Students in the law library


Some of the greatest minds and most prolific thinkers of all time have subscribed to the notion that wonder engenders wisdom. They believed that value is not only found in acquired knowledge, but in the active pursuit of life's greatest unknowns.

As an academic institution anchored by a resolute commitment to our spiritual heritage, questions of science, history, philosophy, and faith are alive and pervasive. We are often confronted with the tension between mystery and truth and, both in fellowship and quiet contemplation, enthusiastically invite the thoughtful and robust pursuit of the biggest questions. Still, we ask ourselves what it means for a Christian university to position itself between the biggest questions and the most profound answers.

As believers, our faith is rooted in the truth of the gospel while understanding that questions are not the enemy of conviction. God has gifted us the ability to reason, to reflect, to ponder, to consider, to question and question again. A critical part of our responsibility as stewards of knowledge is to empower and inspire students towards lifelong learning—and lifelong questioning. With these gifts, Pepperdine students may embrace their pioneering spirit as they are compelled to challenge age-old beliefs and discover intrepid new possibilities.


Theresa De Los Santos

THERESA DE LOS SANTOS ('01, MA '08) INSTILLS IN HER STUDENTS A PASSION FOR SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM— a news style that focuses on a major community issue, highlights groups that have already attempted to solve related problems, and addresses what they have accomplished so far.

"Solutions journalism is about digging a little bit deeper and criticizing public policy to ask, 'Is this the right solution for this particular issue?'" explains the Seaver College assistant professor of communication. "It's about showing audiences that there are a lot of current problems and a lot of work to be done, but you don't just leave the story there."

GSEP's Distinguished Lecture Series

NOTED SPEAKER, PROFESSOR, AUTHOR, AND ACTIVIST CORNEL WEST PRESENTED "JUSTICE MATTERS" at the annual Margaret J. Weber Distinguished Lecture Series hosted by the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP). The talk reinforced West's public mission "to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.—a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice."

"The variety of attendees—from students to clergy to social activists to curiosity seekers from all walks of life and all cultures—signaled an overwhelming desire to engage in meaningful discourse that promotes understanding and appreciation of a variety of social, cultural, religious, political, and artistic realities," said GSEP dean Helen Easterling Williams. "It is the responsibility of higher education to serve as a facilitator of such conversations, and it was GSEP's pleasure to meet this need."

6 Fulbright Scholarships in 2017

6: Number of students awarded Fulbright Scholarships in 2017.

58 total Fulbrights

58: Cumulative number of Fulbrights awarded

The State of Pastors

BARNA GROUP PARTNERED WITH PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY to present "The State of Pastors," a groundbreaking study, research report, and live event giving insight into the needs, challenges, and well-being of today's pastors. A leading research organization at the intersection of faith and culture, Barna drew from interviews with more than 10,000 pastors from 40 denominations across all 50 states to analyze aspects of pastoral life that, until now, were largely unexplored. The findings were discussed in depth at "The State of Pastors" live event at Pepperdine's Malibu campus in January.

"Barna Group and Pepperdine share a deep love and concern for America's pastors, who continue to play a significant role in the health and well-being of society," said Barna president David Kinnaman. "It's vital to understand how our church leaders are adapting spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and in other ways to the undeniable impact on their lives of a culture skeptical of Christianity."

Graziadio #1 faith-based MBA program in California

U.S. News & World Report ranks the Graziadio School of Business and Management the top faith-based MBA program in California.

Niall Ferguson

NIALL FERGUSON, THE FIRST-EVER GUEST SPEAKER OF THE INAUGURAL PATRICIA TAGLIAFERRI DEAN'S DISTINGUISHED LECTURE SERIES AT THE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY, examined the theme "Why Leaders of the Future Need to Study the Past: The Case for Applied History." At the event held in March, the Scottish historian and Harvard University professor made the compelling argument that domestic and international policy failures have been founded on a misreading—if not complete ignorance—of history. In agreement with the School of Public Policy philosophy of considering the array of the social sciences in formulating sustainable public policy, Ferguson challenged the audience to consider how leaders can "think historically" and whether the president should consult with a council of historical advisors when making decisions.