Jan. 25, 2020
Nearly 1,920 undergraduate and graduate students started their collegiate journey at Biola University on Tuesday, Sept. 3. The incoming graduate class of more than 650 students is the largest graduate student class in Biola’s history. At the Fall 2019 Convocation Chapel, Biola President Barry H. Corey charged the students, who represent 34 countries and 47 states and U.S. territories, to live the concept of “God with us.”
“May we be compelled by the Word of God, and propelled by the Spirit of God,” said Corey. “Because we are one in the Spirit, may we be known to the world by our Spirit-infused, countercultural, unconditional, relentless love. In a culture that seems more angry and polarized than ever, we can be different.”
He challenged students to walk humbly within the Spirit, referencing Zechariah 4:6: “‘It’s not by might, nor by power, but it’s by my Spirit,’ says the Lord.” Corey encouraged students to commit to open themselves up to the Spirit and not to underestimate the power of the Spirit in their lives.
“You may be going into law or politics or health sciences or journalism or art or film where you may feel that there is a culture of forces whipping up a wind against your faith,” he said. “As you do, remember God’s tailwinds are stronger. Don’t be duped to believe otherwise. Open yourself each day to live in the airstream of the Spirit. Commit to submit to move with the momentum of the great wind of the Spirit blowing around the world powerfully today.”
This year’s Chapel Programs and Student Development theme at Biola is “With,” emphasizing that God, who is always present, calls Christians to be present with Him. Within the framework of this year’s theme, the Spiritual Development department will explore the stories in scripture to understand the many ways to be with Him and with one another, and to glorify the God who is Immanuel, “God with us.”
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. 29, 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 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.
Written by Jenna Loumagne, assistant director of media relations and strategic communications. For more information, contact Jenna at 562.777.4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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