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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

COMMUNITAS: Cohort Three

Theme Tower at sunset - Pepperdine University

Gary Mangiofico - Pepperdine University

Organizational and Community Development and Leadership

November 11-13, 2019
Dr. Gary Mangiofico, Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine University

As former Associate Dean of Fully Employed and Executive Programs and a Practitioner Faculty of Organizational Theory and Management, Dr. Mangiofico brings more than 20 years of experience leading strategic development, operations management and integration, and turnaround operations solving complex challenges as a CEO, COO, and as a general management executive for both start-ups and Fortune 50 companies.


Anthony Collatos - Pepperdine University

Education and the Future of Our Community

January 28-29, 2020
Dr. Anthony Collatos, Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Pepperdine University

Teaching in the master of arts in education program at GSEP, Dr. Collatos' research involves the Futures Project, an eight-year longitudinal study that looked at creating alternative pathways for first-generation urban youth to more effectively navigate the K-16 educational pipeline. A former secondary social studies instructor, coach, and college access advisor for low-income youth, Dr Collatos is well-versed in issues related to the Los Angeles area school systems. 


Dr. Thema Bryant

Intimate Partner Violence, Addiction and Mental Health

March 24-25, 2020
Dr. Thema Bryant, Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Pepperdine University

Dr. Bryant-Davis' research expertise is in the cultural context of trauma, particularly child abuse, partner abuse, sexual assault, and the societal trauma of racism. She has received numerous awards for her work in this area of psychology and is author of the book "Thriving in the Wake of Trauma: A Multicultural Guide." March 24-25, 2020


The White House - Pepperdine University

Travel to Washington, DC

July 13-17, 2020

Staying at Pepperdine's facility on Pennsylvania Avenue, just up the street from the White House, cohort members will have the opportunity to engage national civic leaders, explore our capitol, and discuss how national policy affects the church and issues faced by the citizens of Los Angeles.



September 12, 2020

Pastors will have the opportunity to bring their families to the Malibu campus for a fun day of community, swimming, playing in the park and eating BBQ! 


Dr. Miguel Gallardo

Immigration and the Church

October 13-14, 2020
Dr. Miguel Gallardo, Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Pepperdine University

Dr. Gallardo is a Professor of Psychology and Director of Aliento, The Center for Latina/o Communities. He teaches courses on multicultural and social justice, intimate partner violence and professional practice issues. Dr. Gallardo's areas of scholarship and research interests include understanding the psychotherapy process when working with ethnocultural communities, particularly the Latina/o community and in understanding the processes by which individuals develop cultural awareness and responsiveness. Dr. Gallardo is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Gallardo served 6 years on a Governor appointed position on the California Board of Psychology.


Christopher Doran - Pepperdine University

Sustainability and Poverty

January 19-20, 2021
Dr. Christopher Doran, Seaver College, Pepperdine University

As a Professor of Religion at Pepperdine's Seaver College, Dr. Doran teaches courses related to Christianity and Sustainability, Christian Ethics and Theology and Science. Dr. Doran's interests lie in the Christian response to the ecological crisis and public policy related to environmental ethics. His recent book, Hope in the Age of Climate Change: Creation Care This Side of the Resurrection, addresses the need for Christian response and responsibility in light of our hope derived from the Resurrection.


Regan Schaffer - Pepperdine University

Navigating the World of Non-Profits

March 22-24, 2021
Dr. Regan Schaffer, Seaver College, Pepperdine University

Dr. Schaffer is Professor of Organizational Behavior and Management and Director of the Nonprofit Leadership Collaborative, which exists to prepare Pepperdine students for a life of service personally and professionally while strengthening the impact of the nonprofit sector in our community. She engages her students in community-based scholarship and has partnered with over 500 nonprofit organizations on collaborative projects. Her research interests include curriculum design and assessment, nonprofit management strategies, and leadership development.