Aug. 12, 2020
Dr. James Petitfils completed his doctorate from UCLA in 2013 and joined the undergraduate New Testament department at Biola in 2014. Trained in both New Testament exegesis and the socio-cultural history of the Roman Mediterranean, he researches and publishes on a variety of subjects including storytelling in the Roman world, ancient Christian martyr texts, and leadership in Mediterranean antiquity. Along with research and teaching, he has been a pastor in the South Bay for over 20 years, currently serving as the Beach Pastor at the River Church. He’s been married to his love and partner in ministry, Braelyn, for 15 years and together they have a beautiful daughter, Micelli, and two beach boys, Brixton and Zion. They are also foster parents and have fostered four cute-as-can-be little angels over the last 2 years. James enjoys surfing, family beach days, and burritos.
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.
Evanson Wamagatta has taught history at the University of Nairobi for about seven years. He also taught for four years as a graduate instructor at West Virginia University. In the 2001–02 academic year, he was a Visiting Lecturer at Biola University. He became a full time faculty in the fall of 2003.