A Christian University
What is a Christian university?
At the heart of every institution of higher education is an investigation of knowledge, wisdom, and truth, the pursuit of which ensures a holistic exposure to topics that expand and nurture both the mind and spirit. Christian colleges and Christian universities provide an added advantage: the integration of Christian principles with traditional academic fields.
In a Christian college learning environment, students have the unique opportunity to explore how faith influences work, learning, and personal development. As their knowledge expands, students grow in their faith as they discover how Christian values inform their scholarship.
These spiritual developments are further enhanced outside the Christian college curriculum through a variety of on-campus events, cocurricular activities, and community service projects. Christian college students complete a predetermined number of convocation credits, earned through attending weekly chapel services, mentorship from the school's spiritual guidance counselors, and involvement in student-led focus groups that closely examine the Bible and discuss its teachings.
At a Christian university such as Pepperdine, cutting-edge, original scholarship and classroom teaching are developed and delivered within a framework of Christian beliefs and values. As a Church of Christ university, these values are derived from both our religious heritage and the deep commitment to nurturing and growing our own religious values.
The impact of a Christian university on student life:
1. How does Pepperdine impact student life?
As a Christian university, Pepperdine University is an environment that is as conducive to personal connection as it is to higher learning. Our diverse community of undergraduate and graduate students make the most of the Pepperdine experience by participating in student organizations, volunteer initiatives, spiritual opportunities, and campus activities unique to each of our five schools.
2. How does Pepperdine prepare students to improve the world?
Our student life provides rich opportunities for personal growth and cultural development. Pepperdine students find a meaningful and lasting community at our stunning Malibu location, and our proximity to Los Angeles, one of the world's most vibrant cities, provides access to engage in conversations that shape a global world.
3. How does Pepperdine prepare students for their future?
The 21st century presents colleges with unprecedented challenges and opportunities, and demands that we think carefully and strategically about how best to educate the young minds and hearts that will be called upon to address and resolve long-standing difficulties and issues not yet conceived. Christian colleges must not only educate minds to handle these challenges, but also educate hearts to make solid ethical choices that benefit society and human life.
At Pepperdine University, we remain convinced that the best education for these challenging times is the traditional liberal arts education that emphasizes the fundamental skills of critical reading and mathematical analysis, interdisciplinary thinking, coherent writing and speaking, and ethical sensitivity. The traditional liberal arts curriculum engages the soul and the mind, while exposing students to the best thinking and analysis of the past and present.
The liberal arts curriculum at Pepperdine combines our Christian college courses with our major degree programs. This empowers our students to receive an academic and faith-based education that is simultaneously broad and yet appropriately specialized to their particular interests.
As a Christian university, we aspire to produce graduates who are passionate about how their education can be used to benefit others and to make our world a better place for all.
4. How does Pepperdine housing impact students?
Undergraduate Student Housing
At Seaver College, spiritual life and campus life are thoughtfully intertwined. The Pepperdine Housing and Residence Life office strives to enhance the learning experience by fostering a safe, caring, respectful, and dynamic on-campus community.
Spiritual life advisors (SLAs) in every Pepperdine residential building offer support and encouragement along the way. SLAs play a vital role within the living areas by fostering an environment that encourages spiritual growth through building relationships, caring for students, and being available to meet their needs.
The purpose of SLAs is to be the hands and feet of Christ in the residential community and to share his love. They provide Pepperdine dorms with a more accessible pastoral presence, and promote Christ-centered spiritual growth in residential living areas of Pepperdine University. They seek to enter into the lives of those who live around them in formal and informal ways, and provide loving and caring spiritual support for all those in their immediate living community.
SLAs work as a team with RAs and other student leaders, and coordinate weekly group Bible studies, accountability groups, and prayer groups. SLAs also lead their living area in various community service projects throughout the year.
Graduate Student Housing
Graduate students may reside in private housing or in University apartments on campus. In the Drescher Graduate Campus apartments, each resident has his or her own bedroom in a four-bedroom apartment. The on-campus experience offers Pepperdine students both convenience and a sense of community, providing the opportunity for additional interactions with faculty, as well as academic, social, and spiritual growth.
5. Are there opportunities for service? What is Waves of Service?
Whether you are a student or an alumnus seeking ways to help others, Waves of Service can help you take the next step forward. Waves of Service is a program that unites a community of people who love what they do and feel that it matters.
Waves of Service is a community of students, family, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the University who are inspired by our heritage and our founder's faith and vision. George Pepperdine envisioned an institution that would transform students' lives so that they would, in turn, impact culture. He imaged a vast body of alumni—men and women conscious of their good fortune, recipients of the generous gift of a Christian education—who would feel the moral imperative to serve others sacrificially.
