Biola University is a private,
Christian university and is located
approximately 16 miles (26 km) from downtown Los Angeles, in La
Mirada, California. Founded in 1908, the university has over 40 major
academic fields of study in nine schools.
3 Messianic Jewish Studies
4.1 Colleges and schools
4.2 Honors program
5 Student organizations
9 Notable alumni
10 Notable faculty
12 External links
Los Angeles building: under construction (top) and
complete in 1916 (bottom). It was demolished in 1988, after damage in
a 1987 earthquake.
Biola University was founded in 1908 as the Bible Institute Of Los
Angeles by Lyman Stewart, president of the Union Oil Company of
California (subsequently known as
Unocal and later purchased by the
Chevron Corporation); Thomas C. Horton, a
Presbyterian minister and
Christian author; and Augustus B. Prichard, also a Presbyterian
In 1912, the school appointed R. A. Torrey as dean, and in 1913 began
construction on a new building at the corner of Sixth and Hope St., in
downtown Los Angeles, which included a 3,500-seat auditorium, two
large neon signs on top of the building proclaiming "Jesus Saves", and
a set of eleven bells on which hymns were played three times each
day. These early leaders wanted the school to focus on the
training of students in the Bible and missions, rather than a broad
Christian education that was typical of most Christian
liberal arts colleges. The Institute offered a diploma after
completion of a two-year curriculum. This model was based largely on
the Moody Bible Institute. Beginning in the 1920s, attempts were
made to broaden the curriculum, but it was not until 1949 that the
institution took the name "Biola College" and 1981 when it was renamed
"Biola University". Biola re-located to
La Mirada, California
La Mirada, California in
In 1915 Torrey announced plans to organize an independent church that
would meet in Biola's auditorium called the Church of the Open Door.
This decision proved controversial with local
Presbyterian and Baptist
In 1917, the Institute published a four-volume version of The
Fundamentals: A Testimony To The Truth (a series of essays affirming
Protestant beliefs), edited by Torrey and others, with
funds donated by
Lyman Stewart and his brother Milton.
Lyman Stewart died on September 28, 1923, and ten months later, Reuben
Torrey resigned as dean. The school appointed Joseph Irvine as
President, and on April 3, 1925, appointed John Murdoch MacInnis as
the school's second dean. MacInnis was a
Presbyterian minister who had
only been an instructor at the school for about two years. MacInnis
served as dean until his forced resignation on December 31, 1928. His
administration was turbulent and suffered from leadership conflicts
and religious controversy. In 1927, Biola published a book by
MacInnis entitled "Peter the Fisherman Philosopher". This book became
the focus of an intense national controversy, in which MacInnis was
accused by Fundamentalists of advocating liberal theological positions
contrary to Biola's standards. Eventually MacInnis was forced
to resign effective December 31, 1928, and all the remaining copies of
the book along with the printing plates were destroyed.
Charles E. Fuller a businessman and evangelist and graduate of
Biola, was drafted as vice president to find a new dean and a
president. Elbert McCreery and William P. White, both associated with
Moody Bible Institute, were chosen to fill these posts.
During the Great Depression, the Institute suffered serious financial
difficulties. In 1932, Louis T. Talbot, pastor of the Church of the
Open Door, assumed the presidency and helped raise much-needed
funds. During the next two decades, Talbot led a shift away from
missions, instead concentrating on academic programs. Talbot
Theological Seminary became Biola's first graduate school, and in
1977, Biola acquired the graduate programs of Rosemead Graduate School
of Professional Psychology and relocated them to the La Mirada
campus. Biola added a School of Intercultural Studies in 1983,
a School of Business in 1993, and a School of Education in
"The Word", mural by Kent Twitchell.
Biola holds two annual student conferences, the Missions Conference
during the spring semester and the Torrey Memorial Bible Conference
during the fall semester.
The Missions Conference is the largest annual missions conference and
the second largest missions conference in the world, second only to
the tri-annual Urbana Missions Conference. It is a three-day
student-run event that is intended to inspire students towards
missionary activity and provide information about missionary work.
Classes are canceled Wednesday through Friday in the middle of spring
semester to accommodate this. The conference offers ethnic meals,
cultural awareness field trips, on-campus cultural experiences, and
interaction with missionaries.
