Experts on "Character Development"

Marla Campbell

  • Professor Emerita of Intercultural Studies

Presently Dr. Marla Campbell teaches with the faculty of the School of Intercultural Studies following five years in the Education Department at Biola University. Prior to this, Marla served as Dean of Students at Bethany College and as a missionary in the Balkans of Eastern Europe then later with Asia-Pacific Education working with Bible colleges. All of these have offered opportunities to fulfill her desire to reach the lost, especially through the teaching and training of others who will carry on the task. During her 14 years of teaching in Christian high schools, Dr. Campbell had a vision for taking drama ministry teams nationally and internationally with the development of Parable Drama. Her mission opportunities have taken her throughout the USA and to over 60 countries. Whether at home or abroad, Marla has always had a focus on education and ministries with a strong passion for biblical integration, intentional living and spiritual formation. She enjoys opportunities to teach and speak in a variety of these venues as well as in women's ministry settings. Equipping Christian educators in public or private schools, whether at home or abroad, remains a primary focus for both speaking and publishing.

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Frederick Cardoza

  • Director of M.A.C.E. and M.Div. Christian Education
  • Associate Professor
  • Christian Ministry and Leadership

Freddy Cardoza has ministered for 20 years in churches and parachurch ministries of all sizes, and has taught academically for more than 20 years at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. He has taught internationally and regularly teaches adjunctively at both the graduate and doctoral levels.

Freddy serves as Director of M.A.C.E. and M.Div. and Undergraduate Christian Education at Talbot School of Theology and Biola University.

Freddy is the Executive Director for the Society of Professors in Christian Education (NAPCE), which is the academic society of evangelical professors representing some 200 seminaries, universities and liberal arts colleges that teach in the areas of spiritual formation, Christian ministries and Christian education.

Freddy received a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) in Leadership from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and completed all required coursework for the Doctor of Education (Ed.D./ABD). He earned a Master of Arts from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and holds a Bachelor of Science from Liberty University.

Freddy is also a member of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), the Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA) and formerly served as President of the Board for the Christian Worldview Leadership Academy in Kansas City.

Freddy speaks regularly at churches, conferences, conventions, retreats and seminars.

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Luciano Cid

  • Assistant Professor

Luciano Cid grew up in Argentina until he was thirteen years of age. It was then when his parents made the complex decision to immigrate to the United States in search of a better life for their children. At the beginning, Cid struggled both socially and academically, which was something he had never experienced before. With time, he began to be able to communicate using his second language (English), which assisted him in acclimating to his new surroundings. As this occurred, he became more socially and academically capable. Nevertheless, Cid never forgot the emotional and academic difficulties that he experienced during his adjustment period in his new country.

Consequently, after completing his double major in philosophy and religious studies at the California State University of Fullerton, he entered a teaching credential program at Chapman University. During his time at Chapman, Cid investigated the emotional and academic potential that low income and immigrant students could gain if a teacher were to make him/herself emotionally available. It was also at Chapman when Cid was introduced to the interconnection that exists between neuroscience, psychology and education, which lead him to want to explore more about these subjects. This desire led Cid to receive an Ed.M from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of Mind, Brain and Education (MBE). While at Harvard, God stirred his heart to apply to a doctoral program. Consequently, after a short term experiencing frigid Bostonian weather, he found himself back in sunny Southern California attending a doctoral program at the University of Southern California (USC). His training at USC was mainly in the fields of educational leadership and educational psychology.

Cid currently resides in Newport Beach, CA. with his son (Matias), daughter (Italia) and lovely wife (Janelle). His research interests include: the academic, socio-emotional and spiritual formation of children through authentic experiences; the integration of the field of Mind, Brain and Education (MBE) with spirituality; and teacher preparation, support and development. However, his greatest professional passion will continue to be to use and share the skills and knowledge with which God has blessed him in order to alleviate the emotional and academic shortfalls that children may be suffering in their academic environments.

