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Pepperdine University

D'Esta Love, Chaplain Emerita

D’Esta Love
email: dlove@pepperdine.edu



Master of Divinity, Pepperdine University, 2003
MA, English, Abilene Christian University
BA, English, Portland State University

Professional Experience

2001-present:  University Chaplain Emerita, Pepperdine University
2001-present:  Adjunct Professor of Religion, Pepperdine
1989-2001:  Dean of Students
1984-1989:  Director, Career Development Center, Pepperdine
1983-1984:  Manager, Personnel, Ahmanson Insurance Company
1979-2001:  Adjunct Professor of Humanities, Pepperdine

Courses Taught at Pepperdine University

Religion 102, History of Early Christianity
Religion 549, Christian Marriage in a Changing World
Religion 612, Women in the Early Church and Today
Religion 530, Vocation, Theological Reflection and Spiritual Development
GSRE 199, Freshman Seminar—Literature of Faith and Reason
Humanities 118, Introduction to English Literature
English 111, English Composition
English 112, Writing about Literature


Dedication of the Loves’ Music Room in Florence, Italy, Pepperdine villa, 2009
James A. Garfield Award for Community Service, presented to Stuart and D’Esta Love by Emmanuel School of Religion, May 21, 2006.
Christian Service Award presented to Stuart and D’Esta Love, Pepperdine, 2004
Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, 2003
2001 Seaver College Yearbook dedicated to Stuart and D’Esta Love
1996 Seaver College Yearbook dedicated to Stuart and D’Esta Love
Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, Columbia Christian Schools, 1995
Freshman Seminar Teacher of the Year, 1994

Special Assignments and Task Forces

Director, Pepperdine Voyage Project, funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment for the theological exploration of vocation, Pepperdine University, 2005-2006.

Appointed to the Board of Directors for www.gal328.org a website devoted to issues of gender justice in Churches of Christ.

Associate Director, Pepperdine Voyage Project, funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment for a theological exploration of vocation, Pepperdine University, 2001-2005.

Visiting faculty family, Pepperdine’s international programs: Heidelberg, Germany 2001-2002.

National Advisory Council, Center for Faith and Learning, Pepperdine University, 2000-present.

Member, steering committee for the purpose of obtaining a $2,000,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment for the theological exploration of vocation at Pepperdine University, 2000-2001.

Advanced Irvine Fellow’s Workshop for enhancing cultural enrichment, University of Washington, 2000.

Visiting faculty family, Pepperdine’s international program: Florence, Italy, Summer 2000.

“Faith is Our Fortune,” University Task Force on Spiritual Development, Appointed by University Provost, Steven L. Lemley, Mark Davis, Chair, 1997.

“Opportunities for Liberal Learning in the Twenty-first Century,” Blue Ribbon Commission on Liberal Learning in the Twenty-First Century, appointed by University president, David Davenport, chair, W. David Baird, 1997.

Accreditation visitation team member for accreditation with the American Academy of Liberal Education for Baylor University, 1995.

Visiting faculty family, Pepperdine’s International Programs: Florence, Italy, Summer 1995.

Member of the President’s Commission to review and study the role of women in public worship settings at Pepperdine University, with recommendations for change, 1992.

Chosen as an Irvine Fellow, summer workshop for enhancing cultural enrichment throughout the curriculum and the co-curriculum, 1993.

Administrative liaison to the Religious Standards Committee of the Board of Regents, Pepperdine University, 1990-1994.

Chosen as one of the Pepperdine representatives to attend the ACT Summer Study for Administrators of Academic/Career Advising, Iowa City, Iowa, 1987.


Co-editor with Stuart Love, Leaven Journal, a journal for ministry for churches of the Restoration Heritage, published by the Religion Division of Pepperdine University.


D’Esta Love, “My Mother’s Prayers,” in 40 Days of Praying Jesus’ Prayer, ed. Thomas Mackey, Union Christian Foundation, 2008. 

D’Esta Love, “A Call to Courage,” in Preaching John’s Gospel: The World it Imagines, eds. David Fleer and Dave Bland, Chalice Press, 2008.

D’Esta Love, “He Leadeth Me,” Trusting Women, the way of Women in Churches of Christ, ed. Billie Silvie, New Leaf Publishing, 2002.

D’Esta Love, John, Light in the Darkness, Hillcrest Publishing, 2001.

Stuart, Mark and D’Esta Love, Good News for Marriage, DMS Communications, 1987.


D’Esta Love, “Does All Flesh Mean Me?” Leaven Journal, “Your Sons and Your Daughters Shall Prophesy,” edited by D’Esta Love, vol 1 (2008).

D’Esta Love, “Seeking God’s Peace: A Taizé Service,” Leaven Journal, “Missions,” edited by Sonny Guild, vol. 15, (2007), 159-164.

D’Esta Love, “Seeking and Finding: Incarnational Ministry in John’s Gospel” Leaven Journal, “Ministry in John,” edited by Stuart Love, Vol. 14 (2006).

D’Esta Love, “What Can I do for You?” Leaven Journal, “Favorite Texts for Ministry,” co-edited by Lynn Anderson and D’Esta Love, Vol. 13 (2005).

