The Pepperdine Way
The purpose of higher education is to develop and equip people of value and virtue who in turn create value and virtue in their communities, countries, and the rest of the world.
At Pepperdine University, we are a community committed to academic excellence, which demands integrity, develops critical thinking, and spurs intellectual exploration. We embrace faith as a fundamental part of the human experience. We are committed to character formation, which inspires selfless service and an appreciation for American values, and cultivates cultural humility.
We move students to go there—to embark on intellectual adventures, to pursue faith, to explore the world, to define their purpose, and to serve their neighbors, communities, their nation, and the world. We develop extraordinary leaders who possess the faith, character, courage, and creativity to go where they are needed to help build a flourishing society.
A Higher Purpose for Higher Education
For centuries, a college education has served a higher purpose—to educate, develop, and equip people with values and virtues that they can use to serve their communities, countries, and the world.
In an op-ed published in Newsweek, president Jim Gash provides his vision for higher education's higher purpose.
How We Go There
The power of a place and its beauty can ignite a sense of curiosity and adventure that leads to new beginnings.
The Path Begins
Forging your own path toward a fulfilling future begins with a single step.
A Teacher Is Timeless
Teachers make an indelible and impactful mark on students that is felt throughout their academic journey and beyond.
At Pepperdine, we believe the purpose of higher education is to develop and equip people of value and virtue who in turn create value and virtue in their communities, countries, and the rest of the world. We invite you to explore all the ways in which we do just that.
We Went There
On New Year's Eve, we placed a billboard ad in Times Square in New York City and sent a team to pose the question: “Why would anyone go to college?”
We received a wide range of responses. Many said college is important if you want to get a good job. Some said a college degree was a stepping stone to a higher degree needed for a career in medicine or the law. One mother did not see the value of college in preparing her teenage daughter to own her own business someday. A young man said he did not need to attend college to learn a trade that pays very well.
These are sobering and insightful perspectives. In his Op-Ed, President Gash addresses the state of higher education and provides his vision - A Higher Purpose for Higher Education.
We also posed this question in an online survey and on social media channels between Dec. 20, 2023, and Jan. 7, 2024.
At Pepperdine, we believe the purpose of higher education is to develop and equip people of value and virtue who in turn create value and virtue in their communities, countries, and the rest of the world. We invite you to explore all the ways in which we do just that. To learn more, visit the Pepperdine University website.
- Only 45% of respondents said that most colleges and universities adequately prepare students to lead successful lives.
- 65% said “most” and 16% said “few” colleges colleges and universities contribute to a healthy society.
- Only 45% of respondents said colleges and universities are “always” or “often” delivering on their promises to students.
- We asked respondents to select from a list, to identify what colleges and universities should do to prepare students to contribute to society.
- 40% selected “expose students to a diversity of ideas”
- 19% selected “help students discover their purpose”
- 16% selected “expose students to a diversity of cultures”
- 13% selected “cultivate an appreciation for First Amendment freedoms of religion, speech and assembly”
- 13% selected “cultivate a habit of serving others”