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John H. Coe

  • Director, Institute for Spiritual Formation
  • Professor of Philosophy and Spiritual Theology

Coe is a specialist in the philosophical and theological foundation of the integration of faith and learning. His research focuses on understanding the nature of spiritual and psychological health, the history of spirituality, the work of the Holy Spirit in personal change and the interface between psychology, spirituality and philosophy. A particular interest is in exploring approaches to spiritual direction as a compliment to Christian psychotherapy. Coe is also the Director of the Institute for Spiritual Formation at Biola University.

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Todd W Hall

  • Professor of Psychology
  • Director, Institute for Research on Psychology and Spirituality

Todd Hall’s writing and research focuses on relational approaches to spiritual development. He is considered a leading expert on spiritual development and the integration of psychology and theology/spirituality. Hall has published extensively on the topic, in journals such as the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, Mental Health, Culture and Religion, Journal of Family Psychology, Journal of Psychology and Christianity and Journal of Psychology and Theology. He has presented over 50 papers at national conferences on the topic of relational spirituality.

Hall recently co-authored (with John Coe) Psychology in the Spirit: Contours of a Transformational Psychology (2010), part of IVP’s Christian Worldview Integration series. He also co-authored a chapter in Christianity and Psychology: Five Views (IVP, 2011). Hall developed the Spiritual Transformation Inventory (STI), which is the most widely used spiritual assessment tool among Christian colleges and universities.

Hall is a consultant for the Laity Leadership Institute, a Senior Fellow for the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), and has consulted with numerous organizations including the National Institute for Mental Health, Salvation Army, New York City Leadership Center, Moody Press, Wisdom Works, and numerous Christian universities. He is a sought-after conference speaker for Christian schools, nonprofits and churches around the country.

Hall maintains a small clinical practice in which he specializes in attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapy with adults.

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David A Horner

  • Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies & M.A. Philosophy

David Horner has taught at the University of Oxford, Denver Seminary, and served as a Visiting Scholar and Research Associate at the University of Colorado. He has lectured in numerous classrooms and university forums nationally and in Europe, and he has written numerous articles and book chapters on ethics, apologetics and ancient and medieval philosophy. Horner serves as Research Scholar for Centers for Christian Study, International, an effort to develop intellectual Christian communities within secular university contexts. He also serves as Executive Director of The Illuminatio Project, whose aim is to bring the light of a classical biblical vision of goodness, truth and beauty into the thinking of the church and culture through strategic research and communication.

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Elizabeth Larson

  • Associate Professor, Violin and Chamber Music
  • Area Coordinator, Strings
  • Director, Chamber Music

Ms. Larson has been described as a teacher who mentors her students toward becoming involved collaborators who have a deep understanding of the craftsmanship within the music they play and a joy for sharing it with others. Teaching at Biola since January 2010, her primary responsibilities include teaching applied violin, coaching chamber music, and teaching courses in string literature and string pedagogy. Outside of the Biola classroom, Ms. Larson has an exciting international performance career as a solo and chamber musician, and participates in festivals all over the world both as a performer and instructor. Alumna Amanda Sansonetti ('13) says, "Ms. Larson has a wonderful way of helping her students reach toward the joy of playing music, which is really the heart of excellence in performance. She persistently guides her students toward a deeper level of musicianship and a greater attention to the details, and her desire to use music as ministry is inspiring. Most of all, I am so grateful for the care she shows for her students as whole people; we are continually reminded that we are God's beloved children, first and foremost."

Education and Influences

Ms. Larson gives much credit to her parents for encouraging her in her pursuit of music. "My parents just really saw music as a precious gift from God that we discovered almost by happy accident in our lives, and they wanted to foster that. They never pushed it, but rather provided for it in every way they could; I'm really grateful for that approach they took." She emulates her parents' attitude with her students by presenting the study of music as a joyful pursuit of excellence as worship to God rather than as a means of self-glorification. One of her most influential teachers was Marylou Speaker Churchill, the first woman to hold a principal chair in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Larson began studying with her at age 11, and she notes that Mrs. Churchill inspired her students to love their music rather than to approach it with worry or intimidation. "She was the one who taught her students how to fall in love with music on a daily basis. One thing that she was famous for was, when you looked at her music, rather than a lot of bowings and fingerings, she had hearts over her favorite notes in the music instead. That taught us as her students that music is about loving others, and not just getting the right bowings and fingerings."

