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First Year Reading and Reflection

Dear Incoming Student:

The Pepperdine Center for Faith and Learning provides a reading and reflective writing opportunity to all incoming first-year students to help them focus on the question of vocation. By vocation, we do not merely mean what career you hope to pursue.  Rather, we mean the life you feel called to live.

The question of vocation has several parts: How are we called by God?  How are we called into community?  What are your greatest gifts and talents?  How can you use those gifts in service to others, especially those who are most in need?  How do we discern the answers to these questions?

To help you focus on these questions, we are providing you with a reading and writing opportunity.  Along with this letter is an article written by the former director of the Center for Faith and Learning, Dr. Gary Selby. Before you arrive on campus in a few weeks, you are invited to read this article. It should not take you long to complete this reading.

As soon as you have read the material, we invite you to write a brief essay in which you reflect on your life and your aspirations in light of these readings- you may use the reflection questions at the end of the article as a guideline. You are not required to submit this essay; however, you will have the opportunity to explore it in greater detail as part of Pepperdine’s Chapel program.  In this essay, you should allow these readings to inform your thinking about questions like these: How do I feel called by God?  What do I view as my greatest gifts and talents? How can I best employ those gifts in service to others?

We look forward to having you as a vital part of the Pepperdine community. If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Cupp via email or at (310) 506-4141. Welcome to Pepperdine!

You should not strive for any particular length. Just write what you need to write in order to address these issues fully and adequately, and in a way that reflects your own self-understanding. Your essay will not be graded.