Experts on "Philosophy of Religion"

Janelle Aijian

  • Assistant Professor
Janelle Aijian was born in Edmonton, Alberta and spent her early life moving all over the world, from Toronto to Houston to Nairobi. She earned her doctoral degree in Philosophy from Baylor University, where her dissertation focused on the religious epistemology of Blaise Pascal. Her current research interests involve skepticism, especially its place in the life of faith, and the ancient deadly sin of acedia, or spiritual despondency. Her favorite Torrey texts to teach are The Brothers Karamazov, Moby Dick, The Republic and the gospel of John. Janelle lives in Fullerton with her husband, Phillip, their son Malcolm and a cat named Cleopatra.

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William Lane Craig

  • Research Professor of Philosophy

William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, Calif. He lives in Atlanta, Ga., with his wife Jan and their two teenage children Charity and John. At age 16, while a junior in high school, he first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded his life to Christ. Craig pursued his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971), and graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A. 1974; M.A. 1975), the University of Birmingham (England) (Ph.D. 1977) and the University of Munich (Germany) (D.Theol. 1984). From 1980–86, he taught Philosophy of Religion at Trinity, during which time he and Jan started their family. In 1987, they moved to Brussels, Belgium, where Craig pursued research at the University of Louvain until 1994.

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Garrett J. DeWeese

  • Professor at Large

Garrett J. DeWeese's concentration is in metaphysics and epistemology, specifically as related to philosophical theology. He is deeply committed to helping the church articulate and defend the concept of objective truth in an age of postmodernism and growing relativism. With a background in the sciences, he also has a long-standing interest in the relationship of science and theology. DeWeese brings a strong practical orientation to the classroom, having served as a missionary and over 15 years as a pastor. He is a frequent speaker in churches and college groups. He authored God and the Nature of Time, Philosophy Made Slightly Less Difficult (with J.P. Moreland) and Doing Philosophy as a Christian. He has contributed chapters to several books, and has published articles in journals such as Philosophia Christi and Discipleship Journal.

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Kent Dunnington

  • Associate Professor, Philosophy

Kent Dunnington, associate professor of philosophy, teaches and writes in the areas of virtue ethics and theological ethics. Other research interests include addiction and criminal justice, inspired by his experiences teaching in prison.

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Greg Ganssle

  • Professor of Philosophy

Greg Ganssle has been thinking about the intersection of Christian faith and contemporary scholarship for over thirty years. He began as an undergraduate by skipping his classes and reading C.S. Lewis. After graduating from the University of Maryland in 1978, he worked in campus ministry on a variety of campuses. Hundreds of conversations with students from a wide variety of religious and philosophical perspectives drove him to a sustained self-study program. Eventually it occurred to him that he was reading philosophy. Since he had escaped college without taking a philosophy course, he decided to begin with Philosophy 101 at the age of 25. Within weeks he was hooked. Continuing to juggle his full time campus ministry responsibilities, he earned a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Rhode Island (1990). He then went full time and earned his Ph.D. from Syracuse University (1995), where his dissertation on God's relation to time won a Syracuse University Dissertation Award. In addition to publishing nearly three dozen articles, chapters and reviews, Greg has edited two books, God and Time: Four Views (IVP, 2001) and God and Time: Essays on the Divine Nature (Oxford, 2002 – with David M. Woodruff). Greg is also the author of Thinking about God: First Steps in Philosophy (IVP, 2004) and A Reasonable God: Engaging the New Face of Atheism (Baylor University Press, 2009). Greg was part-time lecturer in the philosophy department at Yale for nine years, and a senior fellow at the Rivendell Institute at Yale. Greg's research interests lie in contemporary Philosophy of Religion and History of Philosophy. Greg has been married to Jeanie since 1985. They have three children, none of whom are philosophers. Although happily married, Greg has a secret crush on Jane Austen.