As for her love of teaching, she remarks that she learned much from watching her mother, Trudy Larson, as she taught in her home studio. Her mother is the premier teacher on the north shore of Boston, and someone who started a youth orchestra of 8 students in her basement, growing it to a full organization of 300 students today. "She played a big role in showing me how to teach, and how to care for the whole student, and not just how they play…The approach I have ended up taking is because of her example."

Teachers include James Buswell from the New England Conservatory, Franco Gulli at Indiana University, Yfrah Neaman at the Guildhall School of Music in London, Peter Oundjian at Yale University Grad School, and Marylou Speaker Churchill.

Musical Career

Ms. Larson began her studies at the age of 3 and gave her recital debut at the age of 6. One year later, she gave her orchestral solo debut performing with the Milwaukee Symphony in a series of 10 concerts. She went on to solo with the Boston Pops at age 11. Since then, she has performed concerts throughout the world and has numerous prestigious honors to her credit. The Boston Globe has praised her playing as having "great charm and refinement…and capable of breathtaking virtuosity." She has performed in such halls as Symphony Hall, Boston with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Kennedy Center, and Victoria Hall, Geneva, as the featured soloist in a concert honoring Lord Yehudi Menuhin on the day of his death.

Her solo tours have brought her to four continents in concerts throughout the U.S., Japan, England, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Finland, Taiwan, South Korea, Estonia and India. Ms. Larson has been heard on radio on NPR, both in feature programs aired throughout the U.S. and also live in performance from the Chicago Public Library. In Korea, her performances have been broadcast both on radio and Korean National TV.

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Larson has been a Resident Artist at festivals including the Banff Festival for the Arts, the Caramoor Festival, New York, where she collaborated with pianist Joseph Kalichstein, Prussia Cove, England, and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. She has also collaborated with pianist Menahem Pressler and in a series of chamber music performances with Gidon Kremer, Boris Pergamenschikow, and Eugene Istomin at the Kronberg Festival in Germany. For two years, she was invited to join Yehudi Menuhin's prestigious chamber ensemble, the Camerata Lysy, Switzerland, performing as soloist and in chamber ensembles throughout Europe, and on tour to South Africa. This led to three additional years of performances as the violinist of Duo Shanti under the auspices of Live Music Now in the UK and in the concert venues of Europe and the U.S. She was also a member of the Credo Trio from 2009-2012, the performance and touring ensemble of the Credo Festival, giving concerts and workshops on integrating music, work, and faith throughout the U.S.

This season, Elizabeth will be performing as recitalist and chamber musician in concert series throughout the U.S. and Europe. Ms. Larson continues to serve as Consultant for Angelos Mission Ensemble, an intensive chamber music program, dedicated to the development of young leaders in chamber music and the arts. In the summers, she returns to the festivals of Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Credo Festival and Masterworks, where she performs and is on faculty each summer. Ms. Larson was most recently the Founder, Director and Instructor at the Geneva Conservatory of Music, a music school in New York City, which she founded in 2002, and divides her time between performing and teaching, residing in both New York and Los Angeles.

Faith in Action

For Ms. Larson, her music was often the way in which God met her and taught her. "I think I knew from a young age that this was something I wanted to do," she recalls."I wanted to speak through music, and I wanted people to know about God through the process. I wanted to know more about God through music, and that's what He used to teach me more about Him and draw me closer to who He is." As she has traveled around the globe to teach and to perform, she has seen God's hand at work in weaving together her circumstances. "If there is one thing that I learned it is that God certainly has full control over where I am and when. I just need to always follow His loving lead. And I can truly trust that because I learned that taking this leap [into Biola]." During lessons and in studio class, Ms. Larson encourages her students to think and to discuss the ways in which they can live out their faith in the larger artistic community. "Music is one of the most powerful ways that God brings us into His presence," she notes. The way that she shows her students to approach their performances is a clear manifestation of this attitude of worship.

