Apr. 16, 2021
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 Secondary 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.
Over the past ten years, Eastman has travelled extensively internationally with the goal of working alongside administrators and faculty in local schools to create inclusive, active, and effective learning strategies for all students.
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.
Susan Lim is an assistant professor in the Department of History & Political Science at Biola University. She received her bachelor’s degree in history at University of California, Berkeley and later earned her master’s and doctoral degree in history at University of California, Los Angeles. Her current research examines religious dissent in colonial New London, and she is starting on a second project tracing first and second generation Baptists, Puritans and Quakers in 17th Century New England. She has taught courses that include the U.S. from settlement to the present, social & intellectual history of the U.S., and colonial America. She resides in Irvine with her husband and two children.
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.
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.
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 degrees in History, Church History and Theology, Dr. Wilshire has taught at the University of Southern California, Wagner College, New York City, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota and for 25 years at Biola University. He has published in many books, series, and journals including The Journal of Biblical Literature, New Testament Studies, New Scholasticism, the Classical Journal and the Evangelical Quarterly. He has taught in a Graduate Program for Parish Clergy and Religious, Has been the pastor of three churches and has been the invited speaker at various conferences and churches.