Experts on "Spirituality"

Keith J Edwards

  • Professor of Psychology

Dr. Keith J. Edwards is a Professor of Psychology in the Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University. He holds a Ph. D. in quantitative methods from New Mexico State University and a Ph. D. in clinical and social psychology from the University of Southern California.  He is a licensed clinical psychologist.  His primary clinical interests are marital and individual therapy using emotionally focused, attachment based, and experiential approaches.  He has received Level I & II training in Emotion Focused Therapy for individuals with Dr. Leslie Greenberg, the founder of EFT. He is a certified EFT Couple therapist having received training from Dr. Susan Johnson. He teaches courses in individual and couple therapy at Rosemead using EFT and Brief Dynamic approaches.  He has conducted seminars presenting EFT to professionals in the US and Asia.  He also has conducted seminars on marriage and missionary care in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America.  Dr. Edwards conducts research on relationships and spirituality integrating emotion theory, attachment theory, and interpersonal neurobiology.  His research interests include emotion, relationship functioning, and spirituality integrating Christian theology, attachment theory, and interpersonal neurobiology.  He is the co-developer with Dr. Todd Hall of the Spiritual Assessment Inventory. He has held prior faculty positions at Rutgers University and Johns Hopkins University.

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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.

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Todd W Hall

  • Professor of Psychology
  • Director, Institute for Research on Psychology and Spirituality
  • Editor, Journal of Psychology and Theology

Dr. Hall’s writing and research focuses on relational approaches to spiritual development. He is considered a leading expert on spiritual development and the integration of psychology and theology/spirituality. Dr. Hall has published extensively on the topic, in journals such as the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, Mental Health, Culture and Religion, Journal of Family Psychology, Journal of Psychology and Christianity, and Journal of Psychology and Theology. He has presented over 50 papers at national conferences on the topic of relational spirituality.

Dr. Hall recently co-authored (with Dr. John Coe) Psychology in the Spirit: Contours of a Transformational Psychology (2010), part of IVP’s Christian Worldview Integration series. He also co-authored a chapter in Christianity and Psychology: Five Views (IVP, 2011). Dr. Hall developed the Spiritual Transformation Inventory (STI), which is the most widely used spiritual assessment tool among Christian colleges and universities.

Dr. Hall is a consultant for the Laity Leadership Institute, a Senior Fellow for the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), and has consulted with numerous organizations including the National Institute for Mental Health, Salvation Army, New York City Leadership Center, Moody Press, Wisdom Works, and numerous Christian universities. He is a sought-after conference speaker for Christian schools, non-profits, and churches around the country.

Dr. Hall maintains a small clinical practice in which he specializes in attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapy with adults.

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Henry W. Holloman

  • Professor Emeritus Systematic and Historical Theology

Dr. Holloman is a systematic theologian specializing in the doctrine of the Christian life. He authored The Forgotten Blessing: Rediscovering the Transforming Power of Sanctification; and has been published in many Christian journals and magazines, including the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Journal of Psychology and Theology, Michigan Theological Journal, Faculty Forum, Interest, and Moody Magazine. A revised edition of his book on sanctification has been published in Understanding Christian Theology (edited by Charles R. Swindoll and Roy B. Zuck). He has also contributed to the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, and the study notes for the Gospel of Mark and the topical index for the New American Standard Study Bible. Dr. Holloman has served as an officer for the Evangelical Theological Society/Far West Region.

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Clay Jones

  • Associate Professor of Christian Apologetics

Formerly hosted Contend for Truth, a call-in nationally syndicated talk radio program. On his program he debated many people over eight years including John Cobb, Jr.; a professor of Buddhism; Jamal Badawi, Islamic Information Institute; a Muslim cleric; Lee Holzinger, Church of Scientology; Mormons; Jehovah’s Witness Greg Stafford; Dallas Blanchard, RCRC; Peta representatives; a euthanasia advocate; a secular humanist, Rep. Loretta Sanchez; KFI talk show host Bill Handle; Jimmy Creech, SoulForce; Bruce Ware; R. C. Sproul, Jr.; Robert Morey; R. Scott Clark; and a KJV only advocate. Dr. Jones was the executive director of Simon Greenleaf University (now Trinity Law School) has been on the pastoral staff of two large churches; has authored apologetic software as well as encyclopedia and journal articles; is writing a book, Why God Allows Evil, and speaks widely on that subject. Find him on the web at www.clayjones.net

