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Seaver students participating at Step Forward Day

Community Engagement and Service

Community Engagement and Service is a branch of the Hub for Spiritual Life that focuses on providing students with opportunities to serve in the local community surrounding Pepperdine and beyond. A central tenet of Pepperdine’s mission is that “knowledge calls ultimately for a life of service.” Our goal is to provide students with opportunities to put this statement into action by hearing and understanding the hearts of the student body and providing them with service opportunities that align with their goals and passions in areas such as education, accessibility, sustainability, human rights, and more.

Service invites belonging, and we strive to infuse an essence of belonging into every space we facilitate. We focus on convening and connecting students of all backgrounds to meaningful community engagement and service opportunities on and off-campus. This area offers regular opportunities to contribute to community impact within and around the university. As God’s stewards, we put our faith into action as we join God’s work towards shalom in the world, whether individual or communal, physical or spiritual, local or global.

By giving students a deeper understanding of what genuine service looks like, we hope to equip them as they leave this university to be difference makers in their community and world.

Contact Us

Director: Christin Shatzer Román, ext. 7757

Assistant Director: Olivia Robinson, ext. 4520

Location: TCC 230

Upcoming Service Opportunities

Stay up to date with all upcoming volunteer opportunities. View a complete list of service projects provided by Community Engagement and Service.

Westminster Free Clinic logo

Westminster Clinic, 4 - 9 PM every Tuesday

Join us every Tuesday to serve families in Oxnard. The clinic is a non-profit community care center serving the working poor and uninsured of Ventura County. The clinic serves as a safety-net for those with no other affordable options and fills gaps as needed. No previous experience or skills required to volunteer, but Spanish-speaking volunteers and individuals interested in the healthcare field are welcome. Transportation will be provided from campus. Join us each week or as your schedule allows! The sign up form is linked here. If you'd like to learn more, please contact Charlie Markham at charlie.markham@pepperdine.edu.

PATH logo

PATH Cooks Service Project, 4 - 8 PM on select Thursdays

PATH Cooks is a volunteer program providing home-cooked meals to the residents living in PATH’s interim housing facilities. Join us on the following Thursdays: 10/6, 10/13, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 12/1, and 12/8.  If you'd like to learn more, please contact Christin Shatzer Román at christin.shatzerroman@pepperdine.edu.

Hand in Hand logo

Hand in Hand: Every Thursday at 4:00 PM to 4:45 PM on Zoom

Hand in Hand connects people of all abilities to have fun and learn new skills together! Visit the Hand in Hand website for more information and the Zoom link!


Malibu Labor Exchange Participants

Teach English at the Malibu Labor Exchange

The Malibu Labor Exchange is a local community organization that links primarily Spanish speaking immigrants with local job opportunities.  Between 8-10 am, members gather at the Labor Exchange to await employment offers for the day.  Our job as volunteers is to engage with the community and give them a chance to practice their English with us.  Volunteers should be ready to talk with members of the Labor Exchange.  Our presence is much appreciated by members of the Labor Exchange community, and students love to practice their Spanish as well! Resuming in Fall 2022.

American Red Cross logo

American Red Cross Blood Drive, October 4 -6, 11 AM - 5 PM

Save a life by donating blood! Sign up for an appointment

Hunger and Homelessness logo

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, November 14 - 18

November 14th-18th is Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Join us for a week-long event of learning about hunger and homelessness in our own hometowns, creating care kits for people in need, and advocating for greater protections for our neighbors with housing insecurity. Find us tabling at Joslyn Plaza and at Caruso School of Law. Contact Chloe Edwards for more information at chloe.s.edwards@pepperdine.edu.


Good Tutors logo

Good Tutors, Virtual Tutoring one hour a week!

Good Tutors, who is looking for virtual tutors to connect with K-12 students who could use a little extra academic support and encouragement. Good Tutors does a great job of intentionally matching tutors and students to ensure a good fit. If you'd like to learn more, contact Tracy.


Explore Recent Events

  Fall 2022
Step Forward Day logo
Step Forward Day

On Saturday, September 10, 2022, the Pepperdine University community will celebrate the 34th annual Step Forward Day. The day connects students, faculty, staff, and alumni around the world to service opportunities within their communities. Join us to serve in one of 20 projects serving over 15 different community organizations. Use the Step Forward Day sign-up form to register! Contact olivia.robinson@pepperdine.edu for more information. 



  Spring 2022
Three volunteers posing at the CES tabling

Disability Awareness Week

Community Engagement and Service supported and contributed actively to the week-long awareness event on Disability and the need for Accessibility, planned by Emily Mcnutt. The event provided a week-long advocacy and education opportunity for Pepperdine students, faculty, and staff. 

Volunteers posing at the Sanctuary Far

Sanctuary Animal Farm

Stella Zhu (Yingfan Zhu) led a team of students on a project to serve the Sanctuary Farm in Santa Clarita. Sanctuary Animal Assisted Therapy is a nonprofit organization that rescues animals from abuse and neglect, rehabilitates them, and helps them trust and heal people in return. In this in-person volunteer opportunity, students helped with animal care, animal socialization, simple construction projects, and cleaning, as they enjoyed this fun day!

Hike for Haiti logo

Hike for Haiti

In the rural community of Marre à Coiffe, Haiti, students and families climb the equivalent of 200 flights of stairs every day from the bottom of a mountain to access clean water, healthcare, and education. This event will be a mile walk to raise awareness and donations to support these families! Contact Katie Ross for more information.


