New students officially started their story at Biola University on Wednesday as Biola President Barry H. Corey commissioned students at the 2013 Convocation Ceremony to walk by the spirit.

“Walking will be an important image for us this year with our theme,” said Corey, announcing the 2013-14 university theme, “Spirit and Story: Walking it Out.” “As a community, we walk together in all our diversity as the redeemed made in the image of God. And we need to do this walking God’s way: walking by the Spirit.”

Corey charged each student with a commitment to seek God, abide more deeply in the love of Christ and to seek wisdom so students’ love and service may abound with real knowledge. In response, the voice of new students rose in Chase Gymnasium to affirm Corey’s charge by saying, “We do, that we may love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind.”

The incoming 1,325 students — just over a fifth of the 6,150 students who will study at Biola this fall — arrived on campus Friday, Aug. 23. Student leaders and employees decked out in Biola red welcomed new students and their families, helping them carry in boxes of dorm essentials and get situated in their new home.   

This year, Biola has students from 15 nations other than the United States, including students from Australia, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates. The majority of the student population is from California and the Pacific Northwest, though a large number of students from Texas, Arizona, Minnesota and Illinois, and even two from Alaska, will also be joining the student population.

The university’s six schools offer 145 academic programs, ranging from the B.A. to the Ph.D. More than 100 new students will join the business administration major, 52 students will study biological sciences and 40 students will commence their studies in cinema and media arts, some of the university’s most popular programs.

Corey held a welcome celebration for new students and their families Friday evening, looking ahead to the upcoming year, followed by a communion service Saturday evening that allowed students time to reflect on the grace of God in their life story until now. The service featured student testimonies, including a North Korean student who plans to return to the restricted access country to assist in policy change for freedom and a student who was miraculously gifted funds needed for tuition. 

Student Orientation Services (SOS) hosted a slew of other events throughout the weekend to prepare new students for their Biola journey. Parents and families were able to attend information sessions hosted by Parent Relations as well.

Written by Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Specialist. For more information, contact Jenna at 562.777.4061 or