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Pepperdine University

Office for Community Belonging

In 2 Timothy 1:7, the Greek word for God’s power is δύναμις or Dunamis. Guided by love for all members of the Pepperdine community, discernment of the Holy Spirit, and receptiveness to Dunamis, the Office for Community Belonging (OCB) facilitates the creation of fertile ground in which all Pepperdine community members know they belong and can reach the levels of spiritual, intellectual, and professional development that God has planned for them.

Our Mission

Pepperdine’s Office for Community Belonging connects, supports, and equips our faculty, staff, and students as they create and sustain a unified Pepperdine community.

Our Vision

Pepperdine’s Office for Community Belonging connects local and global stakeholders as it invokes and embraces Dunamis (the power of God) to serve the world as leading thinkers and practitioners unifying God’s diverse humanity through the integration of faith, leadership, and organizational development.

Our Approach

Our philosophy of intervention is Appreciative Inquiry.  We engage all University stakeholders and leverage Pepperdine’s myriad strengths and resources to unify our community in its varied pursuits of excellence. Our operating definition of belonging is the state of being one experiences when Ubuntic Inclusion is put into practice.
We aim to infuse care, communication, connection, mentoring and coaching, fairness, trust, visibility and reward, and positive experiences of belonging into every interaction, strategy, process, practice, structure, and space in each of our locations for every faculty, staff, contractor, guest, and student at Pepperdine.


Meet the Team


Jaye Goosby Smith

J. Goosby Smith

Vice President for Community Belonging and Chief Diversity Officer

Read Smith's Full Bio

April Harris Akinloye

April Harris Akinloye ('00, MA '05)

Assistant Vice President for Community Belonging

Read Akinloye's Full Bio