President Benton

From the President

Over the past several years I have enjoyed choosing a different translation of the Bible and reading it as I would a history book. I read early in the morning, annotating passages as I go, and I take notes to compare with previous notes to see if new words and phrasing help my understanding of often very challenging topics.

Recently in my studies, I found very interesting the names by which the early Christian church was known. For example, early Christians in the New Testament were sometimes known as those who "belong to the Way" or who were "followers of the Way." Christ also said "He is the way to the Father." In another passage, it is made clear that "the way God has called us is challenging and, by implication... the path is not a mere hobby, but a total way of life."

As I look back on my time as president, I have often pondered our own way. What are our characteristics, our manners, our habits—our means for attaining a goal? Has our way upheld the sacred promise of this institution? Does it stay true to our heritage while embracing an uncompromising spirit of inquiry?

Pepperdine is an extraordinary place because we have chosen an uncommon path in Christian higher education; indeed, we have chosen a third way into the future. We are called at this place to equip students for dual citizenship, both in God's kingdom and in civil society. We claim adherence to not just academic excellence—strong by any standard but a common pursuit for any academy—nor to mere distinction born of our heritage of faith. Instead our journey follows the third way, standing proudly at the intersection of scholarship, faith, and culture, and embracing all with determination.

In my final year as president, and with the looming sense of change as we prepare for new leadership, my prayer is for us to continue finding our way—our unusual, special, unique way—together. May we engage one another in all things with civility, with care, and with love, always with love. In doing so, we will stand proudly and faithfully in support of our way—the third way—one worthy of our highest devotion and deeply reflective of our loving God.


Andrew K. Benton signature

President and CEO