Why Biola?

During Biola's campus-wide Year of the Arts (2011-2012), Ms. Larson played a crucial role as the Founder and Coordinator for the Random Acts of Culture: A Moving concert series. This project facilitated weekly 30-minute casual concerts performed by students "at random" all over campus in order to minister to the Biola community and to explore the concept of transforming venues into sacred spaces. Through her efforts in the Conservatory, students have more opportunities to serve their university with their musical gifts, and to bless people beyond our campus, as well as to bring more awareness of the arts to the wider community. An example of this is the music recorded by the Biola Honors String Quartet.

Ms. Larson sees her interactions with her students as an enriching part of her experience at Biola. "The students are hungry to learn about their craft, about God, and about each other. They are open about sharing what they are learning, and so the family atmosphere allows us to easily learn from each other and not just from the professor. I have found that in the string department, there is a close-knit family who can trust each other. We are free to make mistakes, to learn, and then grow." Her desire for her students is that they would learn to trust God and worship Him through their efforts. "Great music comes out of a heart that trusts Him and a willingness to spend the time developing one's gifts…wherever that may lead."

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Alan McMahan

  • Undergraduate Chair, Cook School of Intercultural Studies
  • Program Director Undergraduate Studies for Intercultural Studies
  • Professor of Intercultural Studies

Alan McMahan has served in churches in North America and on the Pacific Rim as well as taught in the areas of missiology, church growth, leadership, organizational development and evangelism. He has been active in training undergraduate and graduate students including mid-career professionals, Bible school teachers, pastors and denominational leaders through the U.S., Canada, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia in the effective means to develop leaders and grow churches. He maintains an active consulting service in churches and is the former President of the American Society of Church Growth. He has earned degrees from Fuller Seminary, Asbury Seminary, the Alliance Theological Seminary and Nyack College. His Ph.D. dissertation was entitled, "Training Turnaround Leaders, Systemic Approaches to Reinstate Growth in Plateaued Churches." He has served as a Vice President for the Alliance Theological Seminary, and as the Academic Dean at The King’s College in mid-town Manhattan. McMahan now works at Biola University as an Associate Professor in the School of Intercultural Studies and serves as the Department Chair for the Undergraduate Intercultural Studies Program. He is married to Terri, and has two sons.

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Patricia L Pike

  • Vice Provost for Academic Administration
  • Professor of Psychology

Patricia Pike is currently vice provost for academic administration and professor of psychology at Biola University. She is a licensed psychologist in California and a member of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Research in Child Development and was a lead delegate for over 10 years of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology. Pike received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree in psychology from the University of Hawaii and later went on to earn a doctoral specialty certificate in psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. She previously taught at the University of Hawaii, Mountain View College in Dallas, Texas, and the University of Texas, Arlington. Pike has invested her time outside of the classroom at the Child Guidance Center in Santa Ana, California, and the Biola Counseling Center.

