Image courtesy of the Pepperdine Convocation Office
Student-led club convocations will now include a mentorship program for student leaders. This change comes as part of an initiative to unite students, administrators, and faculty/staff through convocation events.
According to a University press release, student leaders will be required to meet with a faculty/staff mentor to “prepare and execute” their club convocation. In addition, the student leader will receive ten credits: six for leading the six club convocation sessions and four for the mentorship program. However, the rest of the process for creating and running a club convocation remains the same.
“We want to set up a servant leadership model with these changes,” said Gus Peterson, director of Convocation. “We are setting up a discipleship model in which student leaders aren’t only pouring into and leading others, but at the same time being poured into and mentored through the process.”
The change is rooted in the “quiet success” of the spiritual mentorship program, another way students can earn convocation credits.
As the first Convocation Office staff that works in the Office of the Chaplain, they are making intentional choices by extending their theme of “Invitation.”
“Our programs are set up with deep intentionality,” Peterson said. “Our Wednesday morning Chapel theme for the year is ‘Invitation’ and we hope to create a worship space for the Pepperdine community that will extend past Wednesday mornings and into other venues like club convocation, allowing us to strengthen the relationships within our community as well as diving deeper into why convocation exists.”
Senior and past club convocation leader Alistair Chong spoke of the past disconnect students and administrators have with convocation. “Wednesday morning Chapel has felt outdated in the past and students have focused on fulfilling the credit requirement instead of both creating a space for intentionality and growth,” he said.
Chong, who will be leading a club convocation again this semester, expressed his enthusiasm for club convocations and the new change. “That’s why I like club convocations: The focus is on creating a more organic, intentional community,” he said. “I also think it is important for everyone to have a mentor, whether or not you are leading a ministry. It helps to have someone more mature and further along their walk of life to help support you.”
Chong thinks that this change will help students re-focus on their spiritual journeys. “I think this will be beneficial for student leaders by making it a more intentional space and less of a convocation credit-driven activity.”
Senior and Fifield Spiritual Life Adviser Jonathan Castellanos says the mentorship program will benefit not just him as a leader but the first-year residents that will take part in his club convocation. “I believe the faculty/staff mentor will help by guiding the creative process and giving [me] constructive criticism on how to be a better leader. I also hope [my mentor] can be a source of additional support for the members of my club convocation and ensure them that the faculty and staff here are here for them,” he said.
Peterson is also hopeful of this new transition. “We are excited to lean into this new transition and we look forward to feedback to better improve our programs,” he said.
For more information about the process for student-led club convocations, visit http://community.pepperdine.edu/seaver/convo/clubconvo/club-convo-policies-studentled.htm.
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