The Torrey Memorial Bible Conference is also a three-day conference
dedicated to students' spiritual growth. Every year a specific topic
is chosen that is geared towards the typical college student's
The annual one-day
Biola Media Conference seeks to advance the
integration of faith and the arts. It brings together
leaders and other Christians for education, inspiration, and
On November 16, 1996, the university hosted the first national
conference on intelligent design. Later, Intervarsity Press published
Mere Creation (ISBN 0-8308-1515-5), a collection of the papers
presented at the conference. Subsequent intelligent design conferences
were held at the University in 2002 and 2004.
Since 2015, Biola requires students to attend 5 conference sessions
and 20 chapel services per semester, or face a financial penalty.
Messianic Jewish Studies
On October 8, 2007, Biola opened the Charles Feinberg Center for
Messianic Jewish Studies in Manhattan. The Center offers a Masters in
Divinity in Messianic Jewish Studies. The program, which is in
cooperation with Chosen People Ministries, focuses on the education
and training of leaders in the Messianic Jewish community. The
program is approved by the New York State Board of Regents and the
Association of Theological Schools.
Colleges and schools
Biola offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and 80 concentrations
and 145 professional fields of study, as well as master's, doctoral,
and professional degrees. Degrees include B.A., B.S., B.M., B.F.A,
M.A., M.B.A., M.Div., Th.M., D.Min., D.Miss., Psy.D., Ed.D., and Ph.D.
All are regionally and professionally accredited and are integrated
Lecture hall at
Biola University in La Mirada, California
The schools are:
Crowell School of Business
Rosemead School of Psychology
School of Arts and Sciences
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
School of Education
Clyde and Annabelle Cook School of Intercultural Studies
Talbot School of Theology
School of Science, Technology and Health
School of Cinema and Media Arts
Crowell School of Business is an undergraduate and graduate business
school located in La Mirada, Calif at Biola University.
In 1993, the school was established as the fifth school of Biola
University. In 2005, the school was renamed the Crowell School of
Business after a generous donation from the Crowell family who has
deep ties to the history of Biola University. The late Donald Warren
Crowell was the great nephew of both Lula Crowell who was the wife of
Lyman Stewart, one of Biola’s founders. The new state of the art
business building opened in 2007 to host both graduate and
Crowell offers two master’s programs in business administration: a
Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and a Masters in Professional
Accountancy (MPAcc). Both of these degrees can be obtained through a
full-time or part-time schedule. Both the MBA and MPAcc programs are
accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges
with the MBA being accredited by the Accreditation Council for
Business Schools and Programs as well. The undergraduate program at
Crowell offers majors in accounting and in business administration
with emphasis in international business, management, marketing,
marketing management and business analytics. The school offers a minor
in business administration available to all undergraduates at Biola
University. The undergraduate program boasts approximately 400
students, making it the largest undergraduate program at Biola.
The School of Education was established in 2007, originally started as
the Education Department in 1952. It offers biblically integrated
courses and programs that exist to train those who desire to make an
impact as educators and administrators in public, private, homeschool,
charter and international schools. At the undergraduate level, the
School of Education is home to the elementary education,
multidisciplinary majors and liberal studies, which consistently rank
among the most popular undergraduate majors at Biola. At the graduate
level, the School of Education offers a Master of Arts in Teaching and
Master of Arts in Education programs. These graduate programs can be
tailored to meet the individual interests of new and experienced
teachers alike. The School of Education also offers a state-accredited
Teacher Preparation Program, which offers teaching credentials at both
the graduate and undergraduate levels.
All undergraduate students are required to take 30 units of Bible
classes, regardless of their major, resulting in a minor in
theological and Biblical studies. The mission of
Biola University is
"biblically centered education, scholarship, and service—equipping
men and women in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord
In its 2014 college rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked
Biola in its "Best National Universities" category, ranking Biola
177 out of 281 national universities. Biola was one of only two
national universities in the Council for
Christian Colleges and
Universities (CCCU) to be included in the first tier. In 2013
Biola had been listed as one of America's 19 "up and coming" national
universities by U.S. News. In 2014 Niche ranked Biola as #3 in its
Friendliest Students category.
