Experts on "Family"

Laura Dryjanska

  • Assistant Professor of Psychology

Laura Dryjanska obtained a European/International Joint PhD in Social Representations and Communication in the field of social psychology at the Sapienza University of Rome (Italy) in 2012. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Sapienza University of Rome and is currently an assistant professor for Rosemead School of Psychology. Her research interests include social representations applied to diverse fields: migration, human trafficking, intergenerational solidarity, ageing, place-identity, and organizational psychology. Dr. Dryjanska is fluent in English, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and Polish (her mother tongue).

Dr. Dryjanska belongs to INTERFASOL, the European interdisciplinary network of scientists funded by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), action IS1311, dedicated to intergenerational family solidarity across Europe. She is also a member of both the American Psychological Association (APA) and the European Association of Social Psychology (EASP). As a result of her interest in human trafficking, Dr. Dryjanska recently served as the Coordinator for Italy of the Rotarian Action Group Against Slavery; among other engagements, she represented this organization during the Working Group on “Trafficking in Human Beings: Modern Slavery” organized in 2013 by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and of the Social Sciences (Final Statement).

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Keith J Edwards

  • Professor of Psychology

Keith J. Edwards is a Professor of Psychology in the Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University. He holds a Ph.D. in Quantitative Methods from New Mexico State University and a Ph.D. in Clinical and Social Psychology from the University of Southern California. He is a licensed clinical psychologist. His primary clinical interests are marital and individual therapy using emotionally focused, attachment based and experiential approaches. He has received Level I & II training in Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) for individuals with Leslie Greenberg, the founder of EFT. He is a certified EFT couples therapist having received training from Susan Johnson. He teaches courses in individual and couples therapy at Rosemead using EFT and Brief Dynamic approaches. He has conducted seminars presenting EFT to professionals in the United States and Asia. He also has conducted seminars on marriage and missionary care in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Edwards conducts research on relationships and spirituality integrating emotion theory, attachment theory and interpersonal neurobiology. His research interests include emotion, relationship functioning and spirituality integrating Christian theology, attachment theory and interpersonal neurobiology. He is the co-developer with Todd Hall of the Spiritual Assessment Inventory. He has held prior faculty positions at Rutgers University and Johns Hopkins University.

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Joanne J. Jung

  • Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies

Joanne Jung's interests lie in hermeneutics and spiritual formation. Her research of the English Puritans, specifically their spiritual practices and community, continues to fuel Jung's passion to nurture her students' growth in their knowledge of the Bible and seeing that knowledge impact their spiritual transformation. This passion to see others grow in Christ extends beyond her students, serving those within her local church and community.

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Robert G Lister

  • Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies

Rob Lister joined the faculty of the Talbot School of Theology in 2006. His primary research interests currently lie in the areas of Theology Proper, Christology and Sanctification — doctrines that all fused together at the hub of his doctoral dissertation on divine impassibility. Lister sees his teaching role as both academic and pastoral in nature — a role that occupies a place outside as well as inside the classroom. He cares deeply about his students, and desires that they know God better, so that ultimately they might love Him more passionately and follow Jesus more devotedly.

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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 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 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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Timothy Muehlhoff

  • Author, Speaker and Research Consultant
  • Professor of Communication Studies

While teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tim Muehlhoff received his department's highest award for teaching and has been recognized by the International Communication Association for outstanding teaching. In his M.A. thesis, Muehlhoff developed a method of encouraging civil dialogue and perspective-taking between groups who perceive themselves as morally opposed with no room for, or interest in, connection. Extending his thesis research, his dissertation focused on a performative approach to enriching marital communication. His research interests also include social justice, gender, family communication, interpersonal communication and persuasion. Outside the classroom Muehlhoff and wife Noreen are frequent speakers at marriage conferences and seminars. His current project involves understanding the narratives of oppressed women in rural parts of New Delhi, India.

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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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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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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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Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
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