Jun. 4, 2020
Electra Allen’s teaching interests are in the areas of pediatric nursing, mental health nursing and nursing pharmacology. She teaches courses in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program including Pediatric Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, and Essentials of Clinical Nursing Pharmacology. She uses discussion, group work, simulation, case studies and reflection in her pedagogy. Integration of Christian faith includes “enhancing empathy for patients experiencing auditory hallucinations,” “the role of a Christian nurse in enhancing coping and adjustment,” an emphasis on nonjudgmental spiritual care, and reflective prayerful activities about student’s academic and clinical experiences in the nursing program.
After beginning his career in education as a science teacher in Bogotá, Colombia in 1984, Nick Block has worked most of his years in the U.S. as a public school teacher in grades three to five in a variety of language settings. At Biola, Block has taught since 2014 in the undergraduate, graduate, and Induction/Clear Credential programs. He has mainly taught courses in philosophy of education, research methods, academic writing, and multicultural education. Past research in dual language education as well as decades of experience as a bilingual educator (including 26 years in Montebello Unified School District) contribute to his concern that students grow as expert users of language. While concerned with all subject areas, in his teaching with young children he was greatly concerned with vocabulary development as a basis for subject matter comprehension and writing growth. Block’s most recent research has focused on vocabulary development in middle school science, and he has continued his interest in dual language schools that he has had for two decades.
In addition to his work in K-12 schooling, teacher preparation, and master's level work at Biola, Block has been involved in theological education in Los Angeles, Colombia, and Rwanda. Whether supporting young teachers in teaching new words or new pastors in teaching the Word, his greatest desire is to help others to be fruitful in their calling.
Presently Dr. Marla Campbell teaches with the faculty of the School of Intercultural Studies following five years in the Education Department at Biola University. Prior to this, Marla served as Dean of Students at Bethany College and as a missionary in the Balkans of Eastern Europe then later with Asia-Pacific Education working with Bible colleges. All of these have offered opportunities to fulfill her desire to reach the lost, especially through the teaching and training of others who will carry on the task. During her 14 years of teaching in Christian high schools, Dr. Campbell had a vision for taking drama ministry teams nationally and internationally with the development of Parable Drama. Her mission opportunities have taken her throughout the USA and to over 60 countries. Whether at home or abroad, Marla has always had a focus on education and ministries with a strong passion for biblical integration, intentional living and spiritual formation. She enjoys opportunities to teach and speak in a variety of these venues as well as in women's ministry settings. Equipping Christian educators in public or private schools, whether at home or abroad, remains a primary focus for both speaking and publishing.
Luciano Cid grew up in Argentina until he was thirteen years of age. It was then when his parents made the complex decision to immigrate to the United States in search of a better life for their children. At the beginning, Cid struggled both socially and academically, which was something he had never experienced before. With time, he began to be able to communicate using his second language (English), which assisted him in acclimating to his new surroundings. As this occurred, he became more socially and academically capable. Nevertheless, Cid never forgot the emotional and academic difficulties that he experienced during his adjustment period in his new country.
Consequently, after completing his double major in philosophy and religious studies at the California State University of Fullerton, he entered a teaching credential program at Chapman University. During his time at Chapman, Cid investigated the emotional and academic potential that low income and immigrant students could gain if a teacher were to make him/herself emotionally available. It was also at Chapman when Cid was introduced to the interconnection that exists between neuroscience, psychology and education, which led him to want to explore more about these subjects. This desire led Cid to receive an Ed.M from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of Mind, Brain and Education (MBE). While at Harvard, God stirred his heart to apply to a doctoral program. Consequently, after a short term experiencing the frigid Bostonian weather, he found himself back in sunny Southern California attending a doctoral program at the University of Southern California (USC). His training at USC was mainly in the fields of educational leadership and educational psychology.
Cid currently resides in Newport Beach, CA. with his son, daughter and lovely wife.
Lorelei Coddington has served in numerous roles such as professor, classroom teacher, researcher, and curriculum consultant, which have enabled her to support teacher development through coursework taught at Biola University, Claremont Graduate University and Whittier College. She received her Doctor of Education from Claremont Graduate University in 2014. Coddington’s research examines teacher knowledge, reflection and videos in professional development. Previous research projects have included three multi-year k-12 grants examining curriculum, teaching, and learning in math, science, and history. Her book, “Teaching Outside the Box: Technology-Infused Math Instruction,” published in 2019 (Kendall/Hunt), supports pre-service and inservice teachers’ mathematics pedagogy.
A native Californian, Christie Curtis specializes in grammar and writing curriculum development. Her most recent book, Grammar and Writing 3 (piloted in 2015–16), was co-authored with Mary Hake and is one of six grammar and writing textbooks in their series. Utilizing her experiences as a former public and private school teacher, she has authored student editions, teacher editions and supplementary workbooks for Grammar and Writing 3, Grammar and Writing 4, Grammar and Writing 5, Grammar and Writing 6, Grammar and Writing 7 and Grammar and Writing 8. She has written weekly "Grammar Gems" for Biola University's Inside Story, and has provided teaching seminars for Biola's staff and faculty in her areas of expertise: grammar, sentence structure, spelling, proofreading, editing, revising and communication (both oral and written). Curtis has spoken on a variety of topics at the conventions of the Association of Christian Schools International in Anaheim. Her passion for grammar infects those who enroll in her professional writing course. She believes that everyone should know the reasons for their word choices and sentence structures. Mentoring her students provides personal joy as she finds ways to relate to her students at a deeper level. Curtis has been married for 47 years and enjoys spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren. Their family activities include weekly surfing trips, excursions to national parks and an annual week of camp with the entire family at Forest Home Christian Conference Center.
Dennis Eastman spent 15 years serving in multiple roles in the field of education (Social Studies teacher, coach, Athletic Director and Director of Faculty Induction) before becoming the principal of Nova Academy Early College High School, in Santa Ana, California. During his tenure as principal, U.S. News and World Report recognized Nova Academy with a Bronze Medal ranking as one of the most improved schools in California.
Eastman is currently serving Biola University as the Director of Secondary Education where he is able to combine his faith, expertise and enthusiasm for teaching and coaching into preparing the next generation of high quality educators.
Over the past ten years, Eastman has travelled extensively internationally with the goal of working alongside administrators and faculty in local schools to create inclusive, active, and effective learning strategies for all students.
Eastman's research agenda has focused on equipping teachers in student motivation, program design, creating an environment of attempt for all learners and preparing teachers in international settings.
Ruth has a broad background in the basic sciences but she specializes in the Anatomical Sciences with an emphasis on human anatomy. As she sometimes says, her specialty is people with their skin off. She also has a strong interest in the brain and teaches the Neurobiology class.
Ruth has taught many places besides Biola, among them was Cleveland Chiropractic College, Los Angeles. As a result of teaching there, she was part of the General Anatomy section of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners Exam Writing Committee for five years. Ruth has also spoken to many Creation Science groups on a wide variety of topics.
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 he taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. 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.
June Hetzel specializes in literacy processes, curriculum development, and spiritual formation. Hetzel has served in the roles of teacher, curriculum specialist, principal, writer, editor, consultant, and professor before becoming Dean of Biola's School of Education. She has served at school, district, and county levels, including four summer teaching overseas. Recent projects include co-editing a book entitled Inclusive Classrooms for Community Flourishing (2018, SKILD, published in Arabic); co-authoring a chapter called "Jesus, Justice, and Special Education Inclusion: A Case for the Shalom Model of Inclusion" inIntegrating Faith and Special Education: A Christian Faith Approach to Special Education Practice (2016, Wipf & Stock); editing a PreK–6 textbook series for English Learners, Passport to Adventure (Purposeful Design Publications, 2014); co-authoring a chapter for Foundations of Education: A Christian Vision (2014); and co-authoring The Literacy Gaps: Building Bridges for English Language Learners and Standard English Learners (Corwin Press, 2009). A former in-house editor, she has authored 18 teacher resource books, including the Steps to Writing Success series (2002), Writing Fluency (2001), Writing Teacher's Handbook series (1999) and Responding to Literature (1993; 2002). She has written articles for numerous journals, such Journal of Psychology and Theology, Evangelizing Today's Child, the Home School Researcher, the Claremont Yearbook, Focus Publications, Salem Press, Starburst Publishers, the Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, Teachers of Vision and Christian School Education. She was the managing editor for the American Bookseller's Pick-of-the-List in the parent category: Homeschooling: Answers to Questions Parent Most Often Ask (1995) and co-editor for Beauty is Soul Deep: 180 Devotionals for Growing a Meaningful Inner Life (Barbour Press, 2003). Hetzel has most recently been keynote for the ACSI Early Childhood Conference in La Mirada, CA (2019); Christian Schools International, Washington, D.C. (2019); Morrison Academy, Taichung Taiwan (2018); and the ACSI International Administrators Conference in Qawra, Malta (2014) for Southern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Other speaking engagements include the Oxford Round Table, Oxfordfordshire, UK; Grace Christian Schools, Chiang Mai, Thailand; and UPH International Christian Higher Education Conference, Jakarta, Indonesia. Hetzel’s doctoral dissertation topic was “Factors that Influence Parents to Homeschool” and her heart is to support families in the education of their children, whether public, private, mission or homeschool paths. Her most recent graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology has led to research related to the spiritual lives of teachers and the role of spiritual disciplines in mitigating stress and promoting flourishing.
