Experts on "Teaching"

Electra Allen

  • Assistant Professor of Nursing

Electra joined Biola in 2015 after completing her MSN at Duke University. She comes to Biola with a passion for nursing education and is looking forward to being a part of the Biola team for many years to come. Her professional nursing career includes working as a critical care registered nurse in the emergency department at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia. Electra also worked in the emergency department at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, a Level 1 Trauma Center.

Electra has been actively involved in the Emergency Nurses’ Association. She spent two years on the national committee, helping to design the educational programs for the annual conference. She has also written items for the Pediatric Certification Board's Certified Pediatric Nurse Exam. Prior to her nursing career, she worked in her church’s children’s and creative arts ministries, and she was actively involved in women’s ministry where she helped to coordinate baby showers for families at the local crisis pregnancy center.

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Nicholas C. Block

  • Associate Professor

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. While concerned with all subject areas, in his teaching in East Los Angeles he most recently concentrated on issues of vocabulary development as a basis for reading comprehension and writing growth. At Biola, Block has taught in the Clear Credential, graduate, and undergraduate programs. He has as mainly taught courses in philosophy of education, academic writing, research methods, and multicultural education. Now with the implementation of the Common Core Standards, he feels that there is even greater urgency for improved teaching supported by sound research in these areas, especially for English learners. 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.

In addition to his work in K-12 schooling and teacher preparation as an adjunct at CSU Long Beach, Block has been involved in theological education in Los Angeles, Colombia, and Rwanda. Whether supporting new teachers in teaching words or new pastors in teaching the Word, his greatest desire is to help others to be fruitful in their calling.

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Marla Campbell

  • Professor Emerita of Intercultural Studies

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.

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Frederick Cardoza

  • Director of M.A.C.E. and M.Div. Christian Education
  • Associate Professor
  • Christian Ministry and Leadership

Freddy Cardoza has ministered for 20 years in churches and parachurch ministries of all sizes, and has taught academically for more than 20 years at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. He has taught internationally and regularly teaches adjunctively at both the graduate and doctoral levels.

Freddy serves as Director of M.A.C.E. and M.Div. and Undergraduate Christian Education at Talbot School of Theology and Biola University.

Freddy is the Executive Director for the Society of Professors in Christian Education (NAPCE), which is the academic society of evangelical professors representing some 200 seminaries, universities and liberal arts colleges that teach in the areas of spiritual formation, Christian ministries and Christian education.

Freddy received a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) in Leadership from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and completed all required coursework for the Doctor of Education (Ed.D./ABD). He earned a Master of Arts from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and holds a Bachelor of Science from Liberty University.

Freddy is also a member of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), the Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA) and formerly served as President of the Board for the Christian Worldview Leadership Academy in Kansas City.

Freddy speaks regularly at churches, conferences, conventions, retreats and seminars.

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Luciano Cid

  • Assistant Professor

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 lead 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 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 (Matias), daughter (Italia) and lovely wife (Janelle). His research interests include: the academic, socio-emotional and spiritual formation of children through authentic experiences; the integration of the field of Mind, Brain and Education (MBE) with spirituality; and teacher preparation, support and development. However, his greatest professional passion will continue to be to use and share the skills and knowledge with which God has blessed him in order to alleviate the emotional and academic shortfalls that children may be suffering in their academic environments.

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Christie J. Curtis

  • Graduate Chair, School of Education
  • Associate Professor

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). Professor 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. Professor Curtis has been married for 44 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.

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Dennis Eastman

  • Associate Professor
  • Director, Secondary Education
  • Associate Director, Biola Youth Academics

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 Teacher 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.

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. Currently, Eastman is researching the impact of Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI) and Cooperative Learning (CL) on student achievement

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Ruth E. Ebeling

  • Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

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.

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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 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. 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.

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June Hetzel

  • Dean, School of Education
  • Professor
  • Director, Biola Youth Academics

June Hetzel specializes in literacy processes and curriculum development. Hetzel has served in the roles of teacher, curriculum specialist, principal, writer, editor, consultant, professor and dean. She has served at school, district, and county levels, including four summer teaching overseas. She recently finished editing a PreK–6 textbook series for English Learners, Passport to Adventure (Purposeful Design Publications, 2014), and co-authored a chapter for Foundations of Education: A Christian Vision (2014). Her most recent trade book, The Literacy Gaps: Building Bridges for English Language Learners and Standard English Learners (Corwin Press, 2009), was co-authored with Ivannia Soto-Hinman of Whittier College. 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 spoken for a variety of conferences, including the Oxford Round Table, Oxford University; a homeschooling conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand; an education conference at UPH, Jakarta, Indonesia; and was the keynote at the ACSI 2014 regional conference for Christian School administrators in Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. 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.

