Office of Church Relations
Vice President, Public Affairs and Church Relations
Rick Gibson is the Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President for Public Affairs and Church Relations at Pepperdine University. He joined Pepperdine in 1997.
Rick leads Pepperdine's efforts to elevate the brand and reputation of the University. He works directly with President Benton to shape the University's vision, interprets it for various audiences, and provides message leadership through integrated marketing strategies.
Prior to joining the University, Rick served, for eleven years, as a minister at the Mission Viejo Church of Christ, in south Orange County, CA.
Rick received his BA from Long Beach State University in 1987 and his MBA from Pepperdine University in 2009.
He is married to Agnes and father to Emily, a senior at Pepperdine, and Abby, a senior at Malibu High School.
DIrector, Ministry Outreach
Mike Cope was a minister for 27 years, preaching at Pine Valley Church of Christ in Wilmington, North Carolina (1982-84), College Church of Christ in Searcy, Arkansas (84-91), and Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas (1991-2009).
Mike is the author of five books, including 2011's Megan's Secrets, and edited Wineskins magazine for 12 years. He also edited 21st Century Christian for 5 years, working with Helen and Norvel Young when they were the senior editors. He started a blog in 2003, www.preachermike.com, that has received over 4 million hits.
He recently accepted the position of Director of Ministry Outreach for Pepperdine University, is an adjunct professor at ACU (teaching classes of 300 university freshmen each semester), and is the president of a nonprofit ministry focused on reaching young people called "What Really Matters."
In 1994, the Copes lost their daughter, Megan, who was ten. Their journey of loss and joy-amid-grief has sharpened their interest in those things that ultimately matter in life.
He coached little league baseball and basketball for 15 years. He enjoys triathlons (having completed a half ironman in September, 2011), playing with his granddaughters, and searching for the ultimate guacamole recipe.
Mike and his wife, Diane, live in Abilene, Texas, and have been married 33 years. They have two children: Matt, a physician, and Chris, a ministry major at Abilene Christian University. Matt and his wife, Jenna, have two daughters.
Joella was raised in Empangeni, South Africa, a daughter of missionary parents, Jerry and Kay Hayes. After their return to Abilene, Texas, she attended Abilene Christian University and received her Bachelor of Business Administration in 1996. Joella's prior experience includes: serving as Director of Community Relations for The Community House in Birmingham, Michigan, and serving as Director of University Communications at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. Her husband, Jacob, was a youth minister for 13 years prior to their move to California in 2007. They live in Agoura Hills with their three daughters and worship with the Conejo Valley Church of Christ.
Manager, Church Relations
Associated Women for Pepperdine
Tami and her husband, Jack, worship with the Conejo Valley Church of Christ where Jack has served as the Youth Minister for 20 years. They have a daughter and two sons.