Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Faith-Based University

When Lauren decided to go to Pepperdine, we didn't really know much about the university. Coming from a Harding background, we sort of had the impression that Pepperdine was a distant cousin in the church of Christ higher education family; that it gave lip service to its Christian heritage, but was really more of a secular institution with all the shallow and glamorous trappings of the rich and famous Malibu lifestyle.
We couldn't have been more wrong. The school's mission statement gives a glimpse into the nature of the university...
Pepperdine is a Christian university committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values, where students are strengthened for lives of purpose, service, and leadership.
As we learned more about Pepperdine and experienced it with Lauren, we became more and more impressed with its spiritual purpose - It is the purpose of Pepperdine University to pursue the very highest academic standards within a context that celebrates and extends the spiritual and ethical ideals of the Christian faith. When Taylor decided to attend Pepperdine as well, we were pleased with his decision and confident that he would receive not only a fine academic education, but one that would help shape and mature his faith and prepare him for a life of service.
Our confidence was only reinforced by the remarks of President Andy Benton at the opening assembly Tuesday evening of New Student Orientation. As he spoke of the heritage of the university, of the direction set by its former leaders, the themes of faith, purpose, service, and excellence were woven throughout. In introducing the new students and their parents to the university he spoke of how the Dead Sea became dead because it receives and does not give; he spoke of how one plaintive voice can be hauntingly beautiful, but power comes from multiple voices lifted together; to illustrate he lead the group in singing Amazing Grace. He established a tone and challenged the students to a high standard for their time at Pepperdine.
While it is a place of great physical beauty, it is anything but shallow.

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