Torrey Honors Institute is a classical literature great books program
started by Dr. John Mark Reynolds in 1995 and named after Reuben
Archer Torrey. Classes in the department are used to meet most of
the general education requirements at
Biola University in four years
(the program does not offer a major or minor). The Torrey Honors
Institute is patterned after Oxford's tutorial system, employing
reading, discussion, writing, mentoring, and lectures among other
opportunities. The goal of the department is to "equip men and
women to pursue truth, goodness and beauty in intellectual and
spiritual community, enabling them to be strong
Lyman Stewart, President and Benefactor
Thomas. C. Horton, Superintendent
Years in office
William P. White
Louis T. Talbot
Paul W. Rood
Louis T. Talbot
Samuel H. Sutherland
J. Richard Chase
Biola's Student Government Association (SGA) equips student leaders to
provide funding for student initiatives and representation for the
undergraduate student body in order to foster Christ-centered
community. SGA also sponsors student initiated and student run clubs
on campus through which anyone can get involved, create community, and
develop teamwork and leadership skills. There are more than 40 active
clubs on campus.
The Biola Student Missionary Union (SMU) is the largest student-led
missions organization in the United States. The ministry focuses in
three primary areas: Biola, our city, and the Nations. Students from
every background and skill set can live out the Great Commission in
their lives through the Missions Conference, Local Missions trips
(Jerusalem and Judea project), Short-Term Missions trips and many
other opportunities. SMU exists to mobilize students to align their
lives towards the completion of the Great Commission. Their desire is
to consistently raise up generations of student leaders who
passionately and obediently serve Jesus throughout their lives.
In May 2012, an underground
LGBTQ community, calling themselves the
Biola Queer Underground, launched a website in support of promoting
dialogue and reconsideration of Biola's expulsion policy regarding
homosexual behavior. The covert group requested to be accepted as
a facet of diversity within the campus, declaring that, despite
traditional church teaching on homosexuality, they held similar
Christian beliefs and values to the university. The website was
advertised on campus without authorization, and garnered national
attention from the mainstream media. The Biola administration
released a formal statement on their views on human sexuality shortly
afterwards, and gave a chapel message reiterating their view that
marriage is strictly between a man and woman. In the Spring of
2013 William Haggerty and Natasha Magness, both former students of the
university, were interviewed by Biola's student newspaper, revealing
that they were the co-founders of the organization.
Biola University teams, nicknamed athletically as the Eagles, are part
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA),
primarily competing in the
Golden State Athletic Conference
Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC).
Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf,
soccer, swimming, tennis and track & field; while women's sports
include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming,
tennis, track & field and volleyball.
In 2012, Biola inducted three alumni into Inaugural Athletics Hall of
Fame. The Athletics Department inducted
Todd Worrell (Baseball), Becky
White (Volleyball and Women's Basketball) and Wade Kirchmeyer (Men's
Basketball). The school has since inducted nine more alumni,
including: Jim Blagg, Dr. Clyde Cook, Musa Dogonyaro, Ronn Johnson,
Natasha Miller, Ben Orr, Jessica Pistole, Rianne Schorel and Tim
Biola University also has a club men's lacrosse team that competed in
the Western Collegiate Lacrosse Conference, but as of 2009 they
compete in a new conference, the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference
(SLC). Biola also has a club men's rugby team that began playing in
the SCRFU in 2013.
In 2005, the university's soccer pitch, Al Barbour Field, was
completely rebuilt, incorporating a
FieldTurf synthetic grass surface,
new lighting, and a parking garage beneath the field.
In 2013, Biola's softball field was newly renovated. The new "Freedom
Field" contains an upgraded facility complete with new dugouts,
bullpens, a team room and other major improvements.
On July 20, 2016 Biola University’s application for membership into
the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division II had
been approved for the three-year membership process. The Eagles will
continue as an active member of the GSAC conference and NAIA for the
2016–17 school year while completing Provisional Year One with the
NCAA. Beginning in Provisional Year Two (2017–18), Biola will join
the Pacific West (PacWest) Conference and compete primarily against
NCAA opponents. With successful completion of Provisional Year Three
(2018–19) of the membership process, the Eagles will gain full,
active NCAA DII membership and become eligible to compete for NCAA
Division II championships beginning as early as 2019-20.
