Aug. 24, 2019
Richard Gunasekera, Ph.D., has enjoyed a 20-year career in higher education as professor and a scientist in the field of Biochemical Genetics and Forensic DNA. He earned his bachelor’s in biochemistry at Baylor University, where he researched and published in organic synthesis as an undergraduate. Gunasekera earned a master’s degree in bio-organic chemistry from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, a master’s in molecular genetics and a doctorate in Biomedical Sciences at the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Before coming to Biola in 2018, Gunasekera founded the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Houston-Victoria and acted as the Department Head and later as Director of Graduate Studies. He has held faculty and research positions at Texas A&M University Health Science Center, the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and Rice University in Houston. Gunasekera’s research now spans several interdisciplinary fields such as cancer biology, forensic DNA studies, nano-biotechnology and biochemical genetics. He has also received awards for excellence in teaching, research and as a distinguished faculty member from his previous institutions.
Working with his students and colleagues in research Gunasekera stays committed to the student and the classroom. He believes that all teaching in the sciences is an extension of rigorous research and discovery, and that a science professor is best when he professes what he practices in the laboratory. Thus, he considers teaching both graduates and undergraduates in the classroom and laboratory in a Christ-centered environment as his first calling. He is committed to work as a team member to contribute toward building a world class institution and continue to make Biola a national leader in the sciences.
Craig Hazen is the founder and director of the master's program with a concentration in Christian apologetics and director of the master's program with a concentration in science and religion at Biola University.
Craig is the editor of Philosophia Christi, a philosophy journal. 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 a former co-host of a national radio talk program.
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.
Michael Longinow is the former chair of Biola's Department of Journalism and the advisor of The Chimes newspaper. During his tenure at Biola, he has overseen the rapid expansion of journalism within the university, hiring new faculty members in the fields of photojournalism, broadcast journalism and public relations. He's led the department in a convergent approach to teaching and a cross-cultural approach to career preparation, encouraging students to become fluent in other languages and to participate in study abroad programs.
As a teenager, Longinow attended the same high school Ernest Hemingway attended, working as an editorial cartoonist on the same school newspaper Hemingway once worked for. Longinow attended Wheaton College, earning a B.A. in Political Science, and completed the University Illinois' graduate program in news-editorial journalism.
During his early days as a reporter, Longinow freelanced for the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, as well as smaller weeklies in metro Chicago. As a full-time reporter for small dailies in Illinois and Georgia in the mid-1980s, Longinow covered the 1988 Democratic National Convention, the home district of U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich, environmental issues, police news, the courts, civil rights and urban planning. Longinow's reporting on racial inequities in one Georgia county's voting patterns helped change that government's structure.
Longinow was invited in 1989 to teach news-editorial journalism at Asbury College in Kentucky. At Asbury, he helped build a news component into the journalism program and assisted with the launch of an annual photojournalism workshop and bilingual newspaper for migrant Hispanics. He also helped the Asbury Collegian become a consistent winner in statewide competition against campus weeklies its size from across Kentucky. While at Asbury, Longinow completed a doctorate at the University of Kentucky. His dissertation probed the history of Christian higher education and American journalism between 1888 and 1942. Longinow moved to California in 2005 to join the Biola journalism faculty.
Longinow is active in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), where he has served as head of the Religion and Media Interest Group. He also was a founding adviser member of the Association of Christian Collegiate Media (ACCM), and now serves as its national executive director.
Longinow is a frequent workshop presenter and panelist at national conventions of the Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Advisers (CMA/ACP). He has also been a guest faculty member and consultant to the Washington Journalism Center of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). He has been a guest speaker for the Southern Baptist Convention's student journalism conference, the national convention of the Evangelical Press Association, and the international media conference of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.
Longinow has served as a fellow with the American Press Institute and has participated in workshops with the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. He has written chapters for five books dealing with journalism history, media and religion, and the popular culture of American evangelicalism. He has also written numerous magazine articles for regional and national publications on social issues, business, politics and religion. In 2005, he served as a newspaper columnist on diversity issues for the Lexington-Herald-Leader.
Longinow lives in Riverside with his wife Robin and their three children, Ben, Matt and Sarah.
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 associate 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 doctorate in Apologetics and Worldview Studies in 2014 from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Traveling throughout the United States 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 The Michael Medved Show, 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 So The Next Generation Will Know (David C. Cook, 2019), Sharing the Good News with Mormons (Harvest House, 2018), Evidence that Demands a Verdict (Harper Collins, 2017), A New Kind of Apologist (Harvest House, 2016); The Beauty of Intolerance (Barbour, 2016); The Fate of the Apostles (Routledge, 2015); Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage (Baker, 2014); Is God Just a Human Invention? (Kregel, 2010) and Understanding Intelligent Design (Harvest House, 2008). Sean has also written multiple books with his father, Josh McDowell, including The Unshakable Truth, More Than A Carpenter and Evidence that Demands a Verdict. 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.
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.
Ashish Naidu's interests are in the areas of historical and systematic theology, particularly in exploring the historical-theological foundations of the Christian faith. Besides contributing to various publications and regularly presenting at academic societies, he relishes teaching theology enriched by insights from the great tradition of historic Christianity. Naidu desires to serve the church by assisting it to advance from the knowledge of sacred Scripture to the knowledge of sacred doctrine for the practical Christian life that is deeply committed to glorifying God. He is married to Sabita and they have two delightful children named Sharon and Nathan. Naidu is an ordained minister and has served in various capacities in the church, including preaching, teaching, pastoral care and evangelism-discipleship ministries in Asia, North America and Europe.
Judith Mendelsohn Rood received her Ph.D. in Modern Middle Eastern History from the University of Chicago and her M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. She earned her B.A. at New College, an experimental liberal arts college modeled on the Oxford University curriculum, and did undergraduate and graduate work at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Rood was the first woman ever permitted to undertake research in the Islamic Archives in Jerusalem, and was the first American since 1967 to do so. Her specialization is the Muslim community in Jerusalem during the Ottoman period. She is especially interested in the relations of Muslims, Christians and Jews from an historical perspective. Currently she is working on writing a history of world civilizations. Rood loves the arts, hiking, swimming and good conversation.