On July 15, Biola’s Cook School of Intercultural Studies welcomed Bulus Galadima as its new dean. A native Nigerian, Galadima brings four degrees and six languages to the position. He previously served as the provost/president of one of the largest evangelical graduate school in Nigeria, Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Theological Seminary. Galadima takes over the role from Doug Pennoyer, who had led the school since 1998. 

Here are nine things you should know about Galadima as he settles into his role.

1. He is multilingual. Galadima speaks six languages and has a working knowledge of four more. He is fluent in four Nigerian languages, English and Pidgin English, and has a grasp of Greek, Hebrew, French and German.

2. He’s a soccer player. Galadima says he took soccer very seriously in his teen years. He played semi-pro in college and the team went to the semifinals for his Nigerian state. He enjoys playing the sport in his spare time, along with reading, listening to jazz music and spending time with his family.

3. He’s named after Christianity’s biggest celebrity. His first name, Bulus, translates to Paul, reflecting his parents’ aspirations for him to resemble the well-known apostle.

4. He has big dreams for Cook. “I want to position our school so that we are looking at the world first of all as missionaries,” he said. “We are trying to serve our immediate community, but then we also want to be looking at the whole world.”

5. He has four degrees. Galadima holds a bachelor’s degree in theology and mass communication from ECWA, a master’s degree in political science from Northeastern Illinois University, a master’s degree in systematic theology and church history from Wheaton College and a Ph.D. in historical theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

6. He emphasizes discipleship. “Our desire is that every student who graduates from Biola would see themselves first as disciples of Jesus Christ and their various vocations as a means of accomplishing that,” he said.

7. He sees the study of cultures as vital for all believers. “The calling upon Christians is to go across borders and across cultures in order to reach other people,” said Galadima. “You are likely to bump into somebody from another culture regardless of if you are a nurse, a doctor or an engineer. ... It’s just imperative in our day for a person to have cross-cultural competency.”

8. He seeks partnership. In addition to making an effort for Cook to partner with the five other schools on campus, Galadima wants to look outside Biola: “I think there is a lot of hope in what God is doing through the young people that I see in the church today; I am really very hopeful. But I am also hopeful because many of the immigrant churches are succeeding in reaching people and engaging in outreach. I am hoping I will be able to connect with them and see how we can partner in the process of the re-evangelization of the West.”

9. He’s a proud husband. Galadima credits his wife, Rose, as being the greatest blessing and biggest supporter in his ministry, as well as the one who cooks him his favorite Nigerian dish, yams and eggs. They met at church as teenagers and have been married for 32 years. “Apart from God, she is the next person to thank,” he says.