Date of Award

Fall 2020

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, PhD


School of Educational Studies

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Linda Perkins

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Darrell Moore

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Tabatha L. Jones Jolivet

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© Elizabeth Craigg, 2020 All rights reserved.


Due to the California gold rush in the 1800s, White Southerners seeking quick wealth flocked to the “free-state” of California. These new settlers included enslaved Africans, religion, and Southern attitudes that set the foundation for California to be a Southern-attitude state, which eventually attracted generations of free African Americans and a large White Southern population. White Southerners shaped California through passing discriminatory housing, education, banking, and employment policies against African Americans with the intention of marginalizing African Americans' existence and limiting their economic opportunity. The Church of Christ was largely a Southern and Midwestern religion that was one of the last church denominations and its educational institutions to integrate. Pepperdine University was founded in 1937 in South Los Angeles, becoming the only Church of Christ educational institution to be integrated, which attracted African Americans from around the country seeking to have a Church of Christ religious education. Therefore, Pepperdine became an integral part of the Black Church of Christ. This dissertation provides a historical analysis of the intersection of race, location, and faith as Pepperdine University is forced to confront race during the university’s two-campus model from 1972 - 1981 that led to the final demise of the LA Campus.