D’Esta Love, “Why am I Afraid?” Leaven Journal, a special issue on “Women and Ministry,” Vol. 4 (1996), 4-6. Also published in Integrity, 2000.

D’Esta Love, “Mary, A Model for Ministry,” Leaven Journal, Vol. 6 (1998), 123-27.

D’Esta Love, “A Well, a Water Jar, and a Journey of Divine Intent: Reflections on John 4,” Leaven Journal, Vol. 3 (1995), 4-9.

Miscellaneous articles published in a variety of Christian magazines: 20th Century Christian, Power for Today, Christian Woman Magazine, Mission Magazine, and Integrity.

Lecture Series and Speaking Engagements

Rochester College Sermon Seminar, Rochester, MI. First woman to preach at the annual sermon seminar. “A Call to Courage,” June 21, 2007.

Baccalaureate Service, Pepperdine University, Seaver College, Firestone Fieldhouse, “What Can I do for You?” April 27, 2007. The first woman to preach at a Seaver College Baccalaureate service.

Stone-Campbell Symposium, Northwest Christian College, Eugene, Oregon. Preached at the symposium’s worship service held at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Eugene, “Your Sons and Your Daughters Shall Prophesy,” March 2007.

New Wineskins Retreat: A Retreat for Renewal among African American Church of Christ preachers, Pepperdine University, “A Theology of Submission,” July, 2006

Baccalaureate Communion Service, Emmanuel School of Religion, Communion Meditation, May 21, 2006.

Abilene Christian University Annual Bible Lectureship, three lectures, “God in the Neighborhood: Incarnational Ministry in John’s Gospel,” 2006

Conference for Women in Ministry, “Embracing the Call,” Pepperdine University, 2005. Directed the conference and preached at the inaugural worship service for the first annual conference for women in ministry in Churches of Christ..

Pepperdine University Annual Bible Lectures, one of five papers presented for the Leaven Symposium to be published in Leaven Journal, “What are you Looking For?: Ministry Themes in John’s Gospel,” 2005.

Pepperdine University, Heritage Series, “Vocation and the Pepperdine Voyage,” presented to freshmen, 2004, 2005.

Cascade College, Elder-Link (training seminar for church leaders co-sponsored by Cascade and Abilene Christian University) taught two sessions: “Sacred Journeys/Spiritual Identity,” 2003, 2004.

Messiah College, Theological Exploration of Vocation, co-presenter with Paul Contino, “Faith and Learning at Pepperdine.” 2004.

Pepperdine University Faculty Conference, co-presenter with Paul Contino, “Faith and Learning at Pepperdine,” 2004.

Abilene Christian University Annual Bible Lectures, three-day class, “Metaphor and Theme is John’s Gospel,” 2004.

Pepperdine University Annual Bible Lectures, three-day class, “Spiritual Identity:  Responding to the Call of God,” 2004.

Pepperdine University Annual Bible Lectures, co-chaired Leaven Colloquium on Ministry:  1995, 1996,1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004.

Pepperdine University Annual Bible Lectures, two-day class, “Inhabiting the World of the Text: Reading Scripture in Three Dimensions,” Mark Love, co-teacher, 2003.

Abilene Christian University Annual Bible Lectures, three-day class, “Touching the Fringe of His Garment:  Gender and Family in Matthew’s Gospel,” Stuart Love, co-teacher, 2003.

La Sierra University Colloquium, faculty orientation, “Faith and Learning Integration in the Co-Curriculum,” 2002.

Abilene Christian University, Elderlink, Dallas, Texas, “Called to the Service of God:  Hearing the Voice of Vocation,” 2002; Portland, Oregon, 2003.

Pepperdine University Annual Bible Lectures, three-day class, “We Beheld his Glory:  Studies in the Gospel of John,” 2001.

Rochester College Bible Lectures, three-day class and panel, “John’s Gospel,” 2001.

Abilene Christian University Lectureship, three-day class, “New Songs for a New Day: The Birth Narratives of Luke’s Gospel,” 2000.

North American Christian Convention, Kansas City, three-day workshop: “Lasting Promises:  A Model for Permanence in Marriage,” Stuart Love, co-teacher, 1998.

Staff Ministries, Inc., 8th Annual Strengthening the African-American Family Conference, “Racism, Its Impact and Spiritual Resolution for the African-American Family, “ Dallas, Texas, workshop:  “Speaking the Truth in Love:  Communication and Conflict Resolution,” Stuart Love, co-teacher, 1997.

Pepperdine University Annual Lectureship, Featured Speaker, Associate Women of Pepperdine Dinner, “What Language Can I Borrow?” 1997.

Pepperdine University Annual Lectureship, three-day class, “Luke’s Treatment of Women:  Luke/Acts,” Stuart Love, co-teacher, 1991.

York College, Christian College Dean’s Conference, “Servant Leadership:  A Model of Leadership for Student Affairs,” 1991.

Columbia Christian College, Annual Bible Lectureship, three-day class, “The Therapy of Love:  A Study of Hosea,” 1990.

Frequent speaker at women’s retreats, marriage seminars, and church lecture series.

University Committee Assignments

University Management Committee
University Space Committee
University Budget Committee
International Programs Advisory Council
Seaver Administrative Team
Seaver College Sexual Assault Task Force
Emergency Operations Command
Convocation Committee
University Worship Committee