About the College

Our mission, vision and values.

Michael Ng teaches history class


As educators committed to Jesuit and Catholic traditions, we in the College of Arts and Sciences provide students with an excellent holistic education in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and professional disciplines to develop and nurture a vision for a more just and humane world. 

As leaders in education in the Western United States, the College of Arts and Sciences will foster (a) Jesuit and Catholic liberal education in arts, humanities, social sciences, and innovative interdisciplinary programs; (b) a community of active learning, teaching, and research/scholarship/creative work among its faculty, students, alumni, and staff; (c) a model of service learning and preparation for local, national, and global civic engagement.

Community of Learners

We care about our students and their ability to learn, both individually and in groups, how to dialogue within and across disciplines and how to collaborate with one another and faculty in research/scholarship.

Academic Excellence

We nurture a spirit of challenge so students will demonstrate proficiency in their major field, an understanding of the perspectives of others, an ability to reflect on issues, and eloquence in communication.

Creative and Critical Thinking

We instill a passion for the habits of inquiry, problem-solving, creative imagination, and a lifelong search for truth.

Global Concern

We are deeply committed to active engagement with issues of diversity, social and environmental justice, and global harmony.

Jesuit Tradition

We foster in each student the Jesuit intellectual, spiritual and societal tradition, including a faith that promotes justice, engages culture, embraces inter-religious and ecumenical dialogue, and works for the reconciliation of peoples.

Leadership and Teamwork

We inspire and instruct students to gain the team and leadership skills needed to convert goals into action for the common good.

We work to hire, retain, and promote outstanding faculty and staff who are dedicated to the Mission of Seattle University and the College of Arts and Sciences in their teaching, scholarship, and service.

As a community of scholar-educators who teach the great majority of courses in the Core Curriculum, we are committed to the liberating education of all undergraduates through the humanities, fine arts, social sciences, philosophy, theology, and interdisciplinary programs.  Thus we are engaged in helping students demonstrate competence in four areas: (1)  foundational knowledge and methods in the Core disciplines;  (2) a habit of critical inquiry;  (3) reflection on their learning, values, and ultimate questions; (4) preparation for a life as ethical global citizens working for a more just and humane world.  Once they have completed the Core, our students will show that they understand the Jesuit and Catholic perspective and other traditions with regard to questions of meaning, spirituality, ethics, and justice.  They will also be able to communicate effectively through writing, speaking, and visual media.  Finally, they will be globally engaged in thought and action from an informed perspective on local, national, and international issues, including a global perspective on environmental sustainability.

As scholar-educators in the liberal and professional disciplines for students in their major, we work to employ active and reflective teaching/learning methods.  Using these methods, students can pursue and evaluate knowledge in these majors by means of habits of inquiry, research, critical thinking, problem solving, and persuasive expression.  We try to work with students in small, interactive classes, where we show individual care of students and a variety of methods of group learning. 

As teachers of graduate students in a range of fields, we assist them to gain the professional competence, ethical values, and confidence they will need to enter their vocational choices.   In accord with the university mission, we provide courses in ethics and spirituality that form professionals who are motivated to work for the common good of others and society in all fields and in civic life. 

As teachers in the Jesuit tradition of higher education, we study all cultures and societies with full academic freedom, with the appropriate inclusion of the Catholic intellectual tradition.  This tradition includes habits of contemplation and service to the community; the promotion of effective teaching and the support of scholarship and creative work; and an understanding of both religious belief and reason as ways of knowing.  In addition, the Jesuit and Catholic traditions includes a study of social responsibility and the common good, a sense of wonder at the beauty and complexity of creation, a sense of finding the divine in the human, meaning in history, and God in all things.

As scholar-educators based in a university, we are committed to making major contributions of research, scholarship, and creative works both within and across the disciplines.  We are leaders in innovation for the greater good of humankind and the world in which we live.  We are also committed to engaging our students in these efforts as fully as possible, enhancing their educational experience by bringing them to the cutting edge of knowledge and creativity in their fields of interest.