Robin LaBarbera started her teaching career in inner city Los Angeles as a Kindergarten teacher, third and fourth grade combination class teacher and as an Educational Therapist working with children in K-5 with learning difficulties. LaBarbera has two bachelor’s degrees in business administration/marketing and criminal justice, two master’s degrees in education and special education/autism, and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies. Her dissertation focused on psychological variables that affect the college completion rate for individuals with learning disabilities. LaBarbera is currently earning her School Psychology (PPS) credential as well.
LaBarbera serves Biola students as the Director of Special Education, implementing a fully-online Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential program. Her current research project is regarding the fostering of student-teacher connectedness in online courses to enhance students’ satisfaction with the online learning experience. LaBarbera has conducted numerous local and international presentations (most recently, two trips to Lebanon and two to Vietnam), she has published articles related to the education of students with learning difficulties and she co-authored curriculum for English Language Development in Latin American countries.
LaBarbera serves as an officer on three Boards of Directors: A charter school board in Long Beach; the board of an educational program for children with learning differences in private schools; and she is the co-founder of a Foundation that seeks to maximize capacity in urban ministry organizations. In her free time, she is an active runner, cyclist and scuba diver with her husband.
The Boston Globe has praised Elizabeth Larson’s playing as having “great charm and refinement…and breathtaking virtuosity.” Larson began violin at the age of three, and since first soloing with the Milwaukee Symphony at age seven and the Boston Pops at age 11, she has gone on to perform internationally as a renowned soloist and chamber musician. Her tours have brought her to four continents throughout the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia, and to the concert venues of Boston’s Symphony Hall as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, Victoria Hall, Geneva, as the featured soloist honoring Lord Yehudi Menuhin and the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. Larson has been heard on radio on National Public Radio (NPR), in a feature program aired throughout the United States and live from the Chicago Public Library. In Korea, her performances have been broadcast both on radio and Korean National Television.
An avid chamber musician, Larson has been a resident artist internationally at the festivals of Ojai, Banff, Caramoor in New York, Kronberg in Germany, and the Verbier Festival, Switzerland. She has collaborated with acclaimed pianists Menahem Pressler, Eugene Istomin and Joseph Kalichstein, as well as with other renowned artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, Boris Pergamenschikow and Gidon Kremer.
For three years, Larson was invited to join Yehudi Menuhin’s prestigious ensemble, Camerata Lysy, Switzerland, performing as soloist and in chamber ensembles throughout Europe and South Africa. While living in Europe, she also performed under the auspices of Live Music Now in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe and the United States. After settling back in the United States, she was a member of the Credo Trio, giving concerts and workshops on integrating music, work and faith for college students throughout the United States.
As a prominent leader in educating future musicians, Larson was Founder and Director of the Geneva Conservatory of Music, a music school she founded in 2002 in New York City and is invited regularly as a Guest Artist to lead masterclasses at music schools, conservatories, and on university campuses throughout the United States and Europe. In the summer, she returns regularly to be a performing and teaching artist at the festivals of Apple Hill, Masterworks and Credo Festival at Oberlin College.
Larson recently released her Chung-Larson-Bae trio CD, Three Strands: The Complete Piano Trios of Brahms under Concert Artists Guild Records, New York, and continues to perform as a recitalist and chamber musician in concert series throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
Larson makes her home with her husband and divides her time between performing and teaching in New York and Los Angeles.
