There are now 3 IRIS learning environments:

A fast-paced, adventurous interterm class that puts you in conversation with as many as nine professors from nine different disciplines.

A semester-long, community-rich class that explores the intersections of two different course subjects.

A curated and creative narrative of video lectures and assignments based on the IRIS IMMERSION class experience.

Learn More

Fall 2014 IRIS Course Offerings


Current Topics in Biology: Diet, Drugs, and Disease by Behzad Varamini

Our bodies, intricately built molecular machines, are prone to progressive and intrinsic decay, leading to inevitable disease and death. This imminent degeneration can be sped up or slowed down based on our emotional state, what we eat, physical activity, drugs, environmental exposures, regenerative medicine, medical technologies, and sleep.

Biblical Interpretation & Spiritual Formation by Joanne Jung

As the body responds to its environment, so too is the soul constantly shaped by the world it inhabits. As we are made more aware of the profound effect that external and internal environmental, nutritional, behavioral, and pharmacological factors can shape our human bodies, students will learn through the Scriptures how to better appreciate and nurture the delicate state that is the inward being, leading to spiritual renewal and transformation.

This course explores connections between biology and spiritual formation and will meet Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:30-4:20pm.
Students must register for both BIOS 120-01 (2525) and BBST 103-17 (2526) to participate.

Sorry, the course below is now full!

Intro to Philosophy by Rick Langer

Human beings can hardly help but ask the big questions of life. What is real? What is good? What is truth? What is freedom? What does it mean to be human? Who or what is God? Big questions like these are a central focus of the Christian faith, philosophy and most world religions.

Literature & Film by Aaron Kleist

Yet these questions are also at the center of a very modern form of literature: the dystopian novel. This class will bring religion, philosophy and dystopian literature into a fascinating dialogue. We will enter the minds of some of our greatest thinkers, walk through the dreams and nightmares of some of our most imaginative writers, and consider how these thoughts and visions resonate with the Gospel and our calling to follow Christ.

This course explores connections between philosophy and literature and will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00-2:45pm.
Students must register for both PHIL 214-13 (2927) and ENGL 220-03 (2528) to participate.

If you don’t see the GE class you need listed above, let us know and we’ll see about adding it to the course schedule for 2015!

Answers to Questions You May Have

How much does IRIS cost?

IRIS INTERTERM costs the same as Biola interterm classes, and IRIS IMMERSION classes cost the same as Biola semester classes! For more information about Biola course fees click here.

What is the format of an IRIS class?

An IRIS class is two or more GE subject classes smooshed or, as we like to say, integrated into one joint class. This explains why some IRIS classes require you also register for its companion course at the same time.

Every IRIS class features a core faculty team that represents the two or three primary disciplines being taught, plus a rotation of visiting faculty we’ve invited to participate for various reasons. Class time is rich with discussion and student-faculty collaboration. You’ll never show up to class just to watch a professor lecture. Or even the same professor, for that matter.

What is the difference between IRIS Immersion & IRIS Interterm?

IRIS INTERTERM offers nine different courses to choose from. You may sign up for one or two classes (3 or 6 units) depending on your needs and interests.

IRIS IMMERSION offers two GE classes (6 units) that have already been paired by faculty design to interact meaningfully with each other. Students don’t have the course “buffet” option that they have with IRIS INTERTERM.

Can I enroll to participate in multiple IRIS environments? For instance, IRIS INTERTERM and IRIS ONLINE?

Yes. Each IRIS environment offers unique course credits. For instance, you might take IRIS INTERTERM for ENGL and COMM credits and IRIS IMMERSION for BBST and MATH credits. Take advantage of each IRIS environment’s course offerings to fulfill more GE requirements.

How does IRIS INTERTERM work?

IRIS INTERTERM class days are divided into morning, afternoon and evening sessions. Students spend the morning sessions in small classes with the faculty member(s) responsible for teaching the course(s) that student has signed up to take. The afternoon and evening sessions are dedicated to large group discussions with the faculty and students from the other other IRIS INTERTERM courses. The afternoon and evening sessions initiate conversations that will flow into and influence student discussions in the morning, small-class sessions.

Can I enroll in multiple classes during IRIS INTERTERM?

Yes. You may enroll in up to two of any of the IRIS INTERTERM class offerings, for a total of 6 units. If you choose to enroll in two classes, you will be required to attend every afternoon session. If you choose to only enroll in one class, you will only be required to attend selected afternoon sessions.

If you would like to enroll in two classes that have time conflicts, please let Rachel Watson, IRIS Recruiting and Logistics Coordinator (562-944-0351, ext. 5563 /, know so we can make special arrangements for your situation.

Can I enroll in multiple Bible (BBST) classes during IRIS INTERTERM?

Yes. You may enroll in two of ANY classes offered during IRIS INTERTERM.

For IRIS IMMERSION, do I have to take both classes?

Yes, the two classes in IRIS IMMERSION are actually woven into each other. There is no simple way to separate the two. The course curriculum for IRIS IMMERSION—the semester-long IRIS environment—is always a team-taught course, featuring reflections on two disciplines taken together.

Rachel Watson
Recruiting & Logistics Coordinator

Want to know more about IRIS?
Contact Rachel Watson at (562) 944-0351, ext. 5563 or She would be happy to meet with you and help answer any questions you may still have about the IRIS program and its three class environments.

The Buzz About IRIS

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