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New Faculty Retreat FAQ

Buenos Aires New Faculty Retreat group, 2017

 What is the New Faculty Retreat?

Since 2002, the Center for Faith and Learning has taken new tenure-track faculty from all five Pepperdine schools on the New Faculty Seminar/Retreat. It is part of a series of "faith and learning" events sponsored and hosted by the Center for Faith and Learning. Through these events, we encourage members of the Pepperdine faculty to consider the many ways that faith, learning, and scholarship intersect with their disciplines and vocation, as well as to explore together Pepperdine's identity and calling as a Christian university.

The New Faculty Retreat is held at one of Pepperdine's International Programs sites, currently either Buenos Aires, Argentina or Switzerland, in the summer, generally in June or July.

Faculty who are unable to attend the New Faculty Retreat after their first year of employment are invited one more time for the following year. Generally, faculty attend the retreat within their first two years of employment, however there are exceptions, such as for faculty working on obtaining a green card.

In addition, spouses are invited to attend the retreat. However, there is a strict no-child policy and we ask that children, relatives, or other friends or companions are not included in travel plans.

If you have any questions about your particular situation, please contact Stephanie Cupp.

 What happens at the New Faculty Retreat?

During our week of travel we share many rich discussions, participate in special excursions and meals, experience the city and some surrounding areas, and get to know one another better. Faculty participate in several seminar sessions throughout the week. The seminar sessions take place most days in the morning hours and consist of a variety of discussions and activities about vocation and the faculty enterprise. There will be required readings for these sessions (typically the equivalent of two or three books). Faculty also write out their personal vocational journey in essay format and share their story at the retreat. In addition, we ask faculty to participate in our ongoing research on the new faculty retreat, which consists of providing your vocational journey essay to our research team (it will be kept confidential). 

Spouses are encouraged to attend two of these sessions (the first and final sessions) and will have special outings on other mornings. Participants are also welcomed to attend a brief morning worship on most mornings. Spouses may also do the readings, however these are not required for spouses.

For the Buenos Aires retreat, field trips might consist of a city tour; a trip to an estancia (ranch); a tango dinner show and/or participation in mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral. For the Switzerland retreat, field trips might consist of a tour of Lausanne and Geneva; a lake boat trip and trip to a castle.

We ask that all participants come prepared to fully participate in the retreat experience and engage with colleagues during the week. There will be opportunities for free time as well and you will be provided with a schedule prior to the retreat.

 Is there a cost to attend the New Faculty Retreat?

No. All expenses for group airfare (economy class), meals, ground transportation, lodging and planned field trips during the dates of the retreat are covered by the Center for Faith and Learning for you and your spouse (if applicable). If you hope to extend your stay for more travel, any extra costs will be your responsibility at the time of booking the flight.

NOTE: All bookings will be made through Corniche Travel and booking information will be provided to you. Except in limited circumstances, we require participants to travel on the group airline, as this creates less work for the International Programs staff who are hosting our group.

 Can my spouse attend the retreat with me? What about other family members or friends?

In addition to paying all expenses, the Center for Faith and Learning will also pay for spouses to participate in this trip. In order to utilize university resources responsibly, we ask for spouses to be full participants in the retreat and be fully present and invested in the experience.

No other family or friends may attend. There is a strict no-child policy and we ask that children, relatives, or other friends or companions are not included in travel plans during the dates of the retreat. The only other invitees are spouses.


If you have any questions about this policy, please contact Stephanie Cupp.

 What if I can't attend this year or I’m not sure if I can attend the retreat by the RSVP deadline?

If you are unable to attend the retreat following your first year of employment at Pepperdine, we will extend one more invitation the following year. It is, of course, impossible to select dates that work perfectly with the academic calendars of all five of Pepperdine's schools. If the dates conflict with activities at your particular school, we encourage you to discuss options with the appropriate administrators at your school. All of the deans are aware of and support participation in this retreat.

If this is your final invitation to attend, that was indicated in the invitation email. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact Stephanie Cupp.

You may RSVP with a "Maybe" response, but please do RSVP by the deadline or you may be placed on a waiting list for the retreat. Due to the high number of faculty invited each year, we can only guarantee attendance to the first 20 faculty who RSVP with "Yes" or "Maybe," therefore we recommend that you RSVP as soon as possible to secure your spot.

 Is the New Faculty Retreat required for faculty?

No. This experience is invitational and voluntary. Although we hope you will accept our invitation, participation is not an obligation of your employment or tenure at Pepperdine.

 What if I have mobility issues or dietary restrictions?

We make every effort to accommodate everyone on the retreat. Please be aware that the trip involves an extensive amount of walking on various urban and rural surfaces and other countries do not have the same laws as the United States regarding disability access. We understand that there may be some who will not be able to participate because of this or due to medical conditions, however we strive to accommodate everyone.

We will also do our best to accommodate any dietary restrictions. Food restrictions are often more difficult to accommodate outside of the United States, so we cannot guarantee that all diets can be accommodated at each dining location. There is a kitchen at the Pepperdine facility and extra food can be brought on the trip or purchased at local grocery stores if needed.

Please contact Stephanie Cupp with any questions you may have about accommodations.

 Do I need a visa to travel? What if I am not a United States citizen?

Currently, U.S. citizens do not need visas to travel to Argentina or Switzerland, but participants should start immediately to obtain or renew valid passports, if required. It is recommended that U.S. passports be valid 6 months past the dates of travel, however this is not a requirement for Argentina or Switzerland.

If you are NOT a U.S. citizen and a visa is required for travel, there are often prolonged processes and it is imperative that you start those as soon as possible. Contact Stephanie Cupp as soon as possible to get help with this process.

 Where do we stay while traveling?

In Buenos Aires, participants stay at a hotel located close (within a few blocks or a metro stop) to Pepperdine's International Programs site, Casa Holden and Casa Olleros. Seminar meetings and some meals are held at Pepperdine. Pepperdine is located at 11 de Septiembre 955, Buenos Aires Argentina; Google Maps
International Programs Buenos Aires Website

 Where and When do I RSVP?

You will be provided with an RSVP link (Yes, No or Maybe) and deadline in your invitation email. You may be placed on a waiting list if you RSVP after the deadline. Due to the high number of faculty invited each year, we can only guarantee attendance to the first 20 faculty who RSVP with "Yes" or "Maybe." Therefore, we recommend that you RSVP as soon as possible to secure your spot.

 Who do I contact if I have more questions?

Stephanie Cupp is available to answer any questions. She can be reached at