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Rebecca Hong

  • Assistant Provost for Educational Effectiveness
  • Associate Professor

Rebecca Hong teaches research methods and research in culture classes in the graduate program. While in the doctoral program at USC, she unearthed her love for research and decided to continue down that path. After completing her doctorate, Hong pursued a postdoctoral fellowship that examined the issues of educational access for marginalized students in Cambodia. It was the perfect intersection of two of her passions, research and traveling.

Hong continues to conduct research in the area of educational access for historically underrepresented students and uses research to give a voice to those who are traditionally marginalized in society. Her favorite moments in teaching are when she sees her graduate students excited about conducting research as a medium of bringing about social justice in education. Hong also sits on the Board of Directors of JOYA Scholars, a non-profit organization committed to inspiring and preparing students for college success.

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Jane E. Kim

  • Assistant Professor

Jane E. Kim was born in State College, Pa. and grew up in Philadelphia. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in English and French, and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature from Cornell University. Her dissertation focused on the influence of Dante's poetic theology on British Romantic conceptions of the poet and poetry. Her current research interests include 18th and 19th-century British literature and the Bible and literature. Jane is thrilled to be a part of the Biola community and enjoys studying great books with the Torrey Honors Institute's bright students.

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Robin LaBarbera

  • Associate Professor
  • Director of Special Education

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.

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Elizabeth Larson

  • Strings and Chamber Music Associate Professor and Area Coordinator

Ms. Larson has been described as a teacher who mentors her students toward becoming involved collaborators who have a deep understanding of the craftsmanship within the music they play and a joy for sharing it with others. Teaching at Biola since January 2010, her primary responsibilities include teaching applied violin, coaching chamber music, and teaching courses in string literature and string pedagogy. Outside of the Biola classroom, Ms. Larson has an exciting international performance career as a solo and chamber musician, and participates in festivals all over the world both as a performer and instructor. Alumna Amanda Sansonetti ('13) says, "Ms. Larson has a wonderful way of helping her students reach toward the joy of playing music, which is really the heart of excellence in performance. She persistently guides her students toward a deeper level of musicianship and a greater attention to the details, and her desire to use music as ministry is inspiring. Most of all, I am so grateful for the care she shows for her students as whole people; we are continually reminded that we are God's beloved children, first and foremost."

Education and Influences

Ms. Larson gives much credit to her parents for encouraging her in her pursuit of music. "My parents just really saw music as a precious gift from God that we discovered almost by happy accident in our lives, and they wanted to foster that. They never pushed it, but rather provided for it in every way they could; I'm really grateful for that approach they took." She emulates her parents' attitude with her students by presenting the study of music as a joyful pursuit of excellence as worship to God rather than as a means of self-glorification. One of her most influential teachers was Marylou Speaker Churchill, the first woman to hold a principal chair in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Larson began studying with her at age 11, and she notes that Mrs. Churchill inspired her students to love their music rather than to approach it with worry or intimidation. "She was the one who taught her students how to fall in love with music on a daily basis. One thing that she was famous for was, when you looked at her music, rather than a lot of bowings and fingerings, she had hearts over her favorite notes in the music instead. That taught us as her students that music is about loving others, and not just getting the right bowings and fingerings."

As for her love of teaching, she remarks that she learned much from watching her mother, Trudy Larson, as she taught in her home studio. Her mother is the premier teacher on the north shore of Boston, and someone who started a youth orchestra of 8 students in her basement, growing it to a full organization of 300 students today. "She played a big role in showing me how to teach, and how to care for the whole student, and not just how they play…The approach I have ended up taking is because of her example."

Teachers include James Buswell from the New England Conservatory, Franco Gulli at Indiana University, Yfrah Neaman at the Guildhall School of Music in London, Peter Oundjian at Yale University Grad School, and Marylou Speaker Churchill.

Musical Career

Ms. Larson began her studies at the age of 3 and gave her recital debut at the age of 6. One year later, she gave her orchestral solo debut performing with the Milwaukee Symphony in a series of 10 concerts. She went on to solo with the Boston Pops at age 11. Since then, she has performed concerts throughout the world and has numerous prestigious honors to her credit. The Boston Globe has praised her playing as having "great charm and refinement…and capable of breathtaking virtuosity." She has performed in such halls as Symphony Hall, Boston with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Kennedy Center, and Victoria Hall, Geneva, as the featured soloist in a concert honoring Lord Yehudi Menuhin on the day of his death.

Her solo tours have brought her to four continents in concerts throughout the U.S., Japan, England, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Finland, Taiwan, South Korea, Estonia and India. Ms. Larson has been heard on radio on NPR, both in feature programs aired throughout the U.S. and also live in performance from the Chicago Public Library. In Korea, her performances have been broadcast both on radio and Korean National TV.

