Biola University has long been known for its conviction and courage.
Conviction is what keeps us anchored to our core beliefs and our century-strong mission of biblically centered education. Courage is what spurs us to innovate and take on new challenges. At Biola, we recognize that both are as essential to our future as they have been to our past.
Conviction without courage goes nowhere. Courage without conviction goes anywhere. But conviction with courage goes somewhere. On this website, you will find the bold vision for what that “somewhere” will look like for Biola University in the years ahead, as we press on toward new heights as a global leader in Christian higher education.
As we move courageously forward with a bold university plan, we are working diligently to keep the cost of improving a Biola education off the backs of our students. We are working together for the students, to equip them to become the intellectual and spiritual leaders that our world so desperately needs, for the purpose of impacting the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.
I hope you will be encouraged to read further about our University Plan on this website, exploring the ways that you can be involved in supporting the exciting ventures and improvements on the horizon for Biola.
Blessings in Christ,
Barry H. Corey, President
The mission of Biola University is biblically centered education, scholarship and service—equipping men and women in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.
The vision of Biola University is to be identified among the world’s foremost Christ-centered universities – a community abiding in truth, abounding with grace, and compelled by Christ’s love to be a relevant and redemptive voice in a changing world.
Truth. Transformation. Testimony.
We will be a Christ-centered university distinguished for upholding an integrative biblical worldview through our leadership, scholarship, curriculum, teaching, service, and voice. We will be a trustworthy advocate for biblical thinking in higher education, blending faith and learning for students to receive the highest quality education integrated with the eternal truth that Christ is Lord of all.
We will attract and retain the finest Christian faculty who genuinely share the theological convictions, mission, vision and values of the University. We will develop our faculty as whole-person teachers and scholars who care deeply about our students and whose scholarship makes a difference for good in the world.
We will facilitate Christ-like discipleship in our community and a commitment to Gospel proclamation in word and deed. We will position ourselves at the forefront of spiritual development research and assessment and in so doing advance the understanding that students’ education is an education of mind and heart.
We will prepare students as courageous, neighbor-loving followers of Christ, who are exceptionally well prepared for their professional careers. Our students will be intentional about Christ’s command first to love God and then to love their neighbor, and will be redemptive voices grasping and being grasped by the challenges of our world.
Biola will attract and advance a community of cross-cultural, globally aware Christians learning from one another so that the University will reflect the breadth and grace of God’s kingdom. As a result, our La Mirada campus community will more closely reflect the demographics of our geographic region. We will also prepare our students to be intellectually and experientially cross-cultural Christians, effectively able to live out the gospel in diverse settings and provide servant leadership across the world.
Biola University will make our educational resources accessible across the nation and throughout the world through curricular development, technology, new sites and strategic partnerships. In so doing, we will be part of a global learning community where we will serve to gain as much as we serve to provide.
Biola University will actively address the issue of college affordability, striving to reduce the burden of student debt and financial sacrifice of our students and, in many cases, their supportive families. By focusing on affordability, we will make a Biola education more attainable without diminishing its exemplary quality.
Fulfilling these aspirations in the ever-changing landscape of higher education will require a multi-dimensional strategy: strengthening our traditional campus-based programs, extending our reach through new technological means of educational delivery, excelling still more in biblically integrative scholarship that impacts the world for the Lord Jesus Christ, and making our most beneficial educational resources accessible to as many people as possible.
Below is a sampling of some progress resulting from our University Plan.
We encourage you to check back often to learn more about the exciting things happening at Biola.
In response to shifting trends in the landscape of higher education, Biola recently appointed a Chief Educational Technology Officer and Associate Provost for Academic Innovation to focus on Aspiration 6 of the University Plan, “Extend our Educational Reach Throughout the World.”
By identifying ideas that are consistent with our mission and fiscally sound, the CETO and Associate Provost for Academic Innovation help extend Biola’s educational reach by equipping the University to move academically robust ideas from concept into reality. This also furthers Biola’s efforts to lead in biblically integrated education and strengthen faculty integration.
With leadership from the Associate Provost for Academic Innovation and Chief Educational Technology Officer, Biola will be utilizing technology for the expansion of low-residency programs such as off-campus programs, blended courses, and a digitally-enhanced traditional education. Our University stands with readiness and conviction in an era of rapidly progressing technological advancements within higher education.