Two volunteers serving

Project Serve 2022

A three-day annual spring break event allowed Pepperdine students to engage in local volunteer opportunities. One group led by Wedu Ketema partnered with PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), an organization that is attempting to end homelessness for individuals and families by building affordable housing and providing supportive services throughout California. Another group led by Jesse Jacobs partnered with TASC (The Adult Skills Center), which provides innovative and proactive services that empower individuals with diverse intellectual, developmental, and mental health needs to achieve their highest level of independence and realize their greatest potential.

Student volunteers posing in front of Manna Conejo food truck

Manna Conejo Food Bank

Lauren Brajevich led a team of nine students on a project to serve the Manna Conejo Food Bank. In just one trip, the team of Pepperdine students sorted through 75 large crates of donations and organized ten bins of cans. Students left the project with a renewed sense of connection to community and heightened desire to give back to those in need right around them.

Student volunteers posing with food bins

Bowls of Hope Event for Many Mansions

Many Mansions is headquartered in Ventura, and its mission is to help the formerly homeless population to get back on their feet whether it be through offering meals at their facility, providing tutoring services for children, giving people a place to stay during interim periods, or helping with interview practice. Lauren Brajevich led a team of Seaver College first year students to volunteer at the event. The group got to cover a variety of tasks including serving soup, bussing tables, replenishing food, being dessert waiters, and even just being a friendly face at the welcome area.


Photo of CES tabling at the Joslyn Plaza

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

January 24th through the 28th, Community Engagement in the Hub for Spiritual Life hosted Hunger and Homelessness Week. This week-long event gave students and faculty the opportunity to participate in daily activities where they gained insight into issues related to hunger and homelessness in LA County and beyond, as well as gave them tools and resources to be part of the change they want to see. The service project was held at the Joslyn Plaza as well as at the School of Law. The service projects involved interactive maps, trivia, assembly of care kits, advocacy workshop, and a food pantry.

Three student volunteers posing with food bags

Hollywood Food Pantry with APLA

As a part of the Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Jesse Jacobs, a student representative for the Community Engagement and Service (CES) in The Hub for Spiritual Life, led a group of students to the APLA Food Warehouse in Hollywood, the largest HIV/AIDS relief warehouse in the United States. The service project was done in collaboration with the Housing and Resident Life (HRL). The students rode a shuttle to the location, where they received information about the organization, as well as instruction on how to process the food orders. There was a wet food pack, and a dry food pack time slot. Our students were working on the dry food pack. Overall, there were at least 144 food bags made in roughly 3.5 hours.

Painted papers, brushes and paint colors for craft

LA Family Housing

LA Family Housing is a transitional homeless shelter where families and individuals suffering from homelessness and poverty can receive the necessary resources and support to help find and maintain long-term housing. Chloe Edwards, a graduate assistant led a group of students to the service event where they spent time with the children currently living at the shelter playing games and doing crafts.


Minecraft design of Pepperdine' front view

MLK Day 2022: The Great March on Washington Virtual Minecraft Tour (LA Works)

Community Engagement and Service in the Hub for Spiritual Life partnered with LA Works to host a virtual educational and community engagement project to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his work. In this effort, LA Works, an organization promoting service and outreach events in the greater Los Angeles area, hosted a virtual tour of the Great March on Washington via Minecraft, a game where players can build their own 3D world one block at a time. Pepperdine student participants decided to build a replica of the Phillips Theme Tower from the Pepperdine Malibu campus to represent a commitment to faith and service.

  Fall 2021
Jeese Jacobs at Fly RISE event


Student workers Jesse Jacobs and Chloe Edwards participated in the RISE event on behalf of Community Engagement and Service. When stopping by their table, students casted votes on different service opportunities that they were most passionate about participating in. 

Jesse Jacobs, Food Oasis Virtual Event

Food Oasis Virtual Food Drive

Jesse Jacobs, a student representative of Community Engagement and Service, coordinated a virtual food bank that consisted of contacting food banks, pantries, and hot meal programs open to the public. He and the other participating students contacted nine organizations and updated their contact information in the Food Oasis database. 

Chloe Edwards, Our Community LA

Our Community LA

In partnership with Our Community LA, Community Engagement and Service hosted a virtual event designed to update the WIN (What I Need) app. The app is designed to provide essential resources to individuals experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Participating students contacted and updated 21 websites for the app.  


Student volunteers

Step Forward Day

The 33rd annual university-wide day of service, Step Forward Day, was a success! Almost 350 student and employee volunteers served in 24 teams at 14 project sites. All projects benefited local nonprofit organizations. Volunteers packed over 300 lunches for the Midnight Mission, assembled 307 school supply kits for School on Wheels, and put together 400 hygiene kits for those experiencing homelessness. Additionally, Jumpstart received almost 300 bags of school supplies and the Midnight Mission received 272 hygiene kits.

Student volunteers posing beside PS Science poster

PS Science Service Squad

Jesse Jacobs, a student representative of Community Engagement and Service, coordinated a service project with PS Science, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the improvement of elementary STEM education in Los Angeles county. Volunteers spent about 2 hours compiling craft bundles that would be used to create a lesson in the science class. One of our teams helped to build a basic structure of the eye, using materials such as glass beans, string, colored markers, and fuzzy sticks to create the exterior of the eye.