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How to Respond to the Pepperdine University Supplemental Essay Prompt

Pepperdine University is continuously ranked as one of the most beautiful places to attend college. Located in scenic Malibu, California, Pepperdine is a private Christian university.  The Pepperdine University supplemental essays ask applicants to share how their faith will thrive on the Pepperdine campus. Keep on reading to learn how to write an essay that stands out!

Prompt #1

“Pepperdine is a Christian university where all are welcomed and encouraged to challenge each other in the pursuit of truth. Students, faculty, and staff members from all backgrounds participate in conversations of faith inside and outside of the classroom. Considering that Pepperdine is a Christian university, why are you interested in attending and how would you contribute to conversations of faith on campus?” (one essay of 300-500 words

First, you should spend some time researching Pepperdine in order to include specific examples throughout your response. Check out Pepperdine’s mission and vision as well as their belonging statement to get a feel for the school. 

Questions to consider:

  1. What are you looking to gain from your Pepperdine experience (besides a degree)?
  2. How will you practice, grow, and share your faith on campus? 
  3. How will you conversate about faith to classmates and faculty?

Think of when you started practicing your faith. If you were raised in a religious household, you are likely to have many personal experiences. How have you taken your faith further than just what your parents ask of you? If you recently began your religious journey, write about what prompted you to do so.

Think of different stories and personal experiences that show a good representation of your faith. The Pepperdine supplemental essay is an opportunity to show the university how you will grow your faith and encourage your classmates to do the same. A good way to do this is by giving examples of how you’ve done this in the past. 

Points to emphasize

Pepperdine University takes respect seriously. Consider dedicating a portion of your essay to showing how you will respond to faith that does not look like yours. Consider how you treated a person in your life when they talked to you about how they practice a religion different from yours. Write about how you encouraged and accepted their practices. 

Pepperdine also advocates for their students to show humble leadership. Think of a time that brought out a leadership role in you. Maybe you’ve volunteered as a summer church camp counselor or stepped up at a school function? Real-life examples like this demonstrate that you live your faith in real ways. 

Do you practice sustainability? Good news, Pepperdine made a commitment towards sustainability  in 1972! Tell them how you’ve tried to go green and how you will continue to do so in their community. Write how you will encourage others to join you; this will also portray your leadership. 

Final thoughts for students

Show the university your faith through experiences rather than just telling them. They exemplify faith throughout campus, how will you encourage that? Read different links listed under their website ‘about’ tab to learn more ways you will connect with them. 

Try not to overthink writing your Pepperdine University supplemental essays, as the process is not so complicated to complete.  After learning about their community, write a rough draft without a  word restriction. Afterwards, choose your best work to include in your final draft. Using these tips will help you write an outstanding response!

Additional resources