Bible Lectures History

Anchored in the Past, Committed to the Future

The Pepperdine University Bible Lectures were established by George Pepperdine and W. B. West in January 1943. They were modeled after similar programs at ACU, Lipscomb, and Harding universities.

Throughout the years of the 1940s, this significant annual forum grew in popularity, but the early 1950s saw a decline in attendance, and no program was scheduled for 1957.

The Bible Lectures took on new life with the arrival of M. Norvel Young and J. P. Sanders in the fall of 1957. By 1961, the keynote lecture program had to be moved to the Shrine Auditorium to accommodate the large numbers of people who wanted to attend. In the following years, the huge Los Angeles Sports Arena became the scene for the largest evening lectures. When Pepperdine moved to its new campus in Malibu in 1972, there was a renewal of interest in the Bible Lectures. Since that time, the lectures have grown in interest and popularity every year.

As Pepperdine University moves forward into the future, it is fully committed to pursuing the very highest academic standards within a context which celebrates and extends the spiritual and ethical ideals of the Christian faith.

The Office of Church Relations is persuaded that 25 years from now, when Pepperdine celebrates a century of Bible Lectures, this annual series will continue to be a stimulating forum for the renewal and restoration of New Testament Christianity.


Past Event Themes 

Year Annual Themes Directors Keynote Lecturers
1943 The Church in the 20th Century W. B. West, Jr. C. R. Nichol
1944 The Adequacy of the New Testament Church W. B. West, Jr. L. S. White
1945 The Church in These Times W. B. West, Jr. Hugh Tiner
1946 Urgent Problems Facing the Postwar Church W. B. West, Jr. P. D. Wilmeth
1947 The Educational Program of the Local Church W. B. West, Jr. Jesse P. Sewell
1948 The Christian Home W. B. West, Jr. Harvey Scott
1949 The Church and Sound Doctrine W. B. West, Jr. J. E. Wainwright
1950 The Church Today W. B. West, Jr. A. R. Holton
1951 The Work of the Church W. B. West, Jr. M. Norvel Young
1952 Changeless Values in a Changing World Joseph W. White Reuel Lemmons
1953 Be Ye Doers of the Word and Not Hearers Only Joseph W. White Burton Coffman
1954 Teaching them to Observe All Things Joseph W. White S. H. Hall
1955 Fellowship in Good Works Joseph W. White Marshall Keeble
1956 Honor to Whom Honor is Due Joseph W. White E. W. McMillan
1957 (No Lecture Program) (No Lecture Program)
1958 God Challenges You Joseph W. White John Banister
1959 Stewardship Rex Johnston J. Harold Thomas
1960 Developing the Christ-Centered Life Rex Johnston A. R. Holton
1961 Sharing Christ with All the World Rex Johnston Don H. Morris
1962 The Strategy for Spiritual Freedom Rex Johnston Ira North
1963 Christ Our Contemporary William Banowsky Batsell Barrett Baxter
1964 Declaring God's Good News Jack Scott Frank Pack
1965 New Testament Christianity: The Message for Modern Man Jack Scott George Bailey
1966 Victorious Living Today Don Gardner Carl Spain
1967 Focus on Faith in Action Don Gardner William Banowsky
1968 Accent on Concern: These Things Concern the Christian Don Gardner Jack Evans
1969 A Search for Understanding Don Gardner Ira North
1970 And Now Abideth Hope Don Gardner Juan Monroy
1971 For Such a Time as This Syd Wyatt R. N. Hogan
1972 God's Work in Our Day Silas Shotwell Humphrey Foutz
1973 Inside/Outside: Evangelism Through Renewal Tony Ash Stuart Love
1974 Simply Yes or No: Christian Integrity Tony Ash Prentice Meador
1975 From Death to Life: The New Man Tony Ash Carl Mitchell
1976 Abounding in the Work of the Lord: A Study in Philippians Carl Mitchell William Banowsky
1977 Heritage and Destiny: A Study of the Restoration Movement Carl Mitchell Reuel Lemmons
1978 The Faith Once For All Delivered to the Saints William Banowsky Ira North
1979 It's Great to Be a Christian Carl Mitchell Marvin Phillips
1980 For Such a Time as This Carl Mitchell R. N. Hogan
1981 The Magnificence of Christ: Great Themes From Colossians Mike Armour Landon Saunders
1982 Light, Life and Love: The Ministry of Jesus in John Mike Armour Juan Monroy
1983 That We Might Live: Great Themes from the Epistle to Titus Jerry Rushford Gary Beauchamp
1984 God's Eternal Purpose: Great Themes from the Epistle to the Ephesians Jerry Rushford Harold Hazelip
1985 Jesus Christ is the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever (Hebrews) Jerry Rushford David Davenport
1986 God of Grace and God of Glory: Great Themes from the Book of Isaiah Jerry Rushford Doug Parsons
1987 Triumph of the Good News: The Book of Acts for the 21st Century Jerry Rushford Jerry Rushford
1988 Thine is the Kingdom: Great Themes from the Gospel of Matthew Jerry Rushford Landon Saunders
1989 Deliverance: Great Themes from the Book of Exodus Jerry Rushford Mike Cope
1990 Remember Jesus Christ: Great Themes from the Letter of II Timothy Jerry Rushford Randy Mayeux
1991 Strangers in the World: Great Themes from the Letter of I Peter Jerry Rushford Harold Shank
1992 A God So Near: Great Themes from the Book of Deuteronomy Jerry Rushford Lynn Anderson
1993 Tell Me the Story: Great Themes from the Gospel of Mark Jerry Rushford Max Lucado
1994 Crucified With Christ: The Gospel of Grace in Galatians Jerry Rushford Rick Atchley
1995 Eternal Truth From An Upper Room (John 13–17) Jerry Rushford Rubel Shelly
1996 Out Of the Whirlwind: Great Themes from the Book of Job Jerry Rushford Jeff Walling
1997 The Imitation of Christ: Great Themes from Philippians Jerry Rushford John O. York
1998 Another King, Another Kingdom: Great Themes from Luke Jerry Rushford Tim Woodroof
1999 I Lift Up My Soul: Communing With God Through the Psalms Jerry Rushford Jim McGuiggan
2000 The Gravity of Grace: Great Themes from the Letter to the Romans Jerry Rushford Mark Henderson
2001 Shaped by the Cross: Great Themes from I Corinthians Jerry Rushford Jack Reese
2002 Christ and New Creation: Great Themes from II Corinthians Jerry Rushford Randy Harris
2003 Embracing the Call of God: Great Themes from Genesis Jerry Rushford Rick Marrs
2004 The Mystery of Godliness: Great Themes from 1 Timothy Jerry Rushford Mark Love
2005 Lifted Up: Great Themes from John 18-21 Jerry Rushford David Fleer
2006 Life Together: The Heart of Love & Fellowship in 1 John Jerry Rushford Tim Spivey
2007 Hear the Word of the Lord: Jeremiah's Call to Renewal Jerry Rushford Glenn Pemberton
2008 The Upside-Down Kingdom: Living the Sermon on the Mount Jerry Rushford Don McLaughlin
2009 The Lord of Creation: The Preeminence of Christ in Colossians Jerry Rushford Monte Cox
2010 The Hero of the Story: The Book of Acts Revisited Jerry Rushford Shon Smith
2011 God's Unchanging Faithfulness (Psalms) Jerry Rushford Chris Smith
2012 Living Between the Times (Lifted Up by Hope in Romans 5-8) Jerry Rushford Jonathan Storment
2013 Can I Get a Witness? Faithfully Following the Lamb in Revelation Mike Cope Rich Little
2014 Enter the Water, Come to the Feast Mike Cope Chris Seidman
2015 Faithworks (James) Mike Cope Josh Ross
2016 Cruciformed: Living in the Light of the Jesus Story Mike Cope N.T. Wright
2017 Spiritual Rhythms: Scrolls for Robust Salvation Mike Cope Rick Marrs
2018 The Spirit-Filled People of God Mike Cope Rick Atchley