of Granada.

Even while touring three of the most famous cities in Spain and taking in art at the famous museum, the Prado, our conception of the region will be challenged by an intriguing novel called Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, which explores how illegal immigrants from Morocco experience Spain.

Crossing the Straits of Gibraltar by boat, we will then explore the connections between Spain and Morocco from the Moorish cities of Tangier, Meknes, and Marrakesh. We will stay overnight at the lovely ocean-side town of Asilah, in order to ride camels on the beach and wander in the markets. In Morocco, we will read about Islamic women and their experiences when crossing to the Western world. To top it off, we visit the Moorish baths, the souqs, the house of an imam, the tomb of Ismael Moulay, and take a horse-drawn carriage through the ancient sites.

Our third novel draws us into the city life and political tensions of Arab Spring, in a page turning, thriller about a young man, trapped in a scheme as a suicide bomber, and trying to get out! The city of Marrakesh will be explored on foot as we see snake charmers, live monkeys, market hustlers, dancers, and acrobats in the famous city square.

It is an unforgettable trip, which will challenge your ideas about Europe and the Islamic world, even as you are immersed in its wonders.

The deadline for this Sept 1-21, 2015 program is coming winter quarter! There is a Spain Morocco info session on November 11 at noon, and the application is due February 1, 2015. Or contact Dr Kimberly Segall right away to have coffee and discuss the possibility(!

It is Upper Division English credit, Exploratory Curriculum Humanities B, Ways of Engaging, and elective credit for the Reconciliation Studies, Women’s Studies, and Global Development minors.

Study Abroad in Rome, Summer 2015

October 16th, 2014 § 0

Art & Incarnation: Rome

Art and Incarnation is an interdisciplinary study abroad program designed for SPU students interested in art, literature, and creative writing. Students share daily field trips to places of artistic, literary, or historic interest (e.g. early Christian house churches, museums, the Coliseum, etc.), then gather for separate afternoon seminars tailored to each discipline.  Evenings and weekends are free to explore the city on your own, travel to nearby cities, or accompany professors on guided city walks to fun places off the beaten track (the Roman flea market!  Gelato crawls! etc.).

Where: Rome, Italy, from approx. June 26-July 21, 2015 (approx.

 Courses, Credits and Attributions:

Students enrolled in the literature and creative writing portion of the program will earn 10 credits toward the English major or minor in Creative Writing and/or Literature. Each course will meet WE and W requirements.

ENG 4953:  Writing Rome (5 credits) No Prerequisites

In this class students explore techniques of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction inspired by the city of Rome.  Daily writing assignments, tailored group excursions, along with the study of literary works set in Rome, provide an interdisciplinary, studio-art approach to the craft of writing.  In afternoon peer review workshops students will share their creative reflections on the Eternal City, critiquing their own work and that of other “colleague apprentices” by providing targeted feedback and suggestions for revision.   Attributes: W/WE credit.  This course may substitute for Imaginative Writing (English 2215), or for any of the intermediate or advanced genre workshops in the creative writing track.

ENG 4954:  The Eternal City in Art and Literature (5 credits) No Prerequisites

In this course students explore the theme of “Art and Incarnation” through the intensive study of literary works set in Rome and produced by writers from the classic to contemporary age.  In addition to exploring the city through daily onsite classes held in conjunction with art history scholars, students will analyze how Rome functions as both a character and a catalyst in works by a variety of authors, including Ovid, Keats, James, Wharton, Auden and Tennessee Williams, and explore how knowledge of Rome’s vital place in literary history may, in turn, inform their own critical, creative, and spiritual reflections on the Eternal City.


Students stay in Trastevere, the medieval “old town” section of Rome–now the hip, “bohemian” quarter–and an easy walk to most major attractions. Student apartment lodgings include kitchen facilities.

Applications due by February 1. Stay tuned for in person info sessions beginning in November!

For more information, please contact Professor Jennifer Maier ( or the Study Abroad Office.

Image Journal Event

October 12th, 2014 § 0

Join Image Journal for a free concert with Sam Rocha!
He’ll play music from his new album of Augustinian soul music,
Late to Love.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
7:45 pm
Seattle Pacific University Art Center
3 West Cremona
Seattle, WA 98109
Free dessert, CDs for sale
Even if you dislike Christian music –especially if you dislike Christian music–you need to give Sam Rocha’s Late to Love a listen. Because this album is that wished-for unicorn–thoughtful and lyrically rich, but also, dare we say, fun. Catchy. Both meditative and danceable. Which, upon further thought, is exactly what you’d hope for from an album inspired by the thought of St. Augustine.
It’s described by its recording label, Wiseblood Records, as “an original concept album that performs a reading of Augustine’s Confessions through soul music.” Rocha is uniquely positioned to do justice to the album’s philosophical underpinnings: he’s a professor of the philosophy of education at the University of British Columbia, and you can find his eponymous blog on Patheos, where he explores everything from the works of David Bentley Hart to Downton Abbey with insight and wit. He cites a broad list of musical forebears as well: Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles, Gil Scott Heron, T-Bone Walker. Don’t be late to this one!

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, call (206) 281-2988

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