Mar. 1, 2021
Nearly 1,700 new undergraduate and graduate students commenced their collegiate journey at Biola University on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Biola President Barry H. Corey commissioned the students, who represent 23 countries and 45 states and U.S. territories, to live biblically by practicing and living into the virtue of kindness, at Convocation on Wednesday morning.
“The virtue of kindness is rooted in Scripture, forged on sound Christian theology, and modeled over the centuries by followers of Jesus,” said Corey. “Since the early church, disciples have walked the risky and sometimes dangerous road of kindness. Kindness is a radical way of living biblically.”
Corey exhorted students to love their enemies and be kind even in the face of adversity, bringing Matthew 5:43-45 into focus: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”
“Matthew 5 kindness is offensive to so many people. But kindness lived this way has more power to change people than we can imagine,” said Corey. “It can break down seemingly impenetrable walls. It can reconcile relationships long thought irreparable. It can empower leaders and break stalemates. It can reconcile nations. Kindness as Jesus lived it is at the heart of peacemaking and has the muscle to move the seemingly unmovable. It’s authentic and not self-serving.”
Corey also charged each student to seek God, to abide more deeply in the love of Christ and to seek wisdom so their love and service may abound with real knowledge. This year’s chapel programs and student development theme at Biola is “Abound” — inspired by Paul’s letter to the Philippians where he writes, “It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more…filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
“As we proceed in these unchartered waters of a rapidly changing culture, we have a real opportunity to be a university known not just for conviction and courage, but also the compassion of Christ,” said Corey. “May we, the Biola community, embrace this call to be models of Christian kindness, champions of a radical and fearless and courageous love that ‘abounds more and more.’ May our abounding loving-kindness be seen as a trait of Biola University this year and for years to come, not for our sake, but ‘to the glory and praise of God’.”
The incoming 1,163 undergraduate students — about a fourth of the approximately 6,000 students who will study at Biola this fall — began to arrive on campus Friday, Aug. 21. Student leaders and employees decked out in Biola red welcomed new residential students and their families, helping them carry in boxes and get situated in their new homes.
Corey held a welcome celebration for new students and their families Friday evening, looking ahead to the upcoming year, followed by a communion service Saturday evening that allowed students time to reflect on the grace of God in their life stories. Student Orientation Services (SOS) hosted a slew of other events throughout the weekend to prepare new students for their Biola journey. Parents and families were able to attend information sessions hosted by Parent Relations as well.
Written by Jenna Loumagne, media relations specialist. For more information, contact Jenna at 562.777.4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assistant Director of Media Relations and Strategic Communication
Senior Director of University Communications
media [dot] relations [at] biola [dot] edu