Saying goodbye: These professors helped define the SPU experience
Four Seattle Pacific faculty members will retire this spring, representing a cumulative total of 102 years of service to the University.
Reed Davis, PhD
Professor of Political Science | 32 Years
Dr. Reed Davis came to SPU in 1989 after serving for three years as chief of staff and research fellow at the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.
Shortly after his arrival at SPU, Reed launched the Augustinian Fellowship, a summer study abroad program in Honfleur and St. Maximin, France, which he directed for 22 years. The program was a logical extension of Reed’s interest in French intellectual history: he is the author of A Politics of Understanding: The International Thought of Raymond Aron, and several peer-reviewed publications dedicated to the work of French philosopher Raymond Aron. He has also published in La Revue Réformée, a journal associated with the Faculté Jean Calvin in Aix-en-provence, and is one of only two American authors invited to contribute a chapter on Aron to a book published by a new generation of French scholars, The International Thinking of Raymond Aron.
Reed was also active for a decade in state and local politics, serving as chair of the King County Republican Party from 1994 to 2002 and running for the United States Senate in 2004. In addition to his political interests, he served on the board of directors for American Financial Solutions, a debt consolidation company, from 2013 to 2020. He currently sits on the board of Solar Solutions, a nonprofit that installs solar power panels in central Peru.
Though Reed enjoyed the administrative responsibilities that went with his tenure as department chair from 2006 to 2014, what drew him to higher education was the opportunity to teach. He was a four-time finalist for Teacher of the Year and was named Ivy Honorary Professor of the Year in 2011. He has been grateful for the opportunities SPU has afforded him to share his exploration of Christian political philosophy with so many students over the years, and for SPU’s academic research support that allowed him to publish his studies of Christian political thinkers, most notably Kenneth W. Thompson and Reinhold Niebuhr.
Reed was a member of Maple Valley Presbyterian Church from 1989 to 2015, serving two terms as an elder and teaching Sunday school.
Christine Hoyle, DNP, ARNP, FNP-BC
Associate Professor of Nursing; Associate Dean for Graduate Programs | 7 Years
When Dr. Christine Hoyle began her role at SPU, she brought 34 years of experience and expertise in nursing practice to her role as associate dean of graduate programs for Nursing. As a family nurse practitioner, she had provided primary care to a diverse, multiethnic, low-income, and homeless population with complex medical, mental health, and social needs. In addition, Christine had a depth of experience as a nurse educator, with 23 years of teaching experience at the University of Washington.
Shortly after her arrival in January 2015, it became clear she would be integral in the development and implementation of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Under her leadership, the SPU Nursing graduate programs are considered among the best in the region. She has cultivated faculty members who are clinical experts and devoted to teaching. Christine has made it her goal to help facilitate a rewarding graduate educational journey for her students as they gain knowledge and skills to become the next generation of nursing leaders.Christine’s scope of services to the community has included remaining in clinical practice one day a week at the International Community Health Services clinic in Shoreline, where she continues to serve and care for the underserved families in the community.
Christine has been active in the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, the only organization specifically devoted to promoting high-quality nurse practitioner education. Upon her retirement, Christine looks forward to spending more time with her family and grandchildren. We are sure she also will give back to the nursing community through her nurse practitioner practice, teaching, and other volunteer roles.
Upon her retirement, Christine looks forward to spending more time with her family and grandchildren. We are sure she also will give back to the nursing community through her nurse practitioner practice, teaching, and other volunteer roles.
Rod Stiling, ThM, PhD
Associate Professor and Chair of History | 20 Years
Dr. Rod Stiling’s deep care for the SPU community has shone through his achievements the past 20 years. His relational approach to teaching, service, and leadership demonstrates his commitment to love his neighbors as himself.
Rod’s innovative history courses on Christian theology and science have attracted students across campus, particularly Honors students, whom he has taught over most of his two decades at Seattle Pacific.
Rod was voted Professor of the Year in 2006 and has earned other awards, including “Top Professor.” Not only has he diligently guided students through the sophisticated thought of such scientific giants as Galileo, Darwin, and Einstein, but he has done so in ways that encourage students to think deeply about their Christian faith. These efforts have been aided through Rod’s own scholarship and publications in his field.
Outside the classroom, Rod has also devoted himself to students: he has genially advised the History Club for years and enthusiastically cheered on Falcon sports teams, musical productions, and theatrical performances.
His gracious service has also extended throughout the broader SPU community. Rod has contributed to search committees and more, including the heralded and daunting task of serving as Faculty Senate chair. For the past five years, Rod has generously chaired the History Department. His tenure has been characterized by his warm pastoral demeanor and genuine encouragement for all.
Captain Rodney Stiling also deserves recognition for his years of service in the U.S. Navy, his countless hours of leadership and service at Bethany Community Church, and his enduring commitment to his beloved Ruth and their family.
Robert W. Wall,ThD
Paul T. Walls Professor of Scripture and Wesleyan Studies | 43 Years
The Rev. Dr. Robert Wall began teaching in the School of Theology (then the School of Religion) in 1978. During his 43 years at SPU, he chaired the Department of Scripture, created the Community Bible Study course, wrote the School of Theology’s standards for teaching and scholarship, helped write the University’s Faith Statement, and served three three-year terms on the Faculty Status Committee. Rob was named Paul T. Walls Professor of Scripture and Wesleyan Studies in 2006.
A Seattle native, Rob was educated at Valparaiso University (BA), Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM, ThD), and Perkins School of Theology (additional graduate study). He is an ordained elder in the Free Methodist Church and enjoys an active ecumenical ministry of preaching and teaching adult Bible studies in congregations of various faith traditions.
Rob has worked out his calling through his four decades of teaching, research, and service at SPU. He centers his calling on teaching, which he describes as “introducing theological reading of the Bible as a sacred and holy text.” His theological interpretation of scripture emanates through a distinctively Wesleyan lens. This ecclesial approach to theological interpretation animates his research agenda, his service to the University, and his detailed focus on student learning. A self-confessed “intuitive” teacher, Rob continually monitors and adjusts lectures and assignments in his courses. He has mentored many undergraduate and seminary students, preparing them for further graduate studies.
The body of Rob’s published work is extraordinary, not only in the range of subjects covered, but also in the depth of research devoted to each subject and in the principle that energizes all of it — namely, that biblical interpretation and theological reflection be in service of the classroom and the church, not only the professional guild. In fact, while Rob is a leading New Testament scholar (as evidenced by his membership in the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas and his presidency of the Wesleyan Theological Society), he is one of just a few biblical professors known for both their commitment to Christian faith and their contributions to the academy. He is the author of 15 books and dozens of articles.
As the Paul T. Walls chairholder, Rob’s service extended to the larger community of Seattle, providing a rich resource of understanding of Wesleyan approaches to theology, the church, and the scripture, both through the annual Walls lectures and through his writing.