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CrossWays: Frequently Asked Questions

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 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 has served in youth ministry for over eight years, most recently as the Youth and Family Minister at the Culver Palms Church of Christ in Los Angeles before joining Pepperdine in 2021 as the associate chaplain for partners. Now, he serves as the Director od Student Convication. 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 son.

When is CrossWays?
CrossWays starts Friday afternoon,  July 19 and ends on Saturday morning,  July 27.

Can anyone attend CrossWays?
High school students who will have completed their sophomore or junior year may apply to attend. Only 96 students will be admitted due to space restrictions. Participants will be chosen from those who have applied by the March 1 deadline.

What do I have to do to attend CrossWays?
The application process includes three parts. You must: 1) fill out the application form, 2) watch the "Walking the Way of the Cross" video and write a 300 word video response essay, and 3) submit a 1-minute video introduction of yourself explaining why you want to come to CrossWays.

The application deadline is March 1. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

When will I find out if I'm accepted?
Students who are admitted to CrossWays will be notified by April 1.

Will I be able to leave or arrive early?
Unless it is an emergency, every participant is expected to stay for the entire experience.

Will my parents or friends be able to visit during the nine days?
There will be an opening event on Friday evening and closing ceremony on Saturday that will be open to family and friends.

Where will I stay?
You will stay in one of our awesome Resident Houses during the week. Your bedding and linens will be provided.
To learn more visit Pepperdine's Housing and Residence Life page and view the residence hall tours below:
Seaver College Girl's Dorm Tour
Seaver College Guy's Dorm Tour

How much does it cost?
The $250 fee covers all your expenses once you arrive on campus including housing, food, and ground transportation during the nine-days of CrossWays. The fee does not cover transportation to and from Pepperdine.

Do I have to pay for my flight and transportation to Pepperdine?
Yes, each participant will need to arrange their transportation to and from Pepperdine. For those flying to LAX, we will provide a Pepperdine shuttle to campus.

Who are the student counselors?
Our CrossWays counselors are Christian students currently attending Pepperdine who have been selected by CrossWays staff based upon their strong commitment to Christ and leadership qualities.

Who should I contact in case of an emergency?
Parents and others can reach the CrossWays staff and get messages to students at 310.506.4270.