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Author Margarita Mooney to Lead Education Discussion

West Los Angeles Graduate Campus - Pepperdine UniversityMargarita Mooney, associate professor of congregational studies at Princeton Theological Seminary, will present “Can A Liberal Arts Education Survive in the Burnout Culture?” at the West Los Angeles Graduate Campus on Monday, January 28, at 5:30 PM.

Hosted by Pepperdine School of Public Policy, the discussion will explore how universities exist to preserve and expand knowledge, yet an education that is integrated with community life, contemplation, and culture furthers authentic and integral human freedom. Given changes in technology, debates about free speech, concerns about psychological well-being, and desires for diversity and inclusion, professors and administrators face increasing expectations from students, parents, and the larger society to expand their scope of activities well beyond the classroom. As a result, a return to a classical liberal arts education should be coupled with a transformative model of education that provides students with opportunities to reflect on their identities and commitments, and build strong friendships and communities needed for the knowledge acquired to be personally and socially transformative.

In examining these concepts, Mooney will address the questions "What is the purpose of a university?" and "What educational practices support the proper ends of education?"

Mooney is a scholar, author, educator, mentor, and public speaker with interests in integrating sociological, philosophical, and theological approaches to virtues and the common good. At Princeton Theological Seminary, she teaches classes on the philosophy of social science, religion and social theory, and intentional communities. 

In 2016 Mooney started Scala Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to reinvigorating classical liberal arts education and preserving the ideas and practices necessary to maintain a free society. The foundation’s reading groups, dinner seminars, and travel events emphasize hospitality and friendship, aiming to help students connect their intellectual development with character formation and generating transformative educational experiences and authentic friendships. 

She is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled Living a Broken Life, Beautifully that explores the religious lives of young adults who have experienced traumatic life events. Mooney's research has been funded by two grants from the John Templeton Foundation totaling more than $3 million.

To learn more about this event, and to register to attend, visit the School of Public Policy website.