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Derek Estes

Faculty Fellow at Seaver College
Religion - Philosophy, Seaver College
PLC 116A


Derek Estes teaches and studies philosophy with particular emphases on bioethics and philosophy of religion. He comes to Pepperdine from Saint Louis University where he is a joint-PhD candidate in SLU’s Department of Philosophy and Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics. Derek’s research in bioethics focuses largely on the theoretical foundations of medical decision-making, with his dissertation defending the notion of human dignity against contemporary philosophical objections and offering an account of human dignity capable of grounding moral intuitions about health care decision-making. In the philosophy of religion, Derek’s interests are diverse, including work on the intersection of religion and the philosophy of disability, Thomistic conceptions of the Imago Dei, and philosophy within the Stone-Campbell Movement. Derek grew up in Nashville, TN near Lipscomb and has degrees from Freed-Hardeman (BA in philosophy) and Abilene Christian (MA in theology)—three Church of Christ universities—so he is happy to be checking another university off of his Church of Christ bingo card here at Pepperdine. 


  • MA in Theology, Abilene Christian University

  • BA in Philosophy and Biblical Languages, Freed-Hardeman University