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Pepperdine University

CrossWays: A Christian Youth Leadership Experience

July 19 - 27, 2024

Accepting applications through March 15th!

For more information, please email crossways@pepperdine.edu.

Made possible by Pepperdine University, donors, and the Lilly Endowment Inc.


 What is CrossWays?

CrossWays is a life-transforming, nine-day experience at Pepperdine University for high school students in the summer after their sophomore and junior years. The goal of CrossWays is to enrich students' lives both spiritually and academically in order to develop strong Christian leaders by equipping them to love and live like Jesus in order to serve and lead as he did.

 What will I learn?

Students will reflect with and learn from some of Pepperdine's finest professors, Christian university students, and well-known guest speakers. Along with classroom experiences and interactive group activities, participants will write a personal statement of faith and develop a Life Map as they become more aware of their giftedness. This process will help students reflect on their past, their current situation, and begin to think critically about upcoming decisions.

CrossWays will also offer students opportunities to practice what they are learning. Pepperdine's location offers exciting opportunities for students to engage Southern California's diverse population and fast-paced secular culture. Through visiting organizations that serve the city's homeless, students will learn to live, love, serve, and lead like Jesus.

 Why should I attend?

CrossWays will enrich the lives of the students as relationships are developed through fun and challenging group activities. Lasting friendships with key Pepperdine personnel as well as current Pepperdine students will benefit them as they move into their college years. Most of all, they will meet peers from all over the country, learning together what it means to live, love, serve, and lead like Jesus.

 How much does it cost?

Thanks to a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., the total cost for all nine days of CrossWays is only $250. This covers all your expenses once you arrive on campus including housing, food, and ground transportation. This fee does not cover transportation to and from Pepperdine, but if you fly to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), we will arrange for a shuttle to bring you here for a minimal fee.

 Who are the directors?

Jeff Walling

Jeff serves as the director of the Youth Leadership Initiative at Pepperdine. He is a nationally recognized public speaker who addresses over 65,000 teens each year throughout the world. Before coming to Pepperdine, Jeff served churches in Orange County, California for over 20 years, followed by serving as the preaching minister of the Providence Road Church of Christ in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jeff and his wife Cathryn, live on campus at Pepperdine and have three grown sons.

Zac Luben

Zac has served in youth ministry for over eight years at the Culver Palms Church of Christ as the Youth and Family Minister in Los Angeles. Currently, Zac serves at the Associate Chaplin for Pepperdine University. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, he has graduated twice from Pepperdine with both his B.A. in Religion and his Master of Divinity. In 2006, he married his beautiful wife Christina, and they have a 5-year old, Jude!


Stauffer Chapel - Pepperdine University

Lift up your voice in praise while worshipping inside Pepperdine's beautiful Stauffer Chapel.

Students attending a lecture - Pepperdine University

Learn from qualified Pepperdine professors and get a taste of what life is like in a college classroom.

Lecture at the beach - Pepperdine University
Beach Trip

Soak up the sun at one of our famous Malibu beaches!

Hike to the Cross - Pepperdine University
Hike to the Cross

Take the challenge of hiking to the cross above Pepperdine's campus. The trails in the Santa Monica Mountains provide panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Malibu coast.

Students on the lawn - Pepperdine University
Life Map

Discover your vocational calling as you work through your Life Map. You will reflect on your past, present, future, and giftedness through spiritual disciplines and small group discussions.

CrossWays speakers - Pepperdine University
Guest Speakers

Hear from renowned guests speakers as they explain how faith plays a role in their professional lives. The topics will cover diverse fields such as music, film, law, education, and ministry.

Los Angeles skyline
Service Project

Spend a day in Downtown Los Angeles serving at a local non-profit. Far from the glamor of Hollywood, there are great opportunities to serve the underprivileged and share Christ's love.

Hollywood sign
Hollywood Movie Night

Watch a movie in the city where movies are made! Try to find your favorite celebrity's star as you stroll down the Walk of Fame.


Current Pepperdine Students

Are you a current Pepperdine student and want to get involved with CrossWays? Apply by March 1, 2024 to serve as a counselor!