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Program Description

Goals and Vision

View of the Malibu campus - Pepperdine University

COMMUNITAS has four specific goals:

  • To build early career pastors' organizational and civic leadership skills;
  • To acquaint early career pastors with the systemic causes and implications of such community challenges in the greater Los Angeles area as poverty, health care, mental health education, and environmental issues, to name a few;
  • To enable early career pastors to develop support networks with other pastors as well as with important business and civic leaders and policymakers in the greater Los Angeles area; and
  • To develop a network of younger congregational leaders who will be equipped to engage these important issues practically and theologically and who can share their knowledge and expertise with other faith and civic communities in our area.

Our vision is to utilize the expertise and research of Pepperdine faculty and their established connections to civic leaders and advocates to build a network of pastors who will continue to exchange ideas and best practices after participation in the leadership program. Additionally, we envision these graduates of the program as mentors to younger pastors beginning their careers.

Meeting Information

Gull's Way Patio - Pepperdine University

COMMUNITAS will bring together a cohort of early career pastors (i.e., in the pastorate from 5-12 years) from the greater Los Angeles area for a series of brief retreat-seminars spaced out over a two-year period  beginning in November 2019 and ending in March 2021. These sessions will utilize Pepperdine faculty and staff who have particular expertise related to the topic under discussion and/or a relationship with the selected business and community leaders from the greater Los Angeles area to engage in direct conversation with these young leaders.

The first meeting of each two-year series will be a three-day, two-night session (Monday
afternoon-Wednesday afternoon) focused on orienting pastors to the program itself, building
community among the program participants, and familiarizing participants with concepts related to organizational and community leadership and change. Most other sessions will begin on Tuesday mornings and end on Wednesday afternoons, with each session devoted to a particular social issue that is important and relevant to the community (final session will begin on Monday evening). The program also includes a 5-day, 4-night trip to Washington, D.C. in July 2020 to examine issues of national and international importance.

Accommodations and Meals

The retreat-seminars will be held at the Villa Graziadio Executive Center on Pepperdine's Malibu
campus, situated in a tranquil setting at the highest point of the campus with both mountain and
ocean views. This full-service executive conference center provides the perfect setting for study,
reflection, conversation, and community building.

Villa Graziadio Executive Center - Pepperdine University

All participants will have a private room with queen bed. All session meals and accommodations travel to Washington D.C. are free of charge, thanks to a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Villa Graziadio Executive Center bedroom - Pepperdine University