News and Events
Spiritual Discernment Retreat Investigates "Why Work?"
Over Halloween weekend, the Pepperdine University Chaplain's Office and the Center for Faith and Learning sponsored 35 Seaver College juniors and seniors to attend a spiritual discernment retreat in Santa Barbara, California. The theme of the fall retreat was "Why Work? Discerning Your Place in God's Plan to Mend the Universe."
"The goal of these annual retreats is to help our students gain spiritual depth and discernment in their lives," says Stephanie Cupp, executive assistant for the Chaplain's Office and the Center for Faith and Learning.
This year's retreat was only open to juniors and seniors due to the relevance of the topic to their lives as they approach graduation. The keynote speaker was Phil Kenneson, professor of theology and philosophy at Milligan College in Tennessee.
Kenneson is the author of Life on the Vine: Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit in Christian Community, co-author of Selling Out the Church: The Dangers of Church Marketing with James Street, and contributor to Beyond Sectarianism: Re-Imagining Church and World. He earned his doctorate in theology and ethics at Duke University, with a minor in religion and culture and 19th century philosophy.
"The retreat left a deep impression in me," says David Marzban, Seaver College senior. "Phil Kenneson, the key speaker at the retreat, addressed simple, profound questions. Why work? How can we find fulfillment in work? What are the attitudes of world-changers in the workplace? I felt inspired."
This retreat was a first for Marzban, who decided to go based on the topic. "It addressed work as one of God's plans to mend the universe. This was important to me. With graduation soon approaching, I wanted to develop a sound, Christ-centered, purpose-driven perspective for my career," he says.
The retreat also aimed to strengthen connections between students. "During our small groups, we addressed a lot of personal concerns about our careers and life 'in the real world,'" Marzban says. "We had a lot of fun together, especially on Halloween night while watching Millions, a movie by the same director of Slumdog Millionaire, as well as snacking on popcorn and sipping hot cocoa. Though, to me, this was more than a time to hang out with friends."
For more information on spiritual life at Pepperdine University, visit www.pepperdine.edu/chaplain.