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Joshua Smith

  • Assistant Professor
Dr. Joshua Smith is a literary scholar with a primary interest in both the nineteenth century and American West. As a professor at the Torrey Honors Institute, he also teaches the classics, the knowledge of which he employs to explore the intellectual influences on important American thinkers, writers and historical developments. He is most interested in the ways that American territorial expansion and frontier mythology shape antebellum writing and national identity. Looking far beyond traditional frontier themes in literature, his research on the influence of the West on American narrative has forged links between such disparate subjects as Nat Turner, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Ellison and Quentin Tarantino. The relationship between the South and the West is of particular interest to him. He pays attention to the historical interdependence of these two regions of the country, but also to the curious western trek of minstrelsy and other lampoons of southern life and culture to Hollywood.
As an accomplished alto saxophonist, he explores the relationship between music and thought. In particular, he is interested in the ways that jazz exposes a rich intellectual tradition and both parallels and informs literary production. Understanding jazz to be a way of thinking and not merely an artistic style, he employs his creative acumen to exploit the inherent musical quality of oral communication. As a public speaker, he is attuned to the same performance dynamics as an artist. His saxophone sensibilities equip him as an orator to improvise and compose words in ways that mimic musical and theatrical nuances.
Though animated, humorous, thought-provoking and explosive on stage, Dr. Smith, like many academics, is an introvert in an extrovert’s world. He’s learned how to turn the socially awkward into social empowerment. The life lessons he’s picked up along the way have translated into compelling talks on leadership and emotional intelligence. Dr. Smith is a highly requested campus and conference speaker who engages audiences with both a personable and inspirational style.

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Kyle Strobel

  • Assistant Professor of Spiritual Theology, Institute for Spiritual Formation

Kyle Strobel teaches spiritual theology for Talbot’s Institute for Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Formation Focus programs. His areas of interest include systematic theology, Jonathan Edwards, spiritual formation and prayer. He writes both popular and academic books and articles, having published in the Harvard Theological Review, Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care and Relevant Magazine.

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Judy Ten Elshof

  • Professor of Spirituality and Marriage & Family, Institute for Spiritual Formation
  • Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership, Talbot School of Theology
  • Director, Talbot's Spiritual Formation Focus
  • Associate Director and Spiritual Director, Center for Spiritual Renewal
  • Founder and Executive Director, Hilltop Renewal Center

Professor of Spirituality and Marriage and Family, Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership, Director of Talbot’s Spiritual Formation Program, Spiritual Director, Associate Director of The Center for Spiritual Renewal, Founder of Hilltop Renewal Center, B.A., California State University, Fullerton, M.A., Talbot School of Theology, M.A. in Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Ph.D. in Marital and Family Therapy, Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Psychology.

Judy TenElshof’s goal as Director of Talbot’s Spiritual Formation program is to have all Talbot students understand the nature, process and practices of spiritual growth and to have them experience deeper intimacy with God and others. Her expertise as a teacher and conference speaker is in helping individuals and families grow relationally, morally and spiritually.

Judy has established and directed counseling centers in churches and Christian schools and is founder of Hilltop Renewal Center for Christian leaders.She has co-edited Women and Men in Ministry, authored several journal articles, along with chapters in Foundations of Ministry: An Introduction to Christian Education for a New Generation; Short-Term Missions Boom: The Guide to International and Domestic Involvement; and the Christian Education Dictionary.

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K. Erik Thoennes

  • Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Chair, Biblical & Theological Studies – Theology Department

Erik Thoennes is committed to teaching biblical and systematic theology so that he and his students love God and people more fully. He strives to make the necessary connections between the study of theology, obedience to Jesus and fulfilling the Great Commission. He has taught theology and evangelism at the college and seminary levels for several years and is a frequent guest speaker at churches, conferences and retreats, in addition to co-pastoring a local church. Thoennes has received the University award for faculty excellence and professor of the year. His research interests include godly jealousy, the atonement, the exclusivity of Christ and theology of culture.

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Thaddeus John Williams

  • Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies

Dr. Williams loves enlarging students' understanding and enjoyment of God while teaching Theology 1 and 2 courses at Biola University. He also teaches History of Atheism, Introduction to Philosophy, and Biblical Literature in the secular college context. He has taught theology internationally, including seminaries in Nepal and Francis Schaeffer's L'Abri ministries in Switzerland and Holland. Dr. Williams is a frequent guest speaker at churches and conferences, in addition to serving as a teaching pastor at a local church. His academic works include Love, Freedom, and Evil (Rodopi, 2011), used in seminaries around the world and currently being translated to German, and his recent popular publication, The Exchange (AIMBooks, 2012). His research interests include the Trinity, divine and human agency, dialogue with atheists and theology of culture.

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