“The 25th year anniversary hope is a year of celebration and playfulness as well as a year of remembering, memorializing, and marking.”
–President J. Derek McNeil, Convocation 2023.

As we are celebrating 25 years, we are looking back to look ahead. We are remembering, memorializing, and marking. We are celebrating stories. Below is a visual representation of 25 milestones from the story of The Seattle School. To read a brief narrative of these last 25 years visit the Intersections blog. To learn more about our 25-year anniversary, including upcoming celebrations and events as well as what we hope and imagine as we look ahead, visit the 25-year homepage.

25 Year Narrative25 Year Home

  1. 2022

    Looking into the future, The Seattle School expanded the Master of Arts in Theology & Culture into three degrees: MATC: Community Development, MATC: The Arts, and MATC: Ministry.
  2. 2021

    The Resilient Leaders Project team began in 2017 and has impacted hundreds of ministry leaders as it has developed. Supported by grant funding, the team’s research and work with leaders’ resilience and team formation grew into the foundation of Center for Transforming Engagement, launched in 2021 to equip adaptive leaders with tools from the social sciences to lead communities of faith, hope, and love.
  3. 2021

    In September 2021, The Seattle School officially launched the first low-residency cohorts.
  4. 2020

    Director of Institutional Assessment and Library Services Cheryl Goodwin, President and Provost J. Derek McNeil, and Associate Dean of Teaching & Learning Misty Anne Winzenried (left to right) were all smiles after hearing that the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) would grant The Seattle School accreditation.
  5. 2019

    Dr. J. Derek McNeil stepped in to serve as interim President in March 2019 and then was voted in by the Board of Trustees in October 2019, becoming the fourth President. He had first served on the Board of Trustees in 2009 and then joined the school as Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs in 2010.
  6. 2018

    Dr. Craig Detweiler served as President from 2018-2019.
  7. 2017

    On October 18, 2017 faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees, donors, and distinguished guests gathered to decommission and send The Seattle School’s second President, Dr. Keith Anderson, and his wife, Wendy.
  8. 2014

    The “&” was officially incorporated into our name in 2014 although the symbol was immediately adopted internally, emphasizing our culture of inclusion and interdisciplinary thought.
  9. 2013

    The Association of Theological Schools Commission of Accrediting voted to grant full accreditation for seven years, the longest period allowed for initial accreditation. Staff celebrated this good news!
  10. 2013

    In 2013, the school created the Master of Arts in Theology & Culture (MATC), offering a formational education at the intersection of theology, psychology, and culture.
  11. 2011

    In 2011, The Seattle School founded the Allender Center to steward the legacy of Dan Allender and the narrative-focused work of healing for individuals, families, and communities. The founding team is pictured here at a celebratory dinner. [Photo credit: Becky Allender]
  12. 2011

    After much discourse, the Board of Trustees voted to change the name of Mars Hill Graduate School to The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology in 2011.
  13. 2009

    Dr. Keith Anderson, who had joined the school as a dean and faculty member a few years earlier, stepped into the role of President. At his inauguration, the sextant became the official symbol of the presidency, “a symbol of leadership that looks ahead, to read that which is to come and to see what helps to guide the ship to its destination”.
  14. 2007

    In 2007 Mars Hill Graduate School acquired The Other Journal which had been independently founded in 2003 by alumni. In 2019, Fuller Theological Seminary gifted the journal Christ & Cascadia which then became the second publication housed at The Seattle School.
  15. 2007

    In January 2007, classes began at the new home of The Seattle School, a campus now known as “the red brick building” in Belltown, an area of the city along the Salish Sea waterfront just north of the downtown corridor, a building that was a former luggage factory and fish cannery, on land where the Duwamish people had once lived.
  16. 2006

    Our scholarship deepened through the work and expansion of our faculty, through the continued development and evolution of our degree programs including the enhancement of the MDiv program through an additional grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.
  17. 2005

    Each year the school hosts theological leaders and thinkers for a lecture series in memory of Stanley Grenz, a passionate professor with a pastoral heart and deep intellectual presence, who passed away in 2005.
  18. 2005

    Additional space was rented in Bothell for a prayer chapel. Soon the community rhythm of the nine noon three chimes began each day, reminding us, disrupting us, and calling us together.
  19. 2004

    The first time Convocation took place at St Mark’s was in 2004.
  20. 2002

    The library grew extensively thanks to our staff and a grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.
  21. 2002

    Dr. Dan Allender became the first President of Mars Hill Graduate School.
  22. 2002

    After an incubation period, the school launched in 2002 as an independent institution named Mars Hill Graduate School (MHGS).
  23. 2002

    In 2002, student leadership selected Henri Matisse’s La Danse painting as a symbol of who the Spirit was calling us to become, “a diverse community struggling to learn, labor, love, and serve together” and the beauty and brokenness as we dance with God and each other and the world.
  24. 1999

    The first class graduated in 1999.
  25. 1997

    What we know today as The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology offered its first classes under the auspices of Western Seminary in the fall of 1997 at a location in Bothell, Washington, a suburb of Seattle.
  26. 1997

    The story of The Seattle School started with dreamers gathered around kitchen tables and living rooms envisioning new training and education at the intersection of theology, psychology, and culture. Pictured here are Dan Allender, Don Hudson, and Liam Atchison. Some of the other founders include Kim Hutchins, Christie Lynk, Heather Webb, and Kirk Webb. [photo credit: Becky Allender].