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John E McKinley

  • Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies

Dr. McKinley has focused on the doctrines of Jesus Christ and sanctification. He enjoys teaching broadly across all the topics of systematic theology. Dr. McKinley and his wife have three children. They are active in their church, Calvary Chapel La Mirada. Previously, they served together in the inner city ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ in Inglewood, CA, and the youth ministry of a rural church in Floyd Knobs, IN. Dr. McKinley has also competed internationally as a member of the U.S. National Men’s Cycling Team, and still rides regularly for fitness and relaxation

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Greg Peters

  • Associate Professor
  • Director of Faculty Advancement, Torrey Honors Institute

Greg Peters is a native Virginian who loves to travel (especially in Europe) and read. When not reading for work, Greg reads for fun. He enjoys the fiction of Paul Auster, Bernard Malamud, Chinua Achebe and the nineteenth century Russian novelists. In addition, Greg loves the poetry of John Donne and George Herbert. When it comes to non-fiction, he enjoys reading anything that has to do with theology, monasticism or the history of the Christian church. When not working or reading Greg enjoys spending time with his wife Christina and two sons: Brendan and Nathanael. In addition to being a professor at Torrey, Greg is an ordained pastor in the Anglican tradition, serving regularly in his local parish.

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Todd Pickett

  • Dean of Spiritual Development

Education: Stanford, BA (Classics); Trinity College, Ireland, M.Litt. (Classics); Talbot, MA (Spiritual Formation); UC Irvine, Ph.D. (English).
At Biola since: 1996
• Chair, department of English, 2002-2005
• Dean of Humanities & Social Sciences, 2005-2008
• Associate Dean of Spiritual Development, 2008-2011
• Dean of Spiritual Development, 2011-present.
My StrengthsFinder top five: Connectedness, Learner, Intellection, Ideation, Input.

1. What do you do in your job (briefly)? I get to think about & facilitate how we can discern the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and cooperate with it.

2. The five (or so) most influential books you've read: Besides the Scriptures, of course… can I do authors instead?
• Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, Notes from Underground
• Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island; Ascent to Truth
• Stanley Hauerwas, Resident Aliens; Truthfulness and Tragedy
• Jean-Pierre DeCaussade, Self Abandonment to Divine Providence; The Sacrament of the Present Moment
• Eugene Peterson, The Contemplative Pastor, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, The Jesus Way.
• Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow, Essays & Poems

3. An influential person in your life or best example of love? I’m thinking of two friends who are pastors, both characterized chiefly by humility and obedience.

4. Why are you at Biola? Because the university is committed to biblical integration and spiritual development.

5. Your testimony in 200 words or less?
I came to Christ as a junior higher, drawn by how brilliantly the Scriptures threw light on the human condition. Filled with the Holy Spirit, I was also filled quite a bit with myself and how church/bible study/teaching could be a place for over-achievement. For much of my Christian life, God has been calling and drawing me away from an identity based in what I can do for Him (really, myself) and into an identity based on what He’s done for me. Still trying to open to that.

6. If God put you completely in charge of creating Heaven, what would it be like? Lots of time to read, and then lots of time to talk about reading with others over meals.

7. What is the most difficult choice you’ve ever had to make? What made it difficult? What factors helped you make that choice? Leaving church ministry for a Ph.D. in English. It was hard to know where I would thrive more. If I recall, the chief decision-making factor was my immaturity—I hated the feeling of my inadequacy--that I couldn’t meet everyone’s needs. Someone should’ve told me that that’s how your learn humility and dependence.

8. What are five things you are most thankful for in your life right now? Dottie (my wife), Carly & Abbey (my daughters), Friends, A job.

9. What job do you fantasize about having? Having my own radio show where I get to interview whomever I want (but mostly novelists and rock stars).

10. Last book you read? Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms.

11. A brush with fame or celebrity? I once carved a Thanksgiving turkey with Nicholas Cage. And yes, the rumors are true, the actress Courtney Cox is my sister-in-law. I’ve been married to her sister, Dottie, for 20 years.

