LA MIRADA, CA - Biola University’s fall commencement will mark the end of Biola’s Centennial year this Friday, December 19, 2008. Lee Strobel, a prominent Christian apologist and influential leader, will give the commencement address to the graduates who have completed a Biblically-centered education. Graduate, BOLD, and undergraduate students will begin a new journey this Friday as they graduate from their respective schools and make their way across the stage in Chase Gymnasium at Biola.

Strobel, a well-respected apologist who is admired by many Christians, will be the keynote speaker at both ceremonies. The New York Times best-selling author of nearly twenty award-winning books, was once an atheist and is now described by the Washington Post as “one of the evangelical community’s most popular apologists.” He is the author of such renowned books as The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, and Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary among many others. Strobel encourages Christians to be culturally relevant.

“I think God's called us to go into the world, to not be corrupted by the world, but to be salt and light in the world. One of the things about salt and light is they touch whatever it is that they're going to influence,” said Lee Strobel in an interview with “There is a line we walk not to be corrupted by the world and yet to be people who reach out to others and share our faith and live in a way that points people toward Christ.”

Strobel’s like-mindedness to Biola’s mission of impacting the world made him an excellent choice as the keynote speaker for this fall’s commencement.

Strobel received a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri, earned his Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School, and worked as an award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune. His ministry experience has included serving as a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois and at Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, California.

Biola University will also be awarding Philip E. Johnson with an Honorary Doctor of Laws for distinction in public service at the undergraduate commencement ceremony. Honorary degrees are awarded to recognize individuals who have a clear evangelical Christian testimony and have demonstrated significant service and achievement over an extended period of time, which is national or international in nature and is relevant to the mission of Biola University.

Johnson, a retired UC Berkeley professor of law and the godfather of the Intelligent Design movement, is the author of Darwin on Trial, a key piece of literature for Intelligent Design. He also authored Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law and Education, which sheds light on how Darwinian naturalism has attained cultural dominance and has deteriorated the morality of society.

Fourteen members of this fall’s undergraduate class will be inducted into Epsilon Kappa Epsilon (EKE), the honor society for baccalaureate graduates of Biola University, on December 18 at 6 p.m. in Calvary Chapel at Biola. Selection to membership is limited to seven percent of each graduating class and each applicant must have a minimum 3.75 GPA, at least 80 units completed at Biola through the term prior to the semester of graduation, demonstrated Christian character, and provided service to the university and community shown primarily through extracurricular involvement. Inductees are honored at an induction ceremony and given honor chords to wear with their graduation gowns.

The graduate and BOLD, Biola’s adult-degree-learning program, commencement ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. The undergraduate ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. Biola University President Barry H. Corey will confer degrees upon 121 graduate students, 95 BOLD students, and 196 undergraduates graduating.