Dec. 11, 2017
Moussa Bongoyok was born in Cameroon. He is a faculty member at Biola University and President of the Board of Directors of the Francophone University of International Development. He is a pastor, evangelist, author and professor. He has a range of experience in teaching, pastoral care, international development, academic administration, leadership at various levels and cross-cultural ministry in more than twenty countries (Africa, Europe, North America and Asia). Bongoyok brings strong skills in areas of intercultural communication, systematic theology, program development and implementation, balance between scholarship and practice, cross-cultural competencies, Christian ethics and non-Western perspectives on current trends. He is married to Priscille and they have three children.
After teaching adjunct for Biola Nursing Program last year she now joins as a full faculty member in the Nursing Department as an Associate Professor. Her professional career includes over 35 years nursing experience in various settings including, Intensive Care, Medical, Surgical, Home Health and Community Services with more than 15 years in management of Medical, Surgical, Social Service, Cardiopulmonary Service, and Education departments. She served as Chief Educator at a Medical Center and has taught adjunct several years at University of Great Falls, RN - BSN Nursing Program. Her Master Thesis was focused on the use of a mentor model in the orientation and education of new graduate nurses as they enter the workplace. Other research interests include mentoring, management, leadership, community based nursing, communication and conflict management. She has published on the topics of Collaborative Training Efforts Within a Rural Hospital Setting, Reduction of Burnout and the Benefits of Short Term Medical Work, and Communication and Conflict Management. Donell has three adult children, and one grandchild; she and her husband Clark attend Whittier Area Community Church. Over the years she has been very involved in ministry and numerous community activities.
Freddy Cardoza has ministered for 20 years in churches and parachurch ministries of all sizes, and has taught academically for more than 20 years at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. He has taught internationally and regularly teaches adjunctively at both the graduate and doctoral levels.
Freddy serves as Director of M.A.C.E. and M.Div. and Undergraduate Christian Education at Talbot School of Theology and Biola University.
Freddy is the Executive Director for the Society of Professors in Christian Education (NAPCE), which is the academic society of evangelical professors representing some 200 seminaries, universities and liberal arts colleges that teach in the areas of spiritual formation, Christian ministries and Christian education.
Freddy received a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) in Leadership from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and completed all required coursework for the Doctor of Education (Ed.D./ABD). He earned a Master of Arts from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and holds a Bachelor of Science from Liberty University.
Freddy is also a member of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), the Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA) and formerly served as President of the Board for the Christian Worldview Leadership Academy in Kansas City.
Freddy speaks regularly at churches, conferences, conventions, retreats and seminars.
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).
Ms. Larson has been described as a teacher who mentors her students toward becoming involved collaborators who have a deep understanding of the craftsmanship within the music they play and a joy for sharing it with others. Teaching at Biola since January 2010, her primary responsibilities include teaching applied violin, coaching chamber music, and teaching courses in string literature and string pedagogy. Outside of the Biola classroom, Ms. Larson has an exciting international performance career as a solo and chamber musician, and participates in festivals all over the world both as a performer and instructor. Alumna Amanda Sansonetti ('13) says, "Ms. Larson has a wonderful way of helping her students reach toward the joy of playing music, which is really the heart of excellence in performance. She persistently guides her students toward a deeper level of musicianship and a greater attention to the details, and her desire to use music as ministry is inspiring. Most of all, I am so grateful for the care she shows for her students as whole people; we are continually reminded that we are God's beloved children, first and foremost."
Education and Influences
Ms. Larson gives much credit to her parents for encouraging her in her pursuit of music. "My parents just really saw music as a precious gift from God that we discovered almost by happy accident in our lives, and they wanted to foster that. They never pushed it, but rather provided for it in every way they could; I'm really grateful for that approach they took." She emulates her parents' attitude with her students by presenting the study of music as a joyful pursuit of excellence as worship to God rather than as a means of self-glorification. One of her most influential teachers was Marylou Speaker Churchill, the first woman to hold a principal chair in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Larson began studying with her at age 11, and she notes that Mrs. Churchill inspired her students to love their music rather than to approach it with worry or intimidation. "She was the one who taught her students how to fall in love with music on a daily basis. One thing that she was famous for was, when you looked at her music, rather than a lot of bowings and fingerings, she had hearts over her favorite notes in the music instead. That taught us as her students that music is about loving others, and not just getting the right bowings and fingerings."
As for her love of teaching, she remarks that she learned much from watching her mother, Trudy Larson, as she taught in her home studio. Her mother is the premier teacher on the north shore of Boston, and someone who started a youth orchestra of 8 students in her basement, growing it to a full organization of 300 students today. "She played a big role in showing me how to teach, and how to care for the whole student, and not just how they play…The approach I have ended up taking is because of her example."
Teachers include James Buswell from the New England Conservatory, Franco Gulli at Indiana University, Yfrah Neaman at the Guildhall School of Music in London, Peter Oundjian at Yale University Grad School, and Marylou Speaker Churchill.
Ms. Larson began her studies at the age of 3 and gave her recital debut at the age of 6. One year later, she gave her orchestral solo debut performing with the Milwaukee Symphony in a series of 10 concerts. She went on to solo with the Boston Pops at age 11. Since then, she has performed concerts throughout the world and has numerous prestigious honors to her credit. The Boston Globe has praised her playing as having "great charm and refinement…and capable of breathtaking virtuosity." She has performed in such halls as Symphony Hall, Boston with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Kennedy Center, and Victoria Hall, Geneva, as the featured soloist in a concert honoring Lord Yehudi Menuhin on the day of his death.
