On September 29-30, 2017, Biola University’s Christian Apologetics Department hosted the weekend seminar “Addressing Homosexuality: Clarity and Compassion.” It was attended by apologetics students as well as open to the general public. Biola professor of Christian apologetics Sean McDowell taught the seminar. A guest lecturer from outside the university, Alan Shlemon, also presented certain apologetic and social perspectives, including a reference to conversion/reparative therapy. It is important to note that Shlemon did not share the research in support of conversion/reparative therapy, but rather he was sharing resources from multiple secular sources on sexual fluidity.
Articulate critics of the speakers’ positions attended the seminar, and their participation was welcomed. They responded literally dozens of times to points the speakers made, criticizing the speakers' logic, offering alternative interpretations of Scripture and bringing up additional research.
The university welcomes such discussion and also has a long history of inviting guest lecturers to speak on a variety of topics with a wide array of opinions. Guest lecturers should not be assumed to represent the positions of Biola University.
While we value academic freedom by inviting discussion on such topics, we also do not as a university endorse reparative therapy. For example, the university’s Rosemead School of Psychology has a statement against the practice of reparative therapy. This is true for the therapists Biola trains and the therapy given to Biola’s own students. This position is also consistent among Biola’s Counseling Center staff.
Additionally, Rosemead requires its doctoral students to receive their own therapy (Didactic therapy). For therapists who would like to work with Biola students they must sign, as part of their application, that they understand this non-endorsement of reparative therapy.