Experts on "Christian Thought"

Janelle Aijian

  • Assistant Professor
Janelle Aijian was born in Edmonton, Alberta and spent her early life moving all over the world, from Toronto to Houston to Nairobi. She earned her doctoral degree in Philosophy from Baylor University, where her dissertation focused on the religious epistemology of Blaise Pascal. Her current research interests involve skepticism, especially its place in the life of faith, and the ancient deadly sin of acedia, or spiritual despondency. Her favorite Torrey texts to teach are The Brothers Karamazov, Moby Dick, The Republic and the gospel of John. Janelle lives in Fullerton with her husband, Phillip, their son Malcolm and a cat named Cleopatra.

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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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Greg Ganssle

  • Professor of Philosophy

Greg Ganssle has been thinking about the intersection of Christian faith and contemporary scholarship for over thirty years. He began as an undergraduate by skipping his classes and reading C.S. Lewis. After graduating from the University of Maryland in 1978, he worked in campus ministry on a variety of campuses. Hundreds of conversations with students from a wide variety of religious and philosophical perspectives drove him to a sustained self-study program. Eventually it occurred to him that he was reading philosophy. Since he had escaped college without taking a philosophy course, he decided to begin with Philosophy 101 at the age of 25. Within weeks he was hooked. Continuing to juggle his full time campus ministry responsibilities, he earned a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Rhode Island (1990). He then went full time and earned his Ph.D. from Syracuse University (1995), where his dissertation on God's relation to time won a Syracuse University Dissertation Award. In addition to publishing nearly three dozen articles, chapters and reviews, Greg has edited two books, God and Time: Four Views (IVP, 2001) and God and Time: Essays on the Divine Nature (Oxford, 2002 – with David M. Woodruff). Greg is also the author of Thinking about God: First Steps in Philosophy (IVP, 2004) and A Reasonable God: Engaging the New Face of Atheism (Baylor University Press, 2009). Greg was part-time lecturer in the philosophy department at Yale for nine years, and a senior fellow at the Rivendell Institute at Yale. Greg's research interests lie in contemporary Philosophy of Religion and History of Philosophy. Greg has been married to Jeanie since 1985. They have three children, none of whom are philosophers. Although happily married, Greg has a secret crush on Jane Austen.

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R. Douglas Geivett

  • Professor of Philosophy

R. Douglas Geivett's interests range over the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, epistemology and the history of modern philosophy. He is the author of Evil and the Evidence for God and co-editor of Contemporary Perspectives on Religious Epistemology and In Defense of Miracles: A Comprehensive Case for God's Action in History. Geivett has contributed chapters to God Matters: Readings in the Philosophy of Religion; God Under Fire; The Rationality of Theism; and Does God Exist? The Craig-Flew Debate. Geivett is the former president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. In the past, Geivett has served as minister to college students at churches in the Pacific Northwest and in Southern California and continues to speak in churches and on university campuses on subjects related to apologetics and the Christian life.

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Craig J Hazen

  • Department Director
  • Director, M.A. in Christian Apologetics
  • Director, M.A. in Science and Religion

Founder and Director of M.A. Program in Christian Apologetics and Director of M.A. Program in Science and Religion at Biola University.

Craig Hazen is the editor of the philosophy journal, Philosophia Christi. He is also the author of the monograph The Village Enlightenment in America, the acclaimed apologetics novel Five Sacred Crossings, and dozens of articles and chapters in various books and journals. He is a recipient of the Fischer Award, the highest faculty honor at Biola and has lectured across North America and Europe on key apologetics topics — including lectures on Capitol Hill and in the White House. He is a popular church and conference speaker and former co-host of a national radio talk program.

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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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Kevin Alan Lewis

  • Associate Professor of Theology and Law

Lewis specializes in the topics of systematic and polemical theology, theology and law integration, jurisprudence and Christian apologetics. He is the Founder and Director of the Evangelical Legal Society, an organization dedicated to the task of restoring the theological foundations of law and justice in society and providing Christians with the resources necessary to do law, justice and public policy from a foundation of evangelical theology. Lewis is an active lecturer at churches, colleges and conferences and has appeared on several radio and television shows, addressing a variety of topics.

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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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Ryan Peterson

  • Assistant Professor of Theology

Ryan Peterson’s goal as a professor is to help students grow in their knowledge and love of God through active participation in the church’s theological task. He teaches systematic theology with a commitment to recovering the theological and spiritual insights of the Christian tradition for the sake of contemporary appropriation. Peterson’s research interests lie in the areas of theological anthropology and theological method, including the theological interpretation of Scripture. His current projects include a book on the imago Dei (the subject of his doctoral dissertation) and a co-authored volume on the nature of theological language.

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Anneke Stasson

  • Assistant Professor, Torrey Honors Institute

Anneke grew up in Olympia, Wash. and is thrilled to be living on the West Coast again after living for eight years in Boston. Anneke received her B.A. in English from Calvin College and her M.A. in Church History from Regent College in Vancouver, B.C. Most recently, Anneke received her Ph.D. from Boston University, where she studied the History of Christianity, Global Christianity and the History of Missions. Her dissertation was on twentieth-century missionaries and marriage counselors Walter and Ingrid Trobisch. Her current research continues to address the relationship between Christianity and cultural conceptions of gender, marriage and family life. Anneke and her husband, Stevie, have three daughters, Mary Lou, Eleanor and Ruthann, all of whom enjoy swimming, hiking, cooking and reading.

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Kyle Strobel

  • Assistant Professor, Institute of 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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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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Scott A. Waller

  • Chair, Political Science Department
  • Associate Professor of Political Science

Scott Waller holds graduate degrees in both philosophy and political science. He has an M.A. from Talbot School of Theology in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics and an M.A. in Politics and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Claremont Graduate University in the fields of American Politics and Political Theory. His research interests involve the intersection of religion and politics, jurisprudence surrounding the First Amendment religion clauses and the evolving role of the judiciary within the American political order. He is a frequent guest on local radio discussing American politics and a frequent speaker to the general Christian community on issues of importance for believers to consider. He has been married to his wife, Cathy, for over 25 years and they have two children ages 18 and 15.

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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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