Investing in ministers is investing in community – ministers serve their communities selflessly their whole lives. 

The terms of the endowment: “This endowment provides scholarships for American-born African American Seattle Pacific Seminary students, who demonstrate confidence in their call to pastoral ministry, and who are called to minister to largely African American or multicultural settings, and who are recommended by the Dean of the School of Theology with the aim of helping encourage and grow African American leadership in the church.”

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The Endowment Honors Richard B. Steele: For more about Professor Steele, see his bio on the SPU website. What the website won’t tell you about is the extraordinary, selfless care he has faithfully extended to all of his students over a distinguished teaching career and that this career has its roots at the Milwaukee Theological Institute, which was founded in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement to provide ministerial training for inner city folks. As he describes it, at this institute, “a high-powered academic “class” could turn into a “prayer meeting” at the drop of a hat…and turn back into an academic class again just as quickly.” Dr. Steele’s research focuses on ministering to people with disabilities and also on civil rights, what he terms “prisoners of conscience” who have changed society with their vision and passion.

Dr. Steele’s instructional and mentorly practice destabilizes the industrial model of higher education, – in fact SPU at its best does this as a whole through a Christian focus that respects all identities and religions and strives for grace and harmony amidst diversity.  


Dr. Steele’s ministry in caring for his daughter, Sarah (1984-2017), alongside his wife, Marilyn (pictured above), perfected his compassionate ministerial abilities. To read more about Sarah and to donate to an organization that helps people with her illness, click here


SPU’s School of Theology – deeply invested in racial justice: Click here for the SPU School of Theology’s statement on their commitment to racial justice.

How do I donate? (Online – Please read all directions carefully): Donations can be made  online through the SPU website by clicking on the following link to the SPU Giving Page: https://give.spu.edu/sslpage.aspx. Once on the page you will be asked to specify that for which you are donating.

The endowment is entitled the Richard B. Steele Compassion Seminary Scholarship for African Americans, but merely typing “Richard Steele Endowment” will do. MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS BY CLICKING “OTHER” FROM THE “DESIGNATION” DROP DOWN BOX AND THEN TYPING IN RICHARD STEELE ENDOWMENT IN THE BLANK.  Please specify that the funds are working toward that end as you make your donation and thank you so much for even considering making a contribution.

How do I donate? (By mail): You are also welcome to donate by check through the mail by writing a check to Seattle Pacific University and writing “Richard Steele Endowment” in the memo line. Please mail the check to the following address:

Director of Advancement (Maribeth Lopit)
Seattle Pacific University
3307 Third Ave. W., Ste 304
Seattle, WA 98119-1957

Thank you so much!!!!!

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Erin Michael Grimm and her friend Minister Sharon K. Brown at a fundraiser at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship in Renton, Washington.