Kevin Lawson cares deeply about strengthening the educational ministry of churches. For 11 years, he served on church staffs as a minister of Christian education. He holds degrees in Christian education, biblical studies and educational administration, and carries out research on local church educational ministry, church staff issues, theological and historical foundations of Christian education, children’s spiritual formation, and other related topics. Lawson teaches on the historical foundations of Christian education, leadership issues and educational research methods, and does ministry consultation. His recent publications include: Supervising and Supporting Ministry Staff: A Guide to Thriving Together (co-authored with Mick Boersma, 2017); Associate Staff Ministry: Thriving Personally, Professionally, and Relationally (co-authored with Mick Boersma, 2014); Infants and Children in the Church: Five Views on Theology and Ministry (co-edited with Adam Harwood, 2017), Understanding Children's Spirituality: Theology, Research, and Practice (editor, 2012) and has contributed chapters to Shaped by God: Twelve Essentials for Nurturing Faith in Children, Youth, and Adults (2010), Introducing Christian Education and Formation (2008), Nurturing Child and Adolescent Spirituality: Perspectives from the World's Religious Traditions (2006), Children's Spirituality: Christian Perspectives, Research, and Applications (2004), and multiple entries in the Encyclopedia of Christian Education (2015). His research and writing has been published in several periodicals, including Christian Education Journal, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, Religious Education, Journal of Youth Ministry, Growing Churches, The Journal for Case Teaching and two international journals. He serves as editor of the Christian Education Journal and “Christian Educators of the 20th Century Project.” He chairs the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities’ Council for Collaboration in Doctoral Education and works with the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education on issues of doctoral education development.
A native of Canton, China, Dr. Liang loves language studies and enjoys exploring theory and practice in language learning and teaching! He currently teaches in the graduate and undergraduate TESOL programs that offer teacher education courses to both pre- and in-service English teachers. Before joining the faculty at Biola in 2001, he directed an ESL program in the University of California, Riverside Learning Center. Dr. Liang received his doctorate in TESL/TEFL at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. Dr. Liang is very active in research and is a frequent presenter at the TESOL and CATESOL conferences. His current research interests lie in pedagogical ESL grammar, ESL materials, second language reading and writing, and technology-enhanced language learning.
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 associate 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 doctorate in Apologetics and Worldview Studies in 2014 from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Traveling throughout the United States 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 The Michael Medved Show, 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 So The Next Generation Will Know (David C. Cook, 2019), Sharing the Good News with Mormons (Harvest House, 2018), Evidence that Demands a Verdict (Harper Collins, 2017), A New Kind of Apologist (Harvest House, 2016); The Beauty of Intolerance (Barbour, 2016); The Fate of the Apostles (Routledge, 2015); Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage (Baker, 2014); Is God Just a Human Invention? (Kregel, 2010) and Understanding Intelligent Design (Harvest House, 2008). Sean has also written multiple books with his father, Josh McDowell, including The Unshakable Truth, More Than A Carpenter and Evidence that Demands a Verdict. 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.
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.
Stanley Ng's career has revolved around engineering and healthcare. After spending time in academic and industry research in biomedical engineering and diagnostics, Ng now serves in higher education. His passion in teaching and mentorship for the next generation of students is derived from engaging small changes for large impact in the world of engineering and healthcare. As an advisor to engineering physics students, his guidance goes beyond the classroom by connecting students with industry professionals or developing course content that best supports students in their engineering career aspirations, primarily revolving around integrating the industry design process with missional utility. In addition, he supports the various physics chemistry laboratories — a place and opportunity for students to examine the fine-tuning of God’s created physical universe. Ng has also served many years as an executive pastor.
Jonathan Puls teaches drawing, painting and art history in the Department of Art. He holds an M.F.A. in Drawing and Painting and an M.A. in in Art History. Jonathan's ongoing drawings and paintings pull their imagery from contemporary life, mingling these with compositional concerns from art historical sources. His teaching, studio production and historical research focus on the relationship between immediate observation and compositional synthesis.
Victor Rhee specializes in Hebrews and general epistles in the New Testament. His Ph.D. dissertation focused on "The Concept of Faith in the Overall Context of the Book of Hebrews," and authored Faith in Hebrews: Analysis within the Context of Christology, Eschatology, and Ethics (Peter Lang). He also contributed articles to The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (Abingdon Press). He had presented papers at the Evangelical Theological Society, Korean New Testament Society and Society of Biblical Literature meetings. He also had articles published in the Journal of Biblical Literature, Bibliotheca Sacra, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Filologia Neotestamentaria and Westminster Theological Journal. Rhee also initiated the formation the study group for Asian/Asian-American scholars in the the Evangelical Theological Society, which is now known as Asian/Asian-American Consultation Group. Before coming to Talbot, he served in different Korean churches in the U.S. as senior pastor, EM (English Ministry) pastor, youth pastor, assistant pastor and minister of education. Rhee is active in teaching and preaching in Korean-American churches, and has the role of visiting and encouraging the Talbot alumni pastors in different churches in Southern California. In the past he founded the Korean Talbot Institute for Biblical Studies (KTIBS) and taught the Bible systematically to the church lay leaders in Southern California for over 12 years. Rhee also played a key role in founding the Korean Student Scholarship for Talbot School of Theology through the generous contributions of Chan-il Foundation and many other Korean Christians.
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.
