Diversity and Inclusion at Seaver College
Pepperdine University is a Christian university committed to Christian values and ideals, unhindered academic inquiry, and the pursuit of truth. Because of these priorities, the University seeks to foster a deep sense of belonging in a community that reflects the full diversity of creation. We value the open table of Jesus: a place of neighborliness and hospitality where God graciously gives gifts to all and where all are welcome. Jesus practiced belonging by calling diverse people—paying special attention to those whom society disadvantaged, marginalized, or oppressed—and inspiring communities to practice deep inclusion across human difference. These Christian principles define and guide the approach of Seaver College to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Diversity by the Numbers
Student Racial Diversity
- White (48.1%)
- Hispanic (15.4%)
- Asian (12.2%)
- Other (12%)
- Two or More Races (7.4%)
- Black (4.9%)
Faculty/Staff Racial Diversity
- White (71.7%)
- Asian (10%)
- Hispanic (7.4%)
- Black (6.1%)
- Two or More Races (3%)
- Other (1.8%)
Student Religious Preferences
- Other Christian (28.7%)
- Other (23.1%)
- Roman Catholic (15.4%)
- Undeclared (14.1%)
- None (9.5%)
- Church of Christ (9.2%)
Defining Diversity at Seaver College
Diversity arises from God. Seaver’s commitment to diversity is grounded in our understanding that all people are created in the image of God. God’s creation is infinitely varied, with each person representing a unique expression of God and a variety of human cultures with a wide array of ideas, communication, artistic expression, and ways of doing life together. At Seaver College, over half of our student body identified as international students or students of color in 2020. This diversity strengthens our community and contributes greatly to the college’s commitments to true academic excellence.
Equity may be defined in various ways; at Seaver College, we use this word to mean that all community members have what they need to flourish and reach their full potential. Defined this way, equity is closely related to the biblical concept of justice, which requires right relationships with other humans and our world. The Christian principle of justice inspires us to seek equity: to take care that each member is helped by all toward human excellence physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. We seek to live out this commitment in many ways, including listening carefully to all community members, and especially those from historically marginalized groups, investigating issues of injustice, and taking bold action to overcome injustice and move toward equity.
Our approach to inclusion is inspired by examples arising within the earliest communities
of Jesus’ followers. Individuals from vastly different social groups gathered into
communities of mutual respect and purpose to share life together. Like the early communities
of Christ, Seaver College seeks to welcome, celebrate, learn from, and create enduring
community across human difference. Inspired by the call of Christ, Seaver College
rejects racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, bullying, ableism, intolerance, hatred,
or any other perspective or practice that devalues another human being.
To foster true inclusion, we commit as a community to engage in deep reflection and soul-searching on our shortcomings and to take the necessary next steps toward reconciliation and justice, both individually and corporately. Our ideal is to create an inclusive community that is caring, hospitable, respectful, and willing to grow and change when rightly challenged. We will know we have succeeded when we cultivate a thriving community where the love of God, as embodied in the self-giving love of Christ, guides our every relationship and activity—a community where all members are treated with respect and dignity, feel secure in the value of their voices, and are recognized as children of God.
The Seaver Diversity Council works closely with the dean of Seaver College to support the college’s progress toward creating a community of belonging through a research-based approach to fostering greater diversity, equity, and inclusion. With representatives from all academic divisions and many student-support offices, the council meets regularly throughout the academic year, sponsoring and implementing numerous initiatives.
An initiative by the Seaver Diversity Council, the diversity calendar serves as a
consolidated source for events on campus or in the local community. Featured events
are related to diversity, access, or inclusion and are open to all Seaver College
students. Add the calendar to your Google calendar or submit events to be featured in the calendar.
Seaver College offers a variety of programs and initiatives that celebrate diversity
and inclusion of students, faculty, and staff.
Seaver College Initiatives for Students
In an effort to better support and serve first-generation students, the First Wave program offers resources and tools to help first-generation students thrive throughout their academic journey at Seaver College.
Students are invited to take Social Action and Justice (SAAJ) Colloquia, a four-course interdisciplinary sequence, designed for students who are interested in making a difference in the world.
The Multicultural Theatre Project (MTP) is a transdisciplinary, arts-based, critical pedagogy, theatrical experience that provides an environment where students can explore the multidimensionality of diversity: intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
Student Fellowship for Equity and Social Justice
Created by the Seaver College Dean's Office, the fellowship supports rising seniors interested in pursuing a project focusing on belonging, inclusion, equity, and social justice. Students work with a faculty or administrative mentor throughout the academic year and present their projects in April.
Designed to promote intercultural exchange and success at Pepperdine, the World Waves Program brings together a select group of international students for a weekly one-unit course and off-campus excursions.
The Seaver College Career Center supports the intersectionality of student identities and professional choices. They have a collection of resources designed to support a diverse talent in the workplace.
Nonprofit Diversity Fellowship Program
The Nonprofit Diversity Fellowship Program is designed to place an undergraduate nonprofit management minor who self-identifies with a historically underrepresented group onto the team of a local partner who works within the nonprofit sector. Fellows apply nonprofit theory learned in the classroom to real-world experiences.
Student Affairs Initiatives for Students
LOQUI, the official kick off to commencement weekend, highlights the vast diversity of our graduating seniors and the impact they make on Seaver's campus.
Week of Peace, Hope, Justice
Peace, Hope, and Justice week is marked by events designed to celebrate the victories of peace in the past and to educate the Pepperdine community about issues that are currently preventing peace and justice in the world. It provides a new understanding of peace, refreshes the promise of hope, and provides new direction on the road to justice.
Year Two Malibu San Francisco Experience
Each year, Intercultural Affairs partners with faculty and staff across the Seaver campus to take 100 sophomore students to the San Francisco Bay area to explore social movements of the 1960s and '70s. Participating students explore advocacy through a wide range of topics including women's liberation, racial justice, indigenous rights, and environmental sustainability.
Intercultural Affairs oversees between 15- 20 identity-based, student-run organizations. The leaders of these organizations meet once a month for professional and leadership development on topics such as conflict resolution, networking, and mental health from a culturally informed perspective.
Seaver College Initiatives for Faculty/Staff
The Seaver College Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) promotes excellence in college teaching in order to achieve deeper student learning. As part of this mission, the CTE develops skills in equitable and inclusive pedagogy for a diverse student body by a diverse faculty. The assistant director position is especially focused on this work. The CTE regularly leads a four-session Becoming a More Equitable Educator faculty workshop and has offered numerous one-time workshops developing skills in inclusive pedagogy. The CTE also partners with the Seaver Diversity Council (SDC) to showcase the work of the Faculty-Student Partnerships for Diversifying Courses program, sponsored by the SDC and the Seaver Dean's office.
SEED at Seaver College
SEED at Seaver College is a peer-led, year-long professional development program for faculty and staff. Now in its sixth year, this substantive program creates conversational communities to foster personal, organizational, and societal change toward greater equity and diversity. At the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, 125 Seaver College faculty members and 98 staff members had completed the SEED program. An analysis of the SEED program at Seaver College has been published in the Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice.
Seaver College has a number of grants available for faculty and faculty-student teams designed to provide support for scholarship in the areas of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
A five-step guide on implicit bias was assembled by the Seaver Diversity Council at Pepperdine University to help faculty and staff hiring committees make equitably-informed decisions.
A sub-committee of the Seaver Faculty Association, the Committee on Women Faculty reviews university policies and processes related to the recruitment, retention, and promotion of women faculty. It provides a forum for discussion of resources and support for women faculty and facilitates the mentoring of women faculty.