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Pepperdine University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, California 90263
(310) 506-4000
School Information
Pepperdine University was founded by George Pepperdine in 1937. "[His] founding vision was that of a university committed equally to academic excellence and Christian values. The students, faculty, and administration of Pepperdine University today affirm this vision and advance the University's standing as a cutting-edge educational institution by growing in knowledge, as well as spirit." (Source: "Pepperdine University boasts top-ranked graduate and undergraduate programs, with separate schools dedicated to business, education and psychology, law, liberal arts, and public policy. At Pepperdine, we engage in the pursuit of knowledge at its highest level and provide an array of practical, hands-on opportunities that bring it down to earth." The university has a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, 87 degree programs, and 17 NCAA Division 1 Teams. (Source:
General Information
As a university founded in the Church of Christ tradition, Pepperdine justifies many of its DEI and antiracism initiatives as "reinforcing the antiracist tenets in living a life of faith." Pepperdine hosts many teach-ins and has resources dedicated to promoting equity, diversity, and justice. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • The Seaver College Diversity Council at Pepperdine "[develops] strategic goals to increase recruitment, retention, and success of a diverse faculty, staff, and student body (access and equity)."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • During Spring 2023, Pepperdine offers Diversity and Inclusion Presentations, on topics such as "understanding your cultural intelligence", "racism in higher education", and intersectionality.
  • Pepperdine states that "[m]embers of the University leadership are presently engaged in ongoing cultural intelligence education."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • "Communicating Ethically: Character, Duties, Consequences & Relationships" is a "required textbook" of the Communication Ethics program which "covers contemporary scholarship and issues such as Black Lives Matter, MeToo, and organizational inclusivity."
  • As part of its "Christian Rationale for Diversity," Pepperdine states, "A diverse student body, faculty, staff, curriculum, and co-curriculum support this mission by broadening students' horizons and contributing to an objective search for truth (Seaver Strategic Plan 4)."
  • As part of its "Evaluate Curriculum" description, Pepperdine states the following: "The University’s faith tradition also confirms that individuals are finite and therefore one’s knowledge is incomplete. Through it, we believe that the inclusion and experience of others from diverse points of view are how we begin to see dimensions of truth previously unseen. Diversity not only enriches the educational endeavor, it is critical to it."
  • The Seaver College Diversity Council at Pepperdine "[facilitates] the integration of diversity into...curriculum/co-curriculum and student learning/development."
Program and Research Funding
  • The Seaver College Student Fellowship for Equity and Social Justice is awarded annually to up to two rising seniors who have "demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to issues of equity and social justice." Student awardees will receive a $7,500 scholarship and faculty mentors will receive a $2,000 stipend.
  • The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Grant (EDI Grant) awards faculty $5,000 and is designed to "promote academic excellence and support outstanding faculty scholarship in the areas of equity, diversity, and inclusion."
  • The Nonprofit Diversity Fellowship Program at Seaver College 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."
  • Seaver College provides a number of diversity grants, including "Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Course Development Grants" and the "Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship" program.
  • In celebration of 2021 Black History Month, the Office of Intercultural Affairs partnered with the Office of the President and hosted a variety of virtual events. One of the guest speakers spoke about the significance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work while also "reinforcing the antiracist tenets in living a life of faith."
  • In efforts to advance social and racial justice, Pepperdine Athletics worked closely with student-athletes from the Waves Leadership Council in summer 2020 to put together a variety of education panels to discuss race, diversity, and inclusion. In June 2020, the athletics department hosted a panel called "Listening to Each Other: A Conversation about Race and Anti-Racism."
  • On Twitter, Pepperdine announced that the university was hosting Professor of Psychology Thema Bryant-Davis to discuss with clinicians and psychologists the "important journey from cultural competency to antiracism in their work."
  • The Pepperdine Graziadio Business School (PGBS) has a Diversity Council (GDC) that helps promote and implement institutional and community efforts focused on equity, diversity, and justice.
  • Besides the Business School's diversity council, Pepperdine has six other diversity councils: the University Diversity Council, the Seaver College Diversity Council, the Caruso School of Law Council for Diversity and Inclusion, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology Diversity Council, the School of Public Policy Diversity Committee, and Athletics Diversity Council.
  • For Black History Month 2023, Pepperdine hosted various activities and events, including a "Judges Panel Discussion on Diversity in the Judiciary", a lecture on how to "[Disrupt] Racism Through the Lens of the Arts", and a screening of "The 1619 Project: Perspectives and Discourse."
  • On January 17, 2023, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the National Day of Racial Healing, Pepperdine's Larry D. Kimmons Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Initiative co-hosted a virtual "Coast-to-Coast Racial Healing Circle" event with the Citadel (the Military College of South Carolina) and the Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative of Charleston.
  • Pepperdine offers Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resources as a "Christian University fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion." It has both on-campus resources and affinity group resources.
  • The Center for Teaching Excellence at Seaver College "develops skills in equitable and inclusive pedagogy for a diverse student body by a diverse faculty."
Symbolic Actions
  • On June 2, 2020 for Black Out Tuesday, Pepperdine posted a black square and stated in its caption that it is "committed to becoming a stronger ally to the Black community around the world and standing against anti-Black racism in all of its forms."
  • As part of its "Christian Rationale for Diversity," Pepperdine states, "The mission's Christian focus, even more than its focus on academic excellence, requires the study of diverse worldviews and cultures."
  • The Seaver College Diversity Council at Pepperdine "[recognizes] Pepperdine's history with race and racism and [is] working to create a [sic] inclusive campus community."
Last updated April 25th, 2024
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