Experts on "Religion"

Octavio Javier Esqueda

  • Professor of Christian Higher Education

Octavio Javier Esqueda is a professor of Christian higher education in the doctoral programs in educational studies at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. He was born and raised in Guadalajara, México, where he graduated with honors with a Licenciatura in Latin American Literature from the University of Guadalajara as well as two additional diplomas, one on religion and society and the second on journalism. He graduated with honors from Dallas Theological Seminary with an M.A. in Christian Education and completed his doctorate (Ph.D.) in Higher Education at the University of North Texas. Before coming to Biola University in 2011, he taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas for over seven years. He and his wife, Angélica, have two children Darío and Salma. Dr. Esqueda has several publications on theological education, Christian higher education, and literature. Teaching is his passion and has had the opportunity to teach in several countries on different academic levels. He is an avid soccer fan.

View full profile

R. Douglas Geivett

  • Professor of Philosophy

Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. Geivett is the former president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. In the past, Dr. 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.

View full profile

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.

Dr. 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.

View full profile

David A Horner

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

Dr. 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. Dr. 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.

View full profile

Kevin Alan Lewis

  • Associate Professor of Theology and Law

Dr. Lewis specializes in the topics of systematic and polemical theology, theology and law integration, jurisprudence, and Christian apologetics. He is the Founder and Director of the Evangelical Legal Society, an organization dedicated to the task of restoring the theological foundations of law and justice in society and providing Christians with the resources necessary to do law, justice, and public policy from a foundation of evangelical theology. Dr. Lewis is an active lecturer at churches, colleges, and conferences and has appeared on several radio and television shows, addressing a variety of topics.

View full profile

James M. Petitfils

  • Assistant Professor of New Testament & Early Christianity

Dr. 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. Dr. Petitfils is happily married and has two young kids. He enjoys surfing, family beach days, and burritos.

View full profile

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. Dr. Rood loves the arts, hiking, swimming, and good conversation.

View full profile

Anneke Stasson

  • Assistant Professor, Torrey Honors Institute

Anneke grew up in Olympia, WA and is thrilled to be living on the West Coast again after living for eight years in Boston. Anneke receieved her BA in English from Calvin College and her MA in Church History from Regent College in Vancouver, BC. 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.

View full profile

Melissa Tan

  • Adjunct, Talbot

Professor Tan hails from London, England. She gained a B.A. in Latin with Greek from University College London (UCL). After graduating, she moved to Taipei, Taiwan, where she spent 6+ years working as a writer/editor for a Christian organization that specialized in producing ESL (English as a second language) TV and radio shows, magazines and other multimedia products, all as a form of pre-evangelism. Melissa moved to Southern California in 2009, to pursue two degrees at Talbot, while also ministering to the Talbot student community on Talbot Associated Students, with her final year as President. Since graduating, Melissa has been teaching Biblical Interpretation and Spiritual Formation to Biola undergrads, and looks forward to serving Biola/Talbot students even more so now as full-time faculty.

View full profile

K. Erik Thoennes

  • Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Chair, Biblical & Theological Studies Theology Department

Dr. 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. Dr. 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.

View full profile

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
1-562-903-6000