Nov. 17, 2019
Nearly 1,800 undergraduate and graduate students started their collegiate journey at Biola University on Tuesday, Sept. 5. The incoming graduate class of more than 600 students is the largest graduate student class in Biola’s history. At the Fall 2018 Convocation Chapel on Wednesday morning, Biola President Barry H. Corey charged the students, who represent 40 countries and 45 states and U.S. territories, to be faithful to God, letting his love and power minister courage and grace to their callings.
“I urge you to offer your minds to be deepened and transformed by a knowledge that abounds with love and to pay close attention to the Spirit’s work in your heart, seeking foremost to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent that the fruit of the Vine may grow in all your words and deeds,” said Corey.
He challenged students to live all-in for Christ, bringing James 2:14-16 into perspective: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?”
Highlighting the importance of aligning faith and works, Corey encouraged students to evaluate their deeds and be self-aware and notice when proclamations of truth do not sync with demonstrations of grace.
“The heroes we need to hold high at Biola are those who lived obediently for Christ,” said Corey. “Who from their Jesus-love, then love their neighbor and enemy as themselves. We need to hold high those women and men who throughout the centuries stood strong and courageous as Jesus followers, especially when that stand was countercultural? We need to be like those who from our love for Christ do something about that which is wrong or unjust, not just speak about it.”
This year’s Chapel Programs and Student Development theme at Biola is “Spirit & Story,” emphasizing the important role of story in Scripture and in the teachings of Jesus. Jesus used story frequently in his teaching through metaphors involving daily life and events that allowed the hearer to grasp the deep spiritual revelation he wanted to reveal. Within the framework of this year’s theme, the Spiritual Development department will explore the stories of Scripture in both Old and New Testament with the desire for students to place themselves within biblical narratives to understand how they are used by the Holy Spirit to reveal the nature of God and know him intimately.
The incoming undergraduate students began to arrive on campus in mid-August. Student leaders and employees decked out in Biola red welcomed new residential students and their families on Aug. 30, helping them carry in boxes and get settled in their new homes.
Corey held a welcome celebration for new students and their families Thursday evening, looking ahead to the upcoming year, followed by a communion service Friday evening that allowed students time to reflect on the grace of God in their life stories and end the evening praying and saying goodbye to their families. Student Orientation Services (SOS) hosted numerous 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.
Biola also welcomes 18 new faculty members and a founding dean for Biola’s School of Fine Arts and Communication this semester.
Written by Jenna Loumagne, media relations specialist. For more information, contact Jenna at 562.777.4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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