The Sabbath Soul

Students explore values of the Sabbath at 76th Annual Torrey Memorial Bible Conference

Nov. 11, 2011 By Heather Tanji

In a culture where productivity and pleasure seeking is the main focus, Biola challenged students and faculty to be still, enjoy God’s presence and slow down and take the time to delight in Him.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” That is the theme for Biola University’s 76th annual Torrey Memorial Bible Conference (Oct 19-21). Expanding on the university’s theme of “Sacred Spaces,” this year’s conference focused on the Sabbath as both a sacred time and place. Classes were cancelled during the three days of Torrey, giving students time to attend conference sessions and more personal “fireside chats” with the speakers at the end of each day.

“As we focus on ‘Sabbath,’ my hope is that students will be drawn into the Bible's teaching in this area so that they can live out the important truths they learn,” Dr. Talley, one of the headlining speakers said. His sessions walked students through the Old Testament and New Testament perspectives on the Sabbath, relating Biblical themes to current cultural contest.

Other speakers included Laura Winner, nationally acclaimed author of several books including “Mudhouse Sabbath” and “Girl Meets God” and Sandra Ritcher, professor of Old Testament at Wesley Bible College. Winner addressed the cultural shift from observing a Sabbath day to enjoying a weekend while Ritcher gave a Sabbath perspective on environmentalism and stewardship of creation.

Campus was transformed into a Sabbath sanctuary, including a poetry lounge, craft area, prayer and journaling rooms and even a foot-washing and communion area where students could seek God and find rest in His presence in multiple ways.

“Torrey came at a time when I really needed it,” Alyson Thomas, a senior English major said. “I had a lot of anxiety, my goals were non-existent… Now I’m reorienting myself with God as my focus and living in joy of that.”

Guided prayer projects were included in the program, with a technology fast as the focus. Students who participated in the projects shut off cell phones, laptops and other technology for a four-hour time period during which they sought solitude with the Lord or community with their friends. 

Written by Heather Tanji, Media Relations Intern. For more information, contact Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coorinator, at 562.777.4061 or at


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