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The Ministry Component

The Planning Grant Committee for the Pepperdine Voyage attempted to develop a ministry component that is in keeping with the Endowment’s desire that we “identify talented young people and provide them with opportunities to explore ministry, either lay or ordained, as their life’s work.” Accordingly, the ministry component of the project includes the following dimensions.


The Religion Division at Seaver College annually enrolls some fifteen to twenty students in its Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program—a three year program designed to equip students for full-time ministry in a church setting. Currently, M.Div. students without at least two years in full-time ministry are required to take at least six units in directed fieldwork.

Because the majority of Pepperdine’s students are preparing for ministry in the Churches of Christ, the Religion Division typically seeks to place these students in a Church of Christ-related setting for their fieldwork experience. In Southern California, however, those settings are few and far between, mainly because the heartland of Churches of Christ is not California, but rather a belt that runs from Abilene, Texas on the west, to Nashville, Tennessee on the east.

The Pepperdine Voyage project, therefore, brings to the fieldwork program several dimensions.

The Religion Division is now positioned to offer several internships each year.

Bethany Rogers in Kenya - Pepperdine UniversityBethany Rogers in Kenya,

  • For Master of Divinity students, the internships will fulfill the six-unit fieldwork requirement. Although fieldwork experiences are not required of either undergraduate religion majors and minors or M. S. in Ministry students, the internship experience will be open to those students as an elective.
  • An internship may be taken for one unit up to four units, depending on the nature of the internship experience.
  • Students will be able to intern with congregations not only in Southern California but throughout the United States.

This program allows ministry students to test their vocational wings by participating in a ministry of the church under the direct supervision of a professional who works full-time in a church-based ministry.

Religion professor Stuart Love coordinates all aspects of the intern program. For more information, please see our Events page.


The Religion Division of Seaver College with the help of the Voyage project has developed an annual Ministry-as-Vocation seminar for ministry students, both graduate and undergraduate, and for leaders in Churches of Christ. The theme of the seminar is “Ministry as Vocation.”

The Religion Division invites a noted biblical scholar, theologian, or pulpit preacher to speak on this theme in very personal ways, and to weave into the presentation some substantive biblical and theological reflections on this motif.

The seminar renders a great service for Churches of Christ since it helps church leaders to reflect on the theme of vocation in profoundly biblical and theological ways, enabling them to share this vision with their congregants.

At the same time, the seminar benefits ministry students. First, the lectures challenge the students to engage in biblical and theological reflection on the theme of “ministry as vocation.” Second, each minister who attends the seminar serves as a mentor for that weekend for two of the students in attendance.

This retreat has been highly successful during the original grant period, attracting 20 or more ministers and their spouses and at least 25 students to each retreat. The Voyage project provides funding for a one-day "ministry as vocation" seminar during the 2007-08 academic year.


On May 1-3, 2005, Pepperdine University hosted the first annual Women in Ministry Conference for women serving in ministry positions within the Churches of Christ and female students studying in religion/ministry programs at Church of Christ schools. University Chaplain D’Esta Love worked with the newly formed Women in Ministry network to organize this conference. Entitled "Embracing the Call," the conference drew over 40 women from churches across the nation.

Women in Ministry conference - Pepperdine University

This conference was not limited to students or speakers who belong to Churches of Christ, but provided models for all our female students and a network of support for those women who find themselves in isolated ministry roles. The second annual conference was held at Rochester College, May 24-26, 2006 and conferences were held in following years at Abilene Christian University in 2007 and the Manhattan Church of Christ in 2008. The Voyage project provides funding for the conference to return to Pepperdine University in 2009. For more information, please see our Events page.