Students in Landed spent their first meeting Sept. 26 engaging in both worship and community. Previous student intern Kailey Schaneberg and Karl Kalinkewicz, the assistant director of marketing and student development started Landed in 2015. Photos by Mary Elisabeth
Faith, culture and fruitfulness — students in Landed have been exploring the significance of these topics as they relate to life both in Malibu and around the globe, junior Colin Wiese said.
Landed is a faith-based community at Pepperdine where students are able to reflect on and implement the spiritual growth from their time abroad, Wiese said.
“We meet with the intention of having just a small group discussion and lead into how we can live in Malibu transformed rather than just stepping back into old habits and patterns,” Wiese said.
Wiese is the spiritual development intern for the International Programs office. After studying abroad in London during his sophomore year, Wiese said he is now the director of both Landed and the Seaver 200 breakout group, Take Off.
While Take Off is designed to help prepare students’ minds and hearts for studying abroad, Landed serves as a stepping stone to help students integrate from life abroad back into the Malibu community, Wiese said.
“No matter where you are in your faith or religious walk, it’s very beneficial in processing those cultural experiences and learning how you can grow from them,” junior Kaila Crouch said.
Crouch is a new member of Landed and spent the spring 2022 semester abroad in London. Reflecting on her first meeting in Landed, Crouch said students shared insightful comments on how God is using their experiences abroad to positively impact the Malibu campus.
“No matter where you are in your faith or religious walk, it’s very beneficial in processing those cultural experiences and learning how you can grow from them,” Crouch said.
Landed held its first meeting of the semester Sept. 26 and will continue to meet on a six-week consecutive basis to discuss the theme of fruitfulness in-depth and how the impacts of studying abroad can be used to bear good fruit, Wiese said.
“I always love hearing people’s stories and getting encapsulated by experiences people have had,” junior Jackson Buck said.
Buck said he studied abroad in London for both semesters of the 2021-22 academic year. Because of Pepperdine’s smaller population, Buck said it can be tempting to cling to people you’ve grown close to while abroad. However, Landed provides the perfect opportunity to meet students from various programs while embracing faith and leadership, Buck said.
“It’s a relaxed environment where you can reflect on experiences you’ve had, share some wisdom you’ve learned and learn from others too,” Buck said.
Wiese said a typical meeting for Landed begins with an icebreaker activity, followed by a brief message on the topic for the evening. In the first meeting, students discussed the overall theme of fruitfulness, according to related biblical scripture. Crouch said one way she is achieving this is through involvement in Intercultural Organizations such as Black Student Union and Latinx Student Alliance to increase the cultural awareness she gained while abroad.
Students then have the opportunity to share any initial thoughts or feelings before splitting up into breakout groups. This allows students to delve into the message through discussion questions and the security of a small group environment. Afterward, the group will reconvene to share what they learned, Wiese said.
“We talked about just sitting in His presence and really listening to Him and discerning what his calling is versus checking things off from what we want to do or what we think is good to do as a Christian,” Crouch said.
Students interested in joining the Landed community are welcome to stop by the Lighthouse patio on Mondays at 7 p.m. or email Wiese for more information.
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