12. Which fictional character do you most resemble? I can be very Eeyore-ish on bad days.

13. Who plays you in your bio-pic? Kenneth Branagh.

14. What’s your ringtone? Beck, “Walls”

15. Favorite electronic device? My Espresso Maker (you do have to plug it in)

16. What do your friends say is your best quality? Reflectiveness (is that a word?)

17. What natural talent do you wish you had? Drawing

18. What is your life theme song? “Oh How I Hate To Get Up in the Morning,” Irving Berlin

19. Do you believe in love at first sight? When applied to desserts, yes.

20. Do you think it is possible to live with no regrets? If regret means sadness, no. If regret means self-loathing, yes.

21. What is your definition of success? Abiding in God. Do you consider yourself to be successful? Sometimes.

22. How much is your self-worth and identity determined by your job and your success at it? That’s my Achilles heal. It has mattered a lot.

23. What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen? My daughters, still. After that, Boyd’s Lake Resort in Wisconsin, late July.

24. In what areas of your life is it most difficult to trust God? That what I’m able to do is enough.

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Steven L. Porter

  • Professor of Philosophy and Theology / Scholar in Residence, Center for Christian Thought

Dr. Porter teaches theology and philosophy for Talbot's Institute for Spiritual Formation and at Rosemead School of Psychology. His areas of interest include theological methodology, the doctrine of sanctification, philosophical theology, and the integration of psychology and theology. He has contributed articles to the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Philosophia Christi, Faith and Philosophy, Journal for Psychology and Theology, etc. Steve and his wife Alicia live with their son Luke and daughter Siena in Long Beach, CA.

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Kyle Strobel

  • Assistant Professor, Institute of Spiritual Formation

Dr. Kyle Strobel teaches spiritual theology for Talbot’s Institute for Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Formation Focus programs. His areas of interest include systematic theology, Jonathan Edwards, spiritual formation, and prayer. He writes both popular and academic books and articles, having published in the Harvard Theological Review, Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care, and Relevant Magazine.

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David L Talley

  • Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Chair Biblical & Theological Studies Old Testament Department

With varied ministry experiences, including student development, counseling, pastoring, and teaching psychology and Old Testament studies, Dr. Talley brings a blend of scholarship and practical application to his classroom instruction. He co-pastors a local church, and enjoys research in the areas of Old Testament theology, the Pentateuch, and the prophets. His dissertation research on the judgment of pain in Genesis 3 continues to be a focus in his research as he formulates a perspective on godly living in a difficult world. Dr. Talley is passionate about understanding and teaching the truths of God's Word, discipling and equipping others, and "passing on the faith" to the next generation. In 2013, he completed a survey book on the Old Testament, which seeks to focus on both the information of the biblical text and the transformation of the heart. His work has also been published in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and the Christian Research Journal. Dr. Talley travels extensively with the goal of partnering with the international church and training leaders, especially with a focus on impacting Muslim nations with the gospel. He has traveled to South Korea, Kenya, Thailand, Armenia, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Honduras, Dominica, Nigeria, Mexico, and the Congo to equip believers.

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Judy Ten Elshof

  • Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership
  • Institute for Spiritual Formation and Christian Ministry and Leadership
  • Director of Talbot's Spiritual Formation Focus
  • Associate Director, Center for Spiritual Renewal
  • Founder, Hilltop Renewal Center
  • Professor of Spirituality and Marriage and Family,
  • Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership
  • Spiritual Director

Professor of Spirituality and Marriage and Family, Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership, Director of Talbot’s Spiritual Formation Program, Spiritual Director, Associate Director of The Center for Spiritual Renewal, Founder of Hilltop Renewal Center, B.A., California State University, Fullerton, M.A., Talbot School of Theology, M.A. in Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Ph.D. in Marital and Family Therapy, Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Psychology.

Dr. TenElshof’s goal as Director of Talbot’s Spiritual Formation program is to have all Talbot students understand the nature, process and practices of spiritual growth and to have them experience deeper intimacy with God and others.Her expertise as a teacher and conference speaker is in helping individuals and families grow relationally, morally, and spiritually.

She has established and directed counseling centers in churches and Christian schools and is founder of Hilltop Renewal Center for Christian leaders.She has co-edited Women and Men in Ministry, authored several journal articles, along withchapters in Foundations of Ministry: An Introduction to Christian Education for a New Generation; Short-Term Missions Boom: The Guide to International and Domestic Involvement; and the Christian Education Dictionary.

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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.

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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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Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
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