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Larson has been a Resident Artist at festivals including the Banff Festival for the Arts, the Caramoor Festival, New York, where she collaborated with pianist Joseph Kalichstein, Prussia Cove, England, and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. She has also collaborated with pianist Menahem Pressler and in a series of chamber music performances with Gidon Kremer, Boris Pergamenschikow, and Eugene Istomin at the Kronberg Festival in Germany. For two years, she was invited to join Yehudi Menuhin's prestigious chamber ensemble, the Camerata Lysy, Switzerland, performing as soloist and in chamber ensembles throughout Europe, and on tour to South Africa. This led to three additional years of performances as the violinist of Duo Shanti under the auspices of Live Music Now in the UK and in the concert venues of Europe and the U.S. She was also a member of the Credo Trio from 2009-2012, the performance and touring ensemble of the Credo Festival, giving concerts and workshops on integrating music, work, and faith throughout the U.S.

This season, Elizabeth will be performing as recitalist and chamber musician in concert series throughout the U.S. and Europe. Ms. Larson continues to serve as Consultant for Angelos Mission Ensemble, an intensive chamber music program, dedicated to the development of young leaders in chamber music and the arts. In the summers, she returns to the festivals of Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Credo Festival and Masterworks, where she performs and is on faculty each summer. Ms. Larson was most recently the Founder, Director and Instructor at the Geneva Conservatory of Music, a music school in New York City, which she founded in 2002, and divides her time between performing and teaching, residing in both New York and Los Angeles.

Faith in Action

For Ms. Larson, her music was often the way in which God met her and taught her. "I think I knew from a young age that this was something I wanted to do," she recalls."I wanted to speak through music, and I wanted people to know about God through the process. I wanted to know more about God through music, and that's what He used to teach me more about Him and draw me closer to who He is." As she has traveled around the globe to teach and to perform, she has seen God's hand at work in weaving together her circumstances. "If there is one thing that I learned it is that God certainly has full control over where I am and when. I just need to always follow His loving lead. And I can truly trust that because I learned that taking this leap [into Biola]." During lessons and in studio class, Ms. Larson encourages her students to think and to discuss the ways in which they can live out their faith in the larger artistic community. "Music is one of the most powerful ways that God brings us into His presence," she notes. The way that she shows her students to approach their performances is a clear manifestation of this attitude of worship.

Why Biola?

During Biola's campus-wide Year of the Arts (2011-2012), Ms. Larson played a crucial role as the Founder and Coordinator for the Random Acts of Culture: A Moving concert series. This project facilitated weekly 30-minute casual concerts performed by students "at random" all over campus in order to minister to the Biola community and to explore the concept of transforming venues into sacred spaces. Through her efforts in the Conservatory, students have more opportunities to serve their university with their musical gifts, and to bless people beyond our campus, as well as to bring more awareness of the arts to the wider community. An example of this is the music recorded by the Biola Honors String Quartet.

Ms. Larson sees her interactions with her students as an enriching part of her experience at Biola. "The students are hungry to learn about their craft, about God, and about each other. They are open about sharing what they are learning, and so the family atmosphere allows us to easily learn from each other and not just from the professor. I have found that in the string department, there is a close-knit family who can trust each other. We are free to make mistakes, to learn, and then grow." Her desire for her students is that they would learn to trust God and worship Him through their efforts. "Great music comes out of a heart that trusts Him and a willingness to spend the time developing one's gifts…wherever that may lead."

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Kevin E Lawson

  • Professor of Christian Education

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.

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John Liang

  • Professor of TESOL

A native of Canton, China, 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. Liang received his doctorate in TESL/TEFL at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. 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.

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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 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 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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Timothy Muehlhoff

  • Author, Speaker and Research Consultant
  • Professor of Communication Studies

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.

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Jonathan Puls

  • Interim Dean, School of Fine Arts and Communication
  • Associate Professor of Art History and Painting

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.

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Victor S Rhee

  • Professor of New Testament Language and Literature

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.

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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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Claire Sibold

  • Professor Emerita

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.

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Richard L. Starcher

  • Professor of Intercultural Education & Missiology
  • Associate Dean
  • Chair, Doctor of Intercultural Studies

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.

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Tim Stranske

  • Assistant Dean
  • Professor

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.

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K. Erik Thoennes

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

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.

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Lorena E Vidaurre

  • Associate Professor
  • Undergraduate Studies Chair
  • Liberal Studies Coordinator
  • Director of Early Childhood Education

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.

Lorena Vidaurre serves Biola students as the Undergraduate Studies Chair/Liberal Studies Coordinator. She also serves Biola students as the Founding Director and professor of Early Childhood Education, implementing a fully online and on ground program. Her current research project is regarding theological and personal faith integration in education. 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.

Lorena 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.

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