Aug. 12, 2020
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.
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.
Professor McKinley is most interested in the theological questions that touch on personal engagement with God. God is there, but how does God sweep us up into relationship with him existentially? These questions about sanctification, discipleship, and Christology led to Dr. McKinley's doctoral study on the temptation experience of Jesus Christ. He has continued to work on the doctrines of Christology, ecclesiology, and sanctification as part of teaching through these topics. Dr. McKinley regularly teaches an integration seminar, The Human Body in Christian Perspective. This integration is to pull together theology of the human body with the best learning from science about nutrition, sport, fashion, medical technology, and etc. that help us to live in the body God gave us. Professor McKinley's interest in this course follows an earlier career aspiration to be a professional athlete in the sport of bicycle road racing, a sport he continues to enjoy at the level of a hobby. Dr. McKinley has also worked in youth ministry and urban ministry, and he is currently a member of Granda Heights Friends Church in La Mirada. He currently teaches Theology I, Theology II, Systematic Theology Seminar: Ecclesiology, and First Year Seminar: Biblical and Theological Studies Majors.
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.
Dr. James Petitfils completed his doctorate from UCLA in 2013 and joined the undergraduate New Testament department at Biola in 2014. Trained in both New Testament exegesis and the socio-cultural history of the Roman Mediterranean, he researches and publishes on a variety of subjects including storytelling in the Roman world, ancient Christian martyr texts, and leadership in Mediterranean antiquity. Along with research and teaching, he has been a pastor in the South Bay for over 20 years, currently serving as the Beach Pastor at the River Church. He’s been married to his love and partner in ministry, Braelyn, for 15 years and together they have a beautiful daughter, Micelli, and two beach boys, Brixton and Zion. They are also foster parents and have fostered four cute-as-can-be little angels over the last 2 years. James enjoys surfing, family beach days, and burritos.
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.
With varied ministry experiences, including student development, counseling, pastoring and teaching psychology and Old Testament studies, David Talley brings a blend of scholarship and practical application to his classroom instruction. He also serves as a member of the pastoral team at a local church. Talley enjoys research in the areas of Old Testament theological themes, local church ministry, and contemporary theological issues. His dissertation research on the judgment of pain in Genesis 3 continues to be a focus in his research as he formulates a perspective on Godly living in a difficult world. Talley is passionate about understanding and teaching the truths of God's Word, discipling and equipping others, and "passing on the faith" to the next generation. In 2013, he completed a survey book on the Old Testament, which blends the information of the biblical text with the transformation of the heart. His research has also been published in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, Eikon (formerly the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) and the Christian Research Journal. Talley has traveled to over 20 countries in order to partner with the international church in leadership training, especially with a focus on pastors and equipping the church to impact Muslim nations with the gospel. He is Vice-President of an organization, which provides training for underground church leaders in persecuted countries, and he serves on several mission boards.
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 the 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.
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.