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Students worshiping at the amphitheater

Distinctive Identity

The strategic plan and preceding themes culminate in a distinctive identity for Seaver College, one where academic excellence and Christian faith are inextricably entwined. Our identity is built upon our foundational commitments: a fidelity to Christian identity and values, the pursuit of truth—with its requisite calls to excellence, diversity, and humility—and dedication to service. This distinctive identity is shaped and sustained by a thriving community where each individual is lifted up, each voice is heard and respected, and each member supports and inspires the other. This identity calls us to engage the world, joining together in humility to learn from and partner with our global neighbors, both domestically and internationally. Seaver's distinctive identity is uplifted by inspired graduates who have learned to navigate faith, academics, and vocational discernment for the sake of service in the world.

Pepperdine University has been providentially blessed throughout its 83-year history. The distinctive vision of its founder, George Pepperdine, led him to dedicate the University to preparing students’ minds through rigorous study of liberal arts and professional disciplines with an equal and simultaneous devotion to the development of their Christian character and faith. This integration of faith and learning brings glory to God by seeking to instill in students a life of service. From this foundation and informed by the sacrifice and guidance of thousands of dedicated leaders, faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends, and supporters, Seaver College remains stalwart in honoring the University’s founding principles while ranking among the premier institutions of higher education in America. From this vantage point, the College sees clearly its future—a future emboldened by the promises of God, secured through an abiding commitment to its Christian identity and values, inspired by a dedication to educational excellence, and driven to pursue truth. 

As we seek to realize the distinctive identity offered by this strategic plan, we strongly affirm the rigorous and relentless pursuit of truth. Demanded by our missional commitments and stated in Pepperdine’s institutional affirmations, a relentless and fearless pursuit of truth requires a diverse community united in purpose and harmonious in spirit. To create a community that reflects the diverse humanity created by God, Seaver will invite and welcome people with a broad range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities. The metaphor of the open table, arising from the Christian virtues of neighborliness and hospitality, has been used in numerous addresses and guiding documents at Pepperdine to describe the type of community we seek to create at Seaver College. The theology of the open table, centered in the gracious gift of God, affirms that all are welcome. 

Once this diverse community is gathered around an open table, a table hosted by Seaver College, the College will extend radical hospitality to each member. Each person belongs. In this environment, belonging captivates the mind, moves the spirit, and compels each person to join in the works of the community. This type of belonging constantly seeks to identify and eliminate both visible and invisible obstacles to equity, unity, inclusion, and individual dignity. Honoring these values and principles will allow Seaver College to thrive.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls people to let their light shine so all can see the glory of God. At Seaver College, we honor this call when we affirm the dignity of our neighbors, both at home and abroad, regardless of status or condition in life, with sincerity and humility. We embody Jesus’ mission through scholarship and creative activity that seeks to solve problems, stimulate thought, and provide hope to all people. We consider it an act of divine and joyful worship to listen, learn, grow, and serve others.

The success of Seaver College is best exemplified through the flourishing of its students and graduates. An academic curriculum grounded in the liberal arts, integrating Christian values, and enhanced by degree programs both committed to excellence and adhering to the highest standards of the academy equips the minds of students for success. An informed co-curriculum nurtures students’ physical and emotional development and prepares them to flourish amidst the challenges of life. The integration of faith and learning and a rich array of spiritual life programming forms students' spirits, equips their souls, and cultivates their character so they are enabled to serve the world with a wisdom born of humility. Seaver College’s emphasis on holistic development, strengthening students intellectually, spiritually, and relationally, encourages students to discern their vocation and cultivates a reverence for service. As an outcome of this educational experience, Seaver graduates are inspired to make a positive difference in the world.

Seaver College has always been distinctive in its dedication to both Christian faith and academic excellence, twin commitments inexorably bound together and requiring that we devote ourselves to both with the utmost fervor. Mutually symbiotic, they differentiate the University within higher education and chart a “third way” for Seaver College. To further differentiate Seaver College and make it truly distinctive from other Christian colleges, we strive to create a thriving community that richly engages the world and produces inspired graduates who lead and serve.

When the goals and objectives articulated in the previous themes are realized, Seaver College will ascend to new heights, elucidating a distinctive identity where our loftiest aspirations are realized. This distinctive identity will act as a beacon, lighting the way forward for our community and inspiring new levels of performance. It will renew the memories of alumni, calling them back to their alma mater. This unique identity will captivate the interest and imagination of friends and attract them to share their time, talent, and treasures. It will invite others to join in our mission through partnership and create focus and excitement for advancement efforts. 

The path we have chosen has enabled us to travel far and reach heights we could not have envisioned in 1937 when Pepperdine was founded, or in 1972 when Seaver College was created on Pepperdine’s Malibu campus. As we continue this journey, we see a bright horizon illuminated by God’s promises. This plan allows Seaver College to navigate its chosen path and refine its distinctive identity, one that offers expanded promise and the ability to overcome challenges with grace and humility. May God bless this divine pursuit.  

"To create a community that reflects the diverse humanity created by God, Seaver will invite and welcome people with a broad range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities."