Experts on "Christian Education"

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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Dennis Eastman

  • Associate Professor
  • Director of Teacher Education
  • Associate Director of Biola Youth Academics

Dennis Eastman spent 15 years serving in multiple roles in the field of education (Social Studies teacher, coach, Athletic Director and Director of Faculty Induction) before becoming the principal of Nova Academy Early College High School, in Santa Ana, California. During his tenure as principal, U.S. News and World Report recognized Nova Academy with a Bronze Medal ranking as one of the most improved schools in California.

Eastman is currently serving Biola University as the Director of Teacher Education where he is able to combine his faith, expertise and enthusiasm for teaching and coaching into preparing the next generation of high quality educators.

Eastman's research agenda has focused on equipping teachers in student motivation program design, creating an environment of attempt for all learners and preparing teachers in international settings. Currently, Eastman is researching the impact of Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI) and Cooperative Learning (CL) on student achievement

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Octavio Javier Esqueda

  • Professor of Christian Higher Education

Octavio Javier Esqueda is a professor of Christian higher education in the doctoral programs in educational studies at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. He was born and raised in Guadalajara, México, where he graduated with honors with a Licenciatura in Latin American Literature from the University of Guadalajara as well as two additional diplomas, one on religion and society and the second on journalism. He graduated with honors from Dallas Theological Seminary with an M.A. in Christian Education and completed his Ph.D. in Higher Education at the University of North Texas. Before coming to Biola University in 2011, he taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas for over seven years. He and his wife, Angélica, have two children Darío and Salma. Esqueda has several publications on theological education, Christian higher education and literature. Teaching is his passion and has had the opportunity to teach in several countries on different academic levels. He is an avid soccer fan.

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Joe Henderson

  • Associate Professor

Joe Henderson teaches Bible, literature, and hermeneutics. In his doctoral work at Fuller Theological Seminary, he studied hermeneutics and Old Testament literature. His dissertation on the poetry of the book of Jeremiah is the fruit of his interest in the relationship between the history of biblical interpretation and the history of literary criticism. His other interests include Robert Louis Stevenson's novels, Paul's theology, Milton's Prose, Brevard Childs' hermeneutics, Flannery O'Connor's stories, Charles Wesley's hymns and Francis of Assisi's life. Joe is a graduate of Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky and Rift Valley Academy in Kijabe, Kenya. He and his wife Conchie served at Rift Valley Academy as dorm parents for fifth and sixth-grade girls. Now they are the grateful parents of Kip, William and Laurel.

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Jonathan H Kim

  • Associate Professor of Christian Education

 

Dr. Kim specializes in the critical integration of theology and psychology with a particular interest in exploring the interrelationship of faith, spirituality, intellect, personhood, morality, and culture.  He brings over 20 years of ministry experience to the classroom.  His areas of expertise include faith formation & discipleship, philosophy of ministry, and qualitative research methods.  He co-edited and contributed multiple chapters to Christian Formation: Integrating Theology & Human Development and The Heritage of Christian Education.  He is a past recipient of Lilly Research Grants administered by the Association of Theological Schools (2007 & 2012).  In addition to full-time teaching, he serves as a paper/research presentation coordinator for the North American Professors of Christian Education (NAPCE) and is actively involved in local church ministry.    

