Torrey Memorial Bible Conference Turns 80

Torrey Conference focuses on the spiritual implications of habitual worship with keynote speaker James K.A. Smith

Oct. 14, 2015 By Aaron Barrett

Today marks the 80th anniversary of Biola University’s annual Torrey Memorial Bible Conference. Named in honor of Biola’s first dean, R.A. Torrey, the conference is a three day event during which classes are cancelled for students to rest in the word and hear from nationally renowned Christian theologians.


The 2015 theme, “Altær: Living Sacrifices. Transformed by Worship” will focus on answering the question, “What is worship?” in the midst of cultural “altars” of consumerism, athletics and social media — and how worship in any form molds a person’s character. Keynote speaker author and theologian James K.A. Smith, will discuss several topics of worship, including the power of habitual worship and its spiritual implications for Christians.


This year’s theme is based on Romans 12:1-2: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”


For the first time in many years, Biola students will gather and worship together in one location. Altær is the first Torrey Conference held on Metzger lawn — eliminating the need for satellite locations due to its significantly larger seating capacity than Chase Gymnasium.


In 1936, Biola’s third president Paul Rood organized a weeklong conference of biblical exposition named in honor of Biola’s founder, R. A. Torrey.  This tradition, taken from Israel’s weeklong Feast of Tabernacles — a time of worship, prayer and study of scripture — became a Biola tradition through the decades.


Each year, Torrey attracts various notable speakers from across the nation, including popular pastor and author Francis Chan, VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer, author Lauren Winner, Saddleback Church cofounder Kay Warren, and Wesley Bible College Professor Sandra Richter.


Written by Aaron Barrett, media relations intern. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, media relations specialist, at (562) 777-4061 or jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu.

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