Biola’s Center for Cross Cultural Engagement seeks to aspects of Aspiration 5 of the University Plan, “Build a Cross-Cultural Community.” The Center for Cross Cultural Engagement was established in hopes of being the vehicle through which students are given the opportunity to experience cultures beyond their own. The Center’s mission is to affirm and engage diversity through academic community-based learning, both locally and globally. It serves to develop both curricular and co-curricular learning opportunities and equip the Biola community to discover new avenues for crossing cultural boundaries.
The CCCE provides opportunities for all Biola students to have a significant cross-cultural learning experience through civic engagement, study abroad, and off-campus programs. The Center is working to advance opportunities for students to participate in community-based learning in partnerships with local agencies and globally through national and international off-campus study programs. In doing so, the option to study abroad is made more readily accessible to students.
The Office of Faith and Learning, established to help fulfill Biola’s University Plan aspiration to “Lead in Biblically Integrated Education,” trains faculty in teaching and modeling a distinctively Christian vision of their field in order to equip them to train students captured by that same vision. The Office of Faith and Learning offers a broad spectrum of opportunities in order to accomplish this.
The Coalition of the Willing is a year-long small group experience designed to deepen faculty members’ integrative understanding of the Christian faith. Summer faculty integration seminars bring 15 faculty members together with a leading theologian for 5 days of teaching and discussion. Table Talk is a monthly luncheon that combines the theological expertise of a Talbot faculty member with that of a faculty member who models integration within his or her discipline. Finally, faculty working groups attempt to build bridges between theology and academic or cultural concepts. Students are consistently exposed to a distinctively Christian worldview in all their academic disciplines and are required to take a senior capstone class which focuses on theological integration within their specific disciplines.
The IRIS program, unique to Biola, now allows students to fulfill their General Education (GE) credit year-round. IRIS, which stands for Integrated Reflections on Interdisciplinary Studies, is an interdisciplinary program that integrates fields such as literature, film, psychology, business, art, communications, and theology and encourages students to examine the connections between each subject.
Each semester, two G.E. classes are offered in conjunction with one another and combined as a joint class. For example, a year’s lineup may include literature and philosophy for the fall semester and theology and math in the spring. Teams are composed of some of Biola’s most notable professors who are passionate about both their disciplines and a multidisciplinary approach to learning.
IRIS fulfills key aspects of the University Plan in a variety of ways. In offering an integrated curriculum, students can apply their knowledge between overlapping subjects. Outstanding Christian scholars are developed as IRIS offers an exciting new way of teaching curriculum. IRIS cultivates competent graduates who demonstrate the ability to integrate, rather than compartmentalize, class material. In doing so, students are able to think in a real-world context. IRIS continues to receive extremely positive feedback from students who desire an enriching intellectual and spiritual experience.
Biola’s third Imagination Summit, “Speaking their Language: Tools to Capture Student Imaginations,” was held on April 26, 2013, in the Andrews Banquet Room of the new Talbot East building. This year’s conference focused on the importance of technology in the classroom and how Biola professors can use new and upcoming technology to better teach and engage their students. Over 200 faculty and staff participated in the opportunity to attend plenary and breakout sessions addressing the importance of “speaking the language” of the current generation of students who have grown up in the midst of a digital revolution.
As a result of the ever-growing number in Biola’s enrollment, Biola’s Board of Trustees have approved the building of a new dorm as well as a new parking structure, both on the north end of campus. Construction for the new parking structure, adjacent to the Alpha residence hall, began in March 2013 and is expected to be completed by April 2014, adding 707 parking spots for new students. In addition to this, a new four-story residence hall will open in fall of 2015, providing 160 new rooms, an additional café, several community lounges, technology-friendly study areas, and even an outdoor courtyard and roof deck. And, consistent with Biola’s commitment to environmental stewardship, it will be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standards.
Biola University has partnered with Corban University and Universitas Pelita Harapan (Indonesia) to host a conference in Indonesia, “Faith, Learning and the Media of Hope: An International Conference,” November 5-7, 2013. The conference will take place in Lippo Village Karawaci (Jakarta), Indonesia, and is expected to host scholars and media professionals who teach at Christian colleges and universities from across Southeast Asia, New Zealand, Australia and the United States.
This conference, the first of its kind in Indonesia, will blend research paper presentations, workshops, panels and scholar-to-scholar roundtables regarding teacher preparation, journalism and media storytelling. In theory and practice, this conference will demonstrate that the integration of a biblical worldview into one’s discipline is vital to the future of classroom success and media excellence.
