Experts on "Theology"

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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Craig J Hazen

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

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

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

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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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Matt Jenson

  • Associate Professor

Matt Jenson is a systematic theologian specializing in the doctrine of sin and ecclesiology. In so doing, he is motivated by a desire to understand what it means to be human in terms of the relationships for which we were created and in which we live, move and have our being. He holds a B.A. in literature and philosophy from Wheaton College and a Ph.D. in systematic theology from the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), where he was part of the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts. He is the author of The Gravity of Sin: Augustine, Luther and Barth on 'homo incurvatus in se' and, with David Wilhite, The Church: A Guide for the Perplexed. Jenson is a happy and grateful part of Fountain of Life Covenant Church in Long Beach and an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church.

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Kevin Alan Lewis

  • Associate Professor of Theology and Law

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

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Robert G Lister

  • Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies

Rob Lister joined the faculty of the Talbot School of Theology in 2006. His primary research interests currently lie in the areas of Theology Proper, Christology and Sanctification — doctrines that all fused together at the hub of his doctoral dissertation on divine impassibility. Lister sees his teaching role as both academic and pastoral in nature — a role that occupies a place outside as well as inside the classroom. He cares deeply about his students, and desires that they know God better, so that ultimately they might love Him more passionately and follow Jesus more devotedly.

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John E McKinley

  • Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies

Professor McKinley is most interested in the theological questions that touch on personal engagement with God. God is there, but how does God sweep us up into relationship with him existentially? These questions about sanctification, discipleship, and Christology led to Dr. McKinley's doctoral study on the temptation experience of Jesus Christ. He has continued to work on the doctrines of Christology, ecclesiology, and sanctification as part of teaching through these topics. Dr. McKinley regularly teaches an integration seminar, The Human Body in Christian Perspective. This integration is to pull together theology of the human body with the best learning from science about nutrition, sport, fashion, medical technology, and etc. that help us to live in the body God gave us. Professor McKinley's interest in this course follows an earlier career aspiration to be a professional athlete in the sport of bicycle road racing, a sport he continues to enjoy at the level of a hobby. Dr. McKinley has also worked in youth ministry and urban ministry, and he is currently a member of Granda Heights Friends Church in La Mirada. He currently teaches Theology I, Theology II, Systematic Theology Seminar: Ecclesiology, and First Year Seminar: Biblical and Theological Studies Majors.

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Alan McMahan

  • Undergraduate Chair, Cook School of Intercultural Studies
  • Program Director Undergraduate Studies for Intercultural Studies
  • Professor of Intercultural Studies

Alan McMahan has served in churches in North America and on the Pacific Rim as well as taught in the areas of missiology, church growth, leadership, organizational development and evangelism. He has been active in training undergraduate and graduate students including mid-career professionals, Bible school teachers, pastors and denominational leaders through the U.S., Canada, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia in the effective means to develop leaders and grow churches. He maintains an active consulting service in churches and is the former President of the American Society of Church Growth. He has earned degrees from Fuller Seminary, Asbury Seminary, the Alliance Theological Seminary and Nyack College. His Ph.D. dissertation was entitled, "Training Turnaround Leaders, Systemic Approaches to Reinstate Growth in Plateaued Churches." He has served as a Vice President for the Alliance Theological Seminary, and as the Academic Dean at The King’s College in mid-town Manhattan. McMahan now works at Biola University as an Associate Professor in the School of Intercultural Studies and serves as the Department Chair for the Undergraduate Intercultural Studies Program. He is married to Terri, and has two sons.

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Ashish J Naidu

  • Associate Professor of Theology

Ashish Naidu's interests are in the areas of historical and systematic theology, particularly in exploring the historical-theological foundations of the Christian faith. Besides contributing to various publications and regularly presenting at academic societies, he relishes teaching theology enriched by insights from the great tradition of historic Christianity. Naidu desires to serve the church by assisting it to advance from the knowledge of sacred Scripture to the knowledge of sacred doctrine for the practical Christian life that is deeply committed to glorifying God. He is married to Sabita and they have two delightful children named Sharon and Nathan. Naidu is an ordained minister and has served in various capacities in the church, including preaching, teaching, pastoral care and evangelism-discipleship ministries in Asia, North America and Europe.

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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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Ryan Peterson

  • Assistant Professor of Theology

Ryan Peterson’s goal as a professor is to help students grow in their knowledge and love of God through active participation in the church’s theological task. He teaches systematic theology with a commitment to recovering the theological and spiritual insights of the Christian tradition for the sake of contemporary appropriation. Peterson’s research interests lie in the areas of theological anthropology and theological method, including the theological interpretation of Scripture. His current projects include a book on the imago Dei (the subject of his doctoral dissertation) and a co-authored volume on the nature of theological language.

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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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Kyle Strobel

  • Assistant Professor, Institute of Spiritual Formation

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, David 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. 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 . 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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Michael Thigpen

  • Associate Professor of Old Testament and Semitics
  • Executive Director, Evangelical Theological Society

Michael Thigpen enjoys teaching and writing on a wide variety of topics in the Old Testament. His special areas of interest are prophetic literature, God’s motives and the theology of work and economics in the Old Testament. Thigpen currently serves as the Executive Director of the Evangelical Theological Society. Prior to his appointment as Executive Director in 2009, he taught Old Testament and Hebrew at the undergraduate level. Thigpen has extensive pastoral experience, having served most recently as pastor at the J-Town campus of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY. He is the author of Divine Motive in the Old Testament: A Comprehensive Survey and Analysis and the iVocab series of language aids for Hebrew, Greek, and Syriac. In addition to his work with Talbot and ETS, Thigpen serves as Lecturer at Munster Bible College in Cork, Ireland.

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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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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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Leland E Wilshire

  • Professor Emeritus of History

With degrees in History, Church History and Theology, Dr. Wilshire has taught at the University of Southern California, Wagner College, New York City, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota and for 25 years at Biola University. He has published in many books, series, and journals including The Journal of Biblical Literature, New Testament Studies, New Scholasticism, the Classical Journal and the Evangelical Quarterly. He has taught in a Graduate Program for Parish Clergy and Religious, Has been the pastor of three churches and has been the invited speaker at various conferences and churches.

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Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
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