Since its founding more than a century ago as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, Biola University has been driven by the Great Commission. From the Fisherman’s Club to The Biola Hour to evangelistic tent meetings, street evangelism and missions overseas, evangelism has always been part of Biola’s DNA.
From the beginning, Biola was to be a place of light spreading outward to the darkness — a mission-minded training center from which servants of the gospel would go forth. At the groundbreaking ceremony for the original BIOLA building, founder Lyman Stewart said: “Let it be our hope and prayer that from this place shall radiate streams of influence which will be a great blessing not only to the multitudes around us, but also to the darkest places of the earth.”
That commitment continues today. As expressed in Biola’s newly launched University Plan, one of the seven key aspirations that will guide the university forward throughout the next decade is an aspiration to “lead in spiritual development and the proclamation of the gospel.” The desire to facilitate Christ- like discipleship and proclaim the good news in word and deed is still at the core of what this university is all about.
To honor our evangelistic heritage and renew our commitment to the Great Commission, Biola’s leadership has dedicated the 2012–13 school year to the theme “From This Place: Proclaiming Good News in a Changing World,” which is being explored in chapels, lectures and special events throughout the year.
It’s also a theme we’re exploring in this issue’s cover story, which brings together faculty and alumni perspectives on what it means to proclaim the gospel, and how each of us can be more faithful and more effective in sharing the good news that Jesus is Messiah, Savior and Lord.
For more resources, make sure you visit our "Year of Proclamation" resource page, where we have pulled together videos of several challenging, inspiring and practical chapel messages from this “year of proclamation.”
What motivated Biola’s founders was the desire to set God’s people in motion for the gospel, in what then seemed like a changing world. Today, the world is still changing, but the good news has not.
Biola remains as committed to the compassionate, creative and courageous proclamation of the gospel as it ever was. The 2012–13 school year will thus not introduce a new aspect of our mission, but will rather renew our calling to proclaim Christ and his kingdom, bringing good news and blessings to our neighbors and the nations.