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Applying to Faith-Based Universities

Of all the characteristics I have inherited from my father, my love of endearing and slightly cheesy metaphors is one of my favorites—so bear with me. Having worked in college admissions for a few years, I often think about how applying to college in some ways resembles choosing a favorite cereal—okay, that might be a stretch, but I can't help but think about how the college selection process involves picking from so many amazing options.

While it's hard to deny that most colleges and universities offer aspects that you'd enjoy, you keep coming back to one or two that ultimately feel like the best fit—sounds like cereal, right? Okay, cereal jokes aside, there are many facets to a college to consider when selecting schools to apply to. Below are a few things to keep in mind when considering applying to faith-based schools in particular.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Applying to a faith-based school, such as Pepperdine, requires some self-reflection. The following questions might help you envision the type of campus climate that you could thrive in. What type of environment do you enjoy learning and growing in? What type of community do you envision yourself being surrounded by? What foundation do you desire as you prepare to launch into your career and adulthood? The answers to these questions will help you begin to understand whether a faith-based college might be a good fit for you.

Pastor holding a sermon on the beach to a crowd of students attending surf convocation

Imagine the Day-to-Day Experience

Understanding how a school's faith affiliation impacts daily life is an important component of your college search and application process. Pepperdine strives to engage students, faculty, and staff in conversations of faith in and out of the classroom through convocations like Surf Convo or Celebration Chapel and religion courses such as Religions of the World. These are offerings that all students experience on our campus while many also choose to pursue the other numerous opportunities for spiritual growth.

Trust the Process

As an admissions counselor, I know how much time and effort you put into the college search and application process. I honor your hard work by diligently reviewing your applications and at Pepperdine, the admission committee makes time to pray for you, and specifically for your future and well-being. We hope that in the midst of the stress of deadlines and decisions you can find peace in knowing how many incredible opportunities lay before you, regardless of where you find yourself a year from now.

We hope that whatever college you attend will be a great fit for you—academically, socially, and spiritually. While a faith-based college is just one of the many options you have, we hope that you will consider the lasting impact a Christian university like Pepperdine can have on your life. Personally, I am grateful for the Christian community of friends, mentors, and alumni I am forever a part of as a graduate of Pepperdine, and much like my favorite cereal (Frosted Flakes!), I would choose it over and over again!