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R. Douglas Geivett

  • Professor of Philosophy

R. Douglas Geivett's interests range over the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, epistemology and the history of modern philosophy. He is the author of Evil and the Evidence for God and co-editor of Contemporary Perspectives on Religious Epistemology and In Defense of Miracles: A Comprehensive Case for God's Action in History. Geivett has contributed chapters to God Matters: Readings in the Philosophy of Religion; God Under Fire; The Rationality of Theism; and Does God Exist? The Craig-Flew Debate. Geivett is the former president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. In the past, Geivett has served as minister to college students at churches in the Pacific Northwest and in Southern California and continues to speak in churches and on university campuses on subjects related to apologetics and the Christian life.

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Craig J Hazen

  • Department Director
  • Director, M.A. in Christian Apologetics
  • Director, M.A. in Science and Religion

Founder and Director of M.A. Program in Christian Apologetics and Director of M.A. Program in Science and Religion at Biola University.

Craig Hazen is the editor of the philosophy journal, Philosophia Christi. He is also the author of the monograph The Village Enlightenment in America, the acclaimed apologetics novel Five Sacred Crossings, and dozens of articles and chapters in various books and journals. He is a recipient of the Fischer Award, the highest faculty honor at Biola and has lectured across North America and Europe on key apologetics topics — including lectures on Capitol Hill and in the White House. He is a popular church and conference speaker and former co-host of a national radio talk program.

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David A Horner

  • Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies & M.A. Philosophy

David Horner has taught at the University of Oxford, Denver Seminary, and served as a Visiting Scholar and Research Associate at the University of Colorado. He has lectured in numerous classrooms and university forums nationally and in Europe, and he has written numerous articles and book chapters on ethics, apologetics and ancient and medieval philosophy. Horner serves as Research Scholar for Centers for Christian Study, International, an effort to develop intellectual Christian communities within secular university contexts. He also serves as Executive Director of The Illuminatio Project, whose aim is to bring the light of a classical biblical vision of goodness, truth and beauty into the thinking of the church and culture through strategic research and communication.

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Mark Makin

  • Assistant Professor

Mark Makin is a philosopher specializing in contemporary metaphysics and epistemology, with a deep appreciation for the history of philosophy. His research focuses on the nature of explanation in metaphysics and its applications. A graduate of Biola University and the Torrey Honors Institute, he holds an M.A.R. in Philosophy of Religion from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California, Irvine. What excites him most about teaching for Torrey, besides the great books, is holistically mentoring students and collaborating with devoted colleagues. In his free time, Mark enjoys playing jazz saxophone, indulging in Jane Austen film adaptations, rooting for the New York Giants and exploring America’s national parks. He and his wife, Carri, also a graduate of Biola and Torrey, live in Whittier with their son, Micah.

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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 assistant 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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Judith Mendelsohn Rood

  • Professor of History and Middle Eastern Studies

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.

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R. Scott Smith

  • Professor of Ethics and Christian Apologetics

Scott Smith is keenly interested in our abilities to have knowledge of reality, particularly in the areas of ethics and religion. He also is very interested in the needed ontology to have knowledge. He addresses “constructivism,” the fact-value split, and issues with our being able to have knowledge on the basis of naturalism, postmodernism and nominalism. He also has written on the emergent church, as well as a knowledge argument and the moral argument for God’s existence. Currently, he is working on exposing and addressing the many, even subtle, influences of naturalism on western churches. He also serves as secretary-treasurer for the Evangelical Philosophical Society.

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Thaddeus John Williams

  • Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies

Dr. Williams loves enlarging students' understanding and enjoyment of God while teaching Theology 1 and 2 courses at Biola University. He also teaches History of Atheism, Introduction to Philosophy, and Biblical Literature in the secular college context. He has taught theology internationally, including seminaries in Nepal and Francis Schaeffer's L'Abri ministries in Switzerland and Holland. Dr. Williams is a frequent guest speaker at churches and conferences, in addition to serving as a teaching pastor at a local church. His academic works include Love, Freedom, and Evil (Rodopi, 2011), used in seminaries around the world and currently being translated to German, and his recent popular publication, The Exchange (AIMBooks, 2012). His research interests include the Trinity, divine and human agency, dialogue with atheists and theology of culture.

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