Her solo tours have brought her to four continents in concerts throughout the U.S., Japan, England, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Finland, Taiwan, South Korea, Estonia and India. Ms. Larson has been heard on radio on NPR, both in feature programs aired throughout the U.S. and also live in performance from the Chicago Public Library. In Korea, her performances have been broadcast both on radio and Korean National TV.
An avid chamber musician, Ms. Larson has been a Resident Artist at festivals including the Banff Festival for the Arts, the Caramoor Festival, New York, where she collaborated with pianist Joseph Kalichstein, Prussia Cove, England, and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. She has also collaborated with pianist Menahem Pressler and in a series of chamber music performances with Gidon Kremer, Boris Pergamenschikow, and Eugene Istomin at the Kronberg Festival in Germany. For two years, she was invited to join Yehudi Menuhin's prestigious chamber ensemble, the Camerata Lysy, Switzerland, performing as soloist and in chamber ensembles throughout Europe, and on tour to South Africa. This led to three additional years of performances as the violinist of Duo Shanti under the auspices of Live Music Now in the UK and in the concert venues of Europe and the U.S. She was also a member of the Credo Trio from 2009-2012, the performance and touring ensemble of the Credo Festival, giving concerts and workshops on integrating music, work, and faith throughout the U.S.
This season, Elizabeth will be performing as recitalist and chamber musician in concert series throughout the U.S. and Europe. Ms. Larson continues to serve as Consultant for Angelos Mission Ensemble, an intensive chamber music program, dedicated to the development of young leaders in chamber music and the arts. In the summers, she returns to the festivals of Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Credo Festival and Masterworks, where she performs and is on faculty each summer. Ms. Larson was most recently the Founder, Director and Instructor at the Geneva Conservatory of Music, a music school in New York City, which she founded in 2002, and divides her time between performing and teaching, residing in both New York and Los Angeles.
Faith in Action
For Ms. Larson, her music was often the way in which God met her and taught her. "I think I knew from a young age that this was something I wanted to do," she recalls."I wanted to speak through music, and I wanted people to know about God through the process. I wanted to know more about God through music, and that's what He used to teach me more about Him and draw me closer to who He is." As she has traveled around the globe to teach and to perform, she has seen God's hand at work in weaving together her circumstances. "If there is one thing that I learned it is that God certainly has full control over where I am and when. I just need to always follow His loving lead. And I can truly trust that because I learned that taking this leap [into Biola]." During lessons and in studio class, Ms. Larson encourages her students to think and to discuss the ways in which they can live out their faith in the larger artistic community. "Music is one of the most powerful ways that God brings us into His presence," she notes. The way that she shows her students to approach their performances is a clear manifestation of this attitude of worship.
During Biola's campus-wide Year of the Arts (2011-2012), Ms. Larson played a crucial role as the Founder and Coordinator for the Random Acts of Culture: A Moving concert series. This project facilitated weekly 30-minute casual concerts performed by students "at random" all over campus in order to minister to the Biola community and to explore the concept of transforming venues into sacred spaces. Through her efforts in the Conservatory, students have more opportunities to serve their university with their musical gifts, and to bless people beyond our campus, as well as to bring more awareness of the arts to the wider community. An example of this is the music recorded by the Biola Honors String Quartet.
Ms. Larson sees her interactions with her students as an enriching part of her experience at Biola. "The students are hungry to learn about their craft, about God, and about each other. They are open about sharing what they are learning, and so the family atmosphere allows us to easily learn from each other and not just from the professor. I have found that in the string department, there is a close-knit family who can trust each other. We are free to make mistakes, to learn, and then grow." Her desire for her students is that they would learn to trust God and worship Him through their efforts. "Great music comes out of a heart that trusts Him and a willingness to spend the time developing one's gifts…wherever that may lead."
Gary L. McIntosh is a nationally and internationally known professor of Christian Ministry & Leadership. He is recognized as the foremost spokesperson for classical Church Growth Missiology in the USA. As a church growth expert, he publishes Growth Points, a monthly publication read by over 7,000 church leaders. McIntosh is in wide demand as a speaker and seminar leader on numerous subjects related to church life and ministry. He has published over 300 articles and reviews in Christian magazines and theological journals, and is the author of twenty-two books including One Size Doesn't Fit All; One Church, Four Generations; Staff Your Church for Growth; Biblical Church Growth, and the award-winning What Every Pastor Should Know: 101 Indispensable Rules of Thumb for Leading Your Church (Baker Books, 2013).
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.
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.
James Petitfils completed his doctorate from UCLA in 2013, writing a dissertation exploring ancient Roman, Jewish and Christian discourse on exemplary leadership. His research interests include storytelling and moral formation in the Roman Mediterranean, early Christian martyrdom and leadership in the New Testament and early Christianity. He has previously taught at UCLA, Talbot and Biola University in the areas of world history as well as New Testament history, literature and leadership. Along with his research and teaching, he has been a pastor in Redondo Beach for over 15 years. Petitfils is happily married and has two young kids. He enjoys surfing, family beach days and burritos.
Dr. Steffen served 20 years with New Tribes Mission, 15 of those in the Philippines. He is Professor Emeritus of Intercultural Studies in the School of Intercultural Studies at Biola University in La Mirada, California.
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.