Dr. Claire Sibold specializes in literacy for both elementary and secondary levels, curriculum development, children's literature and writing of credential documents for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. A former teacher and editor, she has published numerous articles in journals and yearbooks including Innovative Learning Strategies, Today's Evangelizing Child, ASCD journal, and the Claremont Reading Conference Yearbook, and has published chapters in books on study skills and adult literacy and continuing education. Her career experience includes both public and private school teaching in Washington and Arizona, teaching at Arizona State University, serving as an editor with CTB/ McGraw-Hill, serving as a mentor teacher and teaching in Hong Kong. She has served on review panels for early intervention grants, the California Reading Initiative, National Council on Reading and RICA standards for the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Dr. Sibold presents workshops and sessions at the Association of Christian Schools International, the International Reading Association, regional and state conferences, and school in-services. In addition, she has served as a manuscript reviewer for Houghton Mifflin and Addison Wesley Longman Publishers and several refereed journals for the International Reading Association. She is an Oxford University Round Table member and has appeared for many years in Who's Who in Education and most recently in Who's Who Among Professionals and Executives; she was awarded the Distinguished Volunteer Award. Dr. Sibold and her family attend Mariners Church in Irvine. While Dr. Sibold calls Southern California home, she is originally from Seattle, Wash.
Richard Starcher served as a pastor in rural Nebraska and as a missionary in Africa for 20 years. He taught at the Goyongo Bible Institute in Zaire, at the Bangui Evangelical School of Theology in the Central African Republic and at the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology in Kenya where he also served as Dean of Extension Studies. He continues to teach and serve as an educational consultant in Africa. He is particularly interested in research methods and in exploring models for equipping leaders for the majority world Church. He also edits Missiology: An International Review, the official journal of the American Society of Missiology.
“Game design is a powerful storytelling medium because players become part of a story and explore consequences of choices.” Michael is a narrative game designer prototyping his independent game, Telmahre, which explores using virtual space as a metaphor for a character’s mental state. In his first year at Biola, he has developed the new Game Design program for CMA. Michael has also taught game design, digital technology, digital art or computer science at several colleges. MFA USC, BA UCSD.
With more than 30 years in the Christian school movement, several years as a junior high and high school teacher and 28 years as an administrator, Tim Stranske has a wealth of experience in the education field. He was a principal, curriculum director and superintendent for four California Christian school systems. In addition, Stranske served Biola as an adjunct faculty member from 1982–87 and from 1991–93. With this background, Stranske assists in moving forward the mission of Biola’s School of Education. He works to coordinate efforts with the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), oversees placement of student teachers abroad and provides leadership for the M.A.Ed. program.
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.
Lorena Vidaurre was born in Ecuador, South America, and was raised in Los Angeles, California. She has a bachelor's degree in business administration/computer information systems, a master’s degree in early childhood education, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education. Her dissertation focused on decreasing school failure through parental involvement in literacy intervention for disadvantaged Hispanic kindergarten entrants. She also holds a bilingual and cross-cultural multiple subject credential and a Program Director Permit, Level VI from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Vidaurre has been an educator for over 20 years in the roles of classroom teacher, parent educator, mentor, consultant and college instructor. She has thoroughly enjoyed teaching primarily in kindergarten bilingual programs in inner city Los Angeles and specializes in working with linguistically diverse students and their families.
Vidaurre serves Biola students as the founding director and professor of Early Childhood Education, implementing a fully online program. Vidaurre’s personal mission is to “equip early education pre-service teachers and leaders in mind, character and spiritual warfare through Bible-centered education, service, research and endowed scholarships that will prepare them in their career and personal journey to impact their students, colleagues, school communities, and the world for Jesus Christ.” She has published articles pertaining to global perspectives on spiritual warfare in the preK-12 classroom and co-authored curriculum for English language development in Latin American countries.
Vidaurre enjoys leading, speaking and teaching in Spanish-speaking ministry settings throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. She loves to spend time with her husband, children, extended family and dogs. Vidaurre maintains an active lifestyle ranging from Zumba to CrossFit. Her main passions are Jesus, reading and language learning.
Joyce Lee Yang served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and director for nearly 20 years in public schools across three states. She earned her doctorate from California State University, Fullerton where she conducted her dissertation research on female elementary school principals’ perceptions of work-life balance within their organizational and personal contexts. Yang has been a part of the Biola community since 2014 when she began teaching as an adjunct professor. She recently co-led a professional development for teachers in Cambodia and looks forward to continuing her service to students as a full-time faculty member in the School of Education while furthering her research in educational leadership and feedback-only assessment.