May. 23, 2017
Dr. Barber has been a member of Wycliffe Bible Translators and SIL International for over 25 years. He has extensive field experience in native language literacy and Scripture use with North American native languages. He has also done research and consultations in Guatemala, Peru, Brazil and Papua New Guinea. The majority of his work has been in politically sensitive contexts. Dr. Barber has taught at the SIL-at-Biola program since its inception, and became the director in 2005. He also teaches bicycling and self defense courses for Biola's Department of Kinesiology, Health and Physical Education.
My inner search for the light of life started early in my childhood, and a milestone of that journey was set during the years while I was studying at Brown university at Providence, Rhode Island. Being trapped in spiritual darkness for a long time, I gradually realized that by myself there was no way to escape the inner darkness and I had found no peace within. The promise in John 1:12 became my personal experience when I began to know Jesus Christ through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The place I lived in Providence was just several hundred feet away from the landing place of Rogers William, the founding father of Rhode Island. Rogers William gratefully named the city as providence, and like him I feel grateful to God's providence in the time of my distress.
Dr. Nehrbass was a pastor before he and his wife Mendy joined Wycliffe Bible Translators in 2000. In 2002, they moved to the island of Tanna (in Vanuatu) to translate the New Testament with a team of nationals. In 2012 they moved back to the USA, and Dr. Nehrbass became assistant professor of International Studies at Belhaven University. In 2014, he moved to Biola to teach and direct the M.A. and Ph.D. Programs in intercultural studies. He continues to volunteer as a translation and anthropology consultant with SIL and the Seed Company. His research focuses on contextual theology and missiological anthropology. He and his wife have four children.
Dr. Purgason brings to her classes in TESOL methodology, curriculum, materials, and intercultural communication her years of experience living, studying, serving, and teaching in India, Russia, Korea, China, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Mauritania, Indonesia, Kuwait, Oman, Tajikistan, Vietnam, and Spain. She has received two Fulbright fellowships and the Biola Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring. She has been a U.S. State Department English Language Specialist. Her professional interests include methodology in local context and professional ethics.
Dr. Purgason has presented on methodology-and materials-related topics at more than 30 local, state, and national TESOL conferences, and has spoken about TESOL at Urbana and other similar conferences. She is the author of "Planning Lessons and Units" in Celce-Murcia, Brinton, & Snow (2013), "Classroom Guidelines for Teachers with Convictions" in Wong and Canagarajah (2009), English Language Teaching in Theological Contexts (2010), and “A Clearer Picture…A Reader Responds to Julian Edge’s ‘Imperial Troopers and Servants of the Lord’” in TESOL Quarterly 36:4 (2004).