Seattle Pacific Seminary

Seattle Pacific University was founded in 1891 by Free Methodist pioneers who valued a non-sectarian approach to education that welcomed all those seeking scholarly excellence rooted in the Christian gospel, and who sought to take the gospel into the world in order to bring about the flourishing of God’s children. SPU’s current president is Dr. Daniel J. Martin.

Mission:  Seattle Pacific University is a Christian university fully committed to engaging the culture and changing the world by graduating people of competence and character, becoming people of wisdom, and modeling grace-filled community.


J.J. Johnson Leese teaches the University Foundations courses in Christian Scripture and Christian Formation. For the past 10 years, J.J. has been as an international educator teaching biblical studies in India and Hong Kong. Her vocational passion is for teaching and guiding the spiritual and intellectual faith of young people. J.J. has experience teaching in multiple cross-cultural settings, having led student groups to India, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, China, and the Philippines. She has taught introductory and advanced Biblical Studies courses in three countries and at three different academic levels, having most recently taught at the graduate level at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Sha Tin, Hong Kong.

Dr. Johnson Leese’s research interests focus on the New Testament documents with special attention given to the Pauline letters. Her dissertation research focuses on the implications of Paul’s “New Creation” theology, extending to how it may inform Christian ecological challenges facing the Church today. Her broader scholarly interests include hermeneutics, New Testament origins and context, the gospels, Second Temple Judaism, Greek language and exegesis, Women in the Bible, Eco-theological readings of the Bible, and biblical themes in contemporary film.

Education: Mdiv, Fuller Theological Seminary,1995; MST, Concordia Seminary, 2002; PhD, University of Durham. 2014. At SPU since 2012.