For the first time since Fall 2019, Biola University held traditional fall commencement ceremonies while still abiding by the county's health and safety protocols. Last Friday, 404 graduates were celebrated for completing their degree at Biola.

“We are honored that you have joined us for this commencement service, the very first fall commencement in two long years, and to that I say, ‘merry Christmas,’” said Dr. Barry H. Corey, President of Biola, while welcoming graduates and guests to the ceremony. “I know you’ve worked hard to get to where you are, and I thank God for bringing you to Biola, and I thank God that you are leaving Biola.”

Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, senior pastor of Faithful Central Bible Church in Los Angeles, along with John-Paul Foster, co-pastor at Faithful Central Bible Church and adjunct professor at Biola, gave the commencement addresses at the four commencement ceremonies.

Ulmer is the former President of The King’s University in Los Angeles where he also serves as a founding board member, adjunct professor and Dean of The King’s at Oxford; an annual summer session held at Oxford University. Foster is co-pastor with Ulmer at Los Angeles’ historic Faithful Central Bible Church, an Inglewood church that started in 1936 and averages more than 3,000 weekly attendees.

“When you walk across this stage, you will be moving into your next chapter, a next season of life, and I want to encourage you as you run for your life to throw off anything that may hinder you,” said Foster. “The Word of God says to throw off anything that might entangle you … and as you walk across this stage, I don’t want anything to stop you from running the race that God has for you.”

Biola’s nine schools were split between four different ceremonies held throughout the day, with the first ceremony honoring graduates in Cook School of Intercultural Studies, Rosemead School of Psychology, School of Cinema and Media Arts and School of Fine Arts and Communication. The second ceremony recognized graduates from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and School of Science, Technology and Health. The third ceremony commended graduates from Talbot School of Theology. The final ceremony celebrated graduates from the School of Education and Crowell School of Business.

Corey gave final comments to graduates before they moved on to their next chapter as Biola alumni.

“I charge you, graduates, to be ambassadors of Christ, upholding the biblical truth of integrity and sacrifice and justice and compassion,” said Corey.

For those who were unable to attend the ceremonies in person, a livestream was available to view the ceremonies.

View the photo gallery from the Fall 2021 ceremonies. 

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