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Kevin E Lawson

  • Professor of Christian Education and Discipleship

Kevin Lawson cares deeply about strengthening the educational ministry of churches. For 11 years, he served on church staffs as a minister of Christian education. He holds degrees in Christian education, biblical studies and educational administration, and carries out research on local church educational ministry, church staff issues, theological and historical foundations of Christian education, children’s spiritual formation, and other related topics. Lawson teaches on the historical foundations of Christian education, leadership issues and educational research methods, and does ministry consultation. His recent publications include: Supervising and Supporting Ministry Staff: A Guide to Thriving Together (co-authored with Mick Boersma, 2017); Associate Staff Ministry: Thriving Personally, Professionally, and Relationally (co-authored with Mick Boersma, 2014); Infants and Children in the Church: Five Views on Theology and Ministry (co-edited with Adam Harwood, 2017), Understanding Children's Spirituality: Theology, Research, and Practice (editor, 2012) and has contributed chapters to Shaped by God: Twelve Essentials for Nurturing Faith in Children, Youth, and Adults (2010), Introducing Christian Education and Formation (2008), Nurturing Child and Adolescent Spirituality: Perspectives from the World's Religious Traditions (2006), Children's Spirituality: Christian Perspectives, Research, and Applications (2004), and multiple entries in the Encyclopedia of Christian Education (2015). His research and writing has been published in several periodicals, including Christian Education Journal, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, Religious Education, Journal of Youth Ministry, Growing Churches, The Journal for Case Teaching and two international journals. He serves as editor of the Christian Education Journal and “Christian Educators of the 20th Century Project.” He chairs the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities’ Council for Collaboration in Doctoral Education and works with the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education on issues of doctoral education development.

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Sean McDowell

  • Assistant Professor

Sean McDowell is a gifted communicator with a passion for equipping the church, and in particular young people, to make the case for the Christian faith. He connects with audiences in a tangible way through humor and stories while imparting hard evidence and logical support for viewing all areas of life through a biblical worldview. Sean is an assistant professor in the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University. He is the Resident Scholar for Summit California.

Sean still teaches one high school Bible class, which helps him have exceptional insight into the prevailing culture so he can impart his observations poignantly to fellow educators, pastors and parents alike. In 2008, he received the Educator of the Year award for San Juan Capistrano, Calif. The Association of Christian Schools International awarded Exemplary Status to his apologetics training. Sean is listed among the top 100 apologists. He graduated summa cum laude from Talbot School of Theology with a master’s degree in theology and another in philosophy. He earned a Ph.D. in Apologetics and Worldview Studies in 2014 from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Traveling throughout the U.S. and abroad, Sean speaks at camps, churches, schools, universities and conferences. He has spoken for organizations including Focus on the Family, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Backyard Skeptics, Cru, Youth Specialties, Hume Lake Christian Camps, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Association of Christian Schools International. Sean has also appeared as a guest on radio shows such as Family Life Today, Point of View, Stand to Reason, Common Sense Atheism and the Hugh Hewitt Show. Sean has been quoted in many publications, including the New York Times.

Sean is the author, co-author or editor of over 18 books including The Fate of the Apostles (Routledge, 2015); A New Kind of Apologist (Harvest House, 2016); The Beauty of Intolerance (Barbour, 2016); Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage, with John Stonestreet (Baker, 2014); Is God Just a Human Invention? with Jonathan Morrow; and Understanding Intelligent Design, with William A. Dembski. Sean has also written multiple books with his father, Josh McDowell, including The Unshakable Truth, More Than A Carpenter and an update for Evidence that Demands a Verdict (2017). Sean is the general editor for The Apologetics Study Bible for Students. He has also written for YouthWorker Journal, Decision Magazine and the Christian Research Journal. Follow the dialogue with Sean as he blogs regularly at seanmcdowell.org.

In April 2000, Sean married his high school sweetheart, Stephanie. They have three children and live in San Juan Capistrano. Sean played college basketball at Biola and was captain his senior year on a team that went 30-7.

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Michael Thigpen

  • Associate Professor of Old Testament and Semitics

Michael Thigpen enjoys teaching and writing on a wide variety of topics in the Old Testament. His special areas of interest are prophetic literature, God’s motives and the theology of work and economics in the Old Testament. Thigpen currently serves as the Executive Director of the Evangelical Theological Society. Prior to his appointment as Executive Director in 2009, he taught Old Testament and Hebrew at the undergraduate level. Thigpen has extensive pastoral experience, having served most recently as pastor at the J-Town campus of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY. He is the author of Divine Motive in the Old Testament: A Comprehensive Survey and Analysis and the iVocab series of language aids for Hebrew, Greek, and Syriac. In addition to his work with Talbot and ETS, Thigpen serves as Lecturer at Munster Bible College in Cork, Ireland.

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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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