In 2012, the
Biola University Center for
Christian Thought (CCT) was
launched, funded by a $3.03 million grant from the John Templeton
Foundation, the largest academic grant ever awarded to Biola
University. The CCT (cct.biola.edu) is a forum where leading
Christian thinkers from around the world gather to research and
discuss issues of significance to the academy, the church, and the
broader culture. In 2013, the
Biola University Center for
Christianity, Culture and the Arts (CCCA) was launched, funded with a
grant from philanthropists Howard and Roberta Ahmanson’s Fieldstead
and Company. The CCCA (ccca.biola.edu) sponsors events and
symposia, produces online resources and strives to facilitate
thoughtful reflection on the interplay of
Christian faith, the larger
culture and the world of the arts. In October 2014, Biola launched
the Center for Marriage and Relationships (CMR). The center exists to
build and sustain healthy relationships and marriages in the church
and broader culture. They strive to provide a safe place for
individuals, couples and families to share their stories and be heard.
CMR also desires to restore and inspire a vision or marriage that
reflects the beautiful model of Christ's redeeming love for the
The university has been involved in the publication of the following
magazines and academic journals:
The King's Business was a monthly publication of Biola from 1910 to
1970. In the first decades of its publication, it was the leading
journal for conservative Christianity and the early fundamentalist
movement. In fact, 'The Fundamentals" and The King's Business shared
the same chief editor (R. A. Torrey) and were supported by the same
"concerned laymen" (Lyman and Milton Stewart).
Philosophia Christi is a peer-reviewed journal published twice a year
by the Evangelical Philosophical Society with the support of Biola
University as a vehicle for the scholarly discussion of philosophy and
philosophical issues in the fields of ethics, theology, and religion.
The journal is indexed by The
Philosopher's Index and Religious &
Journal of Psychology and Theology has as its purpose to communicate
recent scholarly thinking on the interrelationships of psychological
and theological concepts, and to consider the application of these
concepts to a variety of professional settings. The major intent of
the editor is to place before the evangelical community articles that
have bearing on the nature of humankind from a Biblical
Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care has as its purpose
advancing the discussion of the theory and practice of Christian
formation and soul care for the sake of the educational ministries of
Christian education, and other para-church organizations
through scholarly publications that are rooted in Biblical exegesis,
systematic theology, the history of
philosophical analysis, psychological theory/research, spiritual
Christian Education Journal has as its purpose to strengthen the
conception and practice of
Christian education in church and
Great Commission Research Journal is a peer-reviewed journal devoted
to research and scholarly thinking on church growth.
Biola Magazine is the official magazine of Biola University.
Sundoulos is the official magazine of Talbot School of Theology.
The Chimes is Biola's student newspaper.
The Point is a magazine produced by Biola's journalism program that
won the 2008 Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award, the highest
honor for a collegiate magazine.
The Inkslinger is a student creative arts journal.
The Bells is a humorous, fictitious news site created by and for Biola
students. The Bells is a satire similar to The Onion.
Open Biola is an online database allowing visitors from anywhere in
the world to easily search, stream, download and share videos and
other learning materials that engage academic topics from a Christian
Charles E. Fuller (1921)
Christian clergyman and radio evangelist
Josh McDowell (1971)
Christian apologist, evangelist and writer
Todd Worrell (1982) Retired professional baseball relief pitcher
John Thune (1983) American Politician
Steve Bridges (1986) Comedian, impressionist and actor
Scott Derrickson (1990) Director, screenwriter and producer
Tim Worrell (1990) Former professional baseball pitcher
Danny Yamashiro (1991) Evangelist and pastor
Judith Hill (2006) Singer-songwriter
Sikhanyiso Dlamini (2010) Princess of Swaziland
Zach King (2012) Filmmaker and YouTube personality
William Lane Craig, Research Professor of Philosophy
J. Vernon McGee, (late) Professor of Bible and Department Chair
J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy
Robert L. Saucy, (late) Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology
J. Warner Wallace, Adjunct Professor of Apologetics
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