Professors from Biola’s School of Education prepared a 9-DVD educational series to use in Africa to enhance the Burundian educational system. In response to a request from Burundi’s President Nkrunziza, Biola collaborated with the International Christian Chamber of Commerce on developing the educational video curriculum. Shot on location in Burundi schools by several of Biola’s film alumni and students, the series includes training for primary and secondary teachers, as well as for directors of schools for the supervision of their teachers. The series is available in French and English and may be the only educational series using all-African classes and narrators. Special attention was given to limiting strategies recommended to those that can easily be used in moderately-resourced classrooms. Field tests and research are being conducted to investigate the best means to use the materials to train teachers in sub-Saharan Africa. The country of Burundi has adopted the series to train their 42,500 primary teachers and Biola is seeking funding to support Burundian trainers of teachers to provide four additional training sessions.
In commemoration of the sign that, from 1935, illuminated the streets of downtown Los Angeles from the top of the North tower of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, Biola University unveiled its replica of the neon “Jesus Saves” sign on May 24, 2013 at the graduation ceremony of the class of 2013.
This sign, alongside a giant mesh photograph of Biola’s original building on 6th and Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles, now adorns the west face of Biola’s new parking structure, which opened on September 29, 2011.
This neon replica, an iconic symbol of the university’s heritage, promises to be a reminder to future generations of the bold proclamation of Biola’s mission.
For the first time in the university’s history, Biola has decided to give future freshmen the opportunity to get ahead in their studies even before their arrival on campus. The Smart Start Program allows students to complete three to six units of their Bible courses during the summer before their first semester, thus enabling them to get a head start on their Bible minor with significant savings on tuition. The two classes currently offered are Biblical Interpretation and Spiritual Formation, and New Testament History and Literature. What a great way to get a head start on your Biola education!
In accordance with the University Plan, Biola has launched the Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts, which serves to celebrate the integral role that the arts play in the context of a Christ-centered education. The center allows students opportunities to engage in and further appreciate the value of the arts, represented in a truthful manner amidst a world that has often misconstrued it. In order to accomplish this, the CCCA will host a yearly arts symposium, a regional art conference, summer workshops for CCCA faculty, and an artist-in-residence. It stands as a vital reminder of truth and beauty on campus for students, staff, faculty, and the surrounding community at large. The center will further the efforts of advancing and fostering a cross-cultural Christian community and remains a vital part of University Plan endeavors.
Biola University’s Center for Christian Thought is a residential fellowship program that brings together leading Christian thinkers from around the world for several months at a time to research and discuss issues of significance to the academy, the church, and the broader culture.
An innovative service to the world, Open Biola offers open access to some of the most beneficial learning resources from Biola University’s professors and guest contributors — including class sessions, conferences, chapels, blog posts, papers, articles and more — in one easy-to-navigate website. Visitors are able to search, stream, download, discuss and share more than 1,000 individual resources, all for free.
The site was launched in August 2012 as a complement to Biola’s existing presence on other content delivery destinations such as iTunes U and YouTube, and is a product of Biola’s aspiration to extend its educational resources throughout the world. As a source of thoughtful Christian perspectives on topics ranging from business and science to philosophy and theology, Open Biola aims to serve the needs of the global Christian community by upholding and fostering a biblically centered worldview.
The Mosaic Cultural Center at Biola University represents a concrete commitment to the advancement of the University Plan and the aspiration to “Nurture a Cross-Cultural Community” for all students. Through the Office of Multi-Ethnic Program Development and the Center for Cross Cultural Engagement, the Mosaic Cultural Center will seek to reflect intentional diversity, international study programs, and urban engagement.
Biola's high quality online programs and courses ensure that student learning accomplished through the Internet reflects the university's high academic standards — all with the convenience of studying at home, or anywhere in the world, at flexible times that suit busy schedules.
The University has a multi-faceted plan to ensure the affordability of a Biola education and a key facet of that plan is tuition. For the past two years, Biola's net tuition increases have been just 2.66% per year, lower than the national average and are the lowest in recorded institutional history.
Expanding on Biola University's commitment to the spiritual development of its students, the university has invested in two new leadership roles within the Office of Student Development. These new roles, the Associate Dean of Spiritual Development and the Director of Spiritual Formation, will work to implement the university's vision in the areas of outreach and service learning, pastoral care and spiritual direction, dorm and commuter spiritual life, as well as spiritual leadership training.
Help make these plans a reality so that future generations will be equipped and impacted by Biola University.