Because we have freely received this rich heritage, we believe that each and every one of us is called to have a life of purpose by serving others.
Students and alumni can help serve others through the Pepperdine Volunteer Center (PVC), a University-wide center that hosts an array of community engagement and service-learning projects. The PVC offers a variety of service opportunities, such as Jumpstart, Step Forward Day, and Project Serve.
What sets Pepperdine apart from other Christian universities?
Pepperdine University is a Christian university that strengthens students for lives of purpose, service, and leadership through experiential learning opportunities that combine faith, inquiry, and reason. Our extraordinary community nurtures the heart, soul, and mind by integrating rigorous academic study with meaningful fellowship, worship, and community volunteerism.
Christian values, firmly rooted in the Church of Christ heritage, are at the heart of Pepperdine University's academic endeavors. We encourage our students to explore how faith influences vocation, learning, and personal growth through a vast variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, recognized as among the best in higher education and designed to promote core values of integrity, stewardship, and compassion.
The Pepperdine University Department of Athletics is committed to Christian values, the academic well-being of all our student-athletes, and competing for championships. We prepare students for success by challenging them to think differently—to find their purpose, serve others, and lead by example.
The Competing With Purpose campaign, which launched in fall 2013, highlights the commitment to our core values that student-athletes, coaches, and staff dedicate themselves to daily. Competing With Purpose provides the foundation on which champions are built.
Diversity and Inclusivity
Pepperdine University promotes an "open table" campus and community atmosphere, where open-mindedness is encouraged and inclusivity is embraced.
From our senior leadership team, to our professional administrative staff, to our distinguished faculty, we welcome students from all ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds, and invite every member of our community to take a seat at our "open table."
How does our Christian mission impact our five schools?
I. Seaver College
As a Christian college tied to Churches of Christ, Seaver College offers degree programs that affirm how Christian perspectives might inform both written and creative scholarship and classroom teaching.
A commitment to Christian beliefs related to the origin, nature, and destiny of humanity permeates the Christian college curriculum at Seaver, where religious studies and worship services are integral elements of the campus life experience. At Seaver College, spiritual life and campus life are thoughtfully intertwined. In addition to unique opportunities like beachside Surf Convo and Surf Chapel, as well as God in the Wilderness retreats, undergraduates find inspiration in weekly convocation and academic courses taken through the college's Religion and Philosophy Division.
II. Caruso School of Law
The Christian principles at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law emphasize special concern for instilling in students the highest values of professional, ethical, and moral responsibility.
It is the philosophy of the School of Law that attorneys best serve the interests of their clients when they possess a genuine commitment to exemplary standards of personal conduct and professional responsibility. Therefore, the school conveys to its students the knowledge of how to employ the law, as well as an awareness of the responsibilities to society that accompany the power inherent in that knowledge.
III. Graziadio Business School
The mission of the George L. Graziadio Business School is to train moral leaders and advance responsible business practice through education that is entrepreneurial in spirit, ethical in focus, and global in orientation. As a professional school developed out of the tradition of a Christian University, the Graziadio School seeks to positively impact organizations and communities in which our students and alumni are members.
Offering MBA, part-time MBA, EMBA, JD/MBA, PKE, MBAJ, BS/MBA, BS/BSM, and a variety of master of science programs, including a master's in organization development and a master's in applied finance, the Graziadio School promotes successful management that combines collective good with individual profit, and affirms a higher purpose for business practices than the exclusive pursuit of shareholder wealth.
IV. Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Through a master's in education, master's in psychology, and master's in teaching, among other programs, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology promotes spiritual formation for the sake of serving those in need, and encourages its students, faculty, and staff to view their work as sacred work, regardless of where or when that work might be carried out. From a Christian perspective, a life of purpose inspires service, and service develops leadership skills.
As a Christian university, Pepperdine GSEP prepares students to assume leadership positions from which they become agents of change and influence the fields of education and mental health. This preparation for leadership is grounded in humility and recognition of the God-given dignity and worth of all those we serve.
V. School of Public Policy
The distinctive core curriculum of the master of public policy and JD/MPP degree programs at the School of Public Policy is designed to provide a foundation that is steeped in the University's unique perspective that the formation, evaluation, and practice of public policy is a sacred calling devoted to service at the most profound level.
Outside the classroom, SPP public events—such as the "Moral Sense in Politics and Policy" lecture series—expand and enrich traditional academic concepts of public policy by inviting leading thinkers, practitioners, and theologians to discuss the dynamic and vital intersection of faith and the public square.
Additionally, the SPP Christianity and Public Policy student organization is dedicated to the practical application of the Christian faith in the public square through deliberation, examination of biblical and other literary text, community involvement, and fellowship.