Biola University welcomes 1,676 undergraduate and graduate students, its largest incoming class since before the pandemic, this fall. The students, representing more than 45 countries and 47 states, join the ranks of thousands of returning students, pursuing degrees in a variety of disciplines.

“For Jesus said that the greatest serve. They are not served,” said Biola President Barry H. Corey at Biola’s Fall 2023 Convocation during chapel on August 30.

After a call to worship led by Mike Ahn, interim dean of spiritual development and campus pastor, and the presentation of new faculty, Corey welcomed new and returning students with an address focused on the word “greatest.”

Coinciding with this year’s chapel theme of “Greater,” Corey explained how people fixate on figuring out who is the greatest of all time, culturally termed as the “GOAT.” He explored the cultural phenomenon through the lens of Luke 9 in the Bible, when the disciples asked who was the greatest among them. Corey suggested to students that perhaps the way students can emulate the greatest, who is Jesus, is to be the one serving.

“The greatest is not about your power but about God’s grace, then you see the world as a place where you give grace to others as God has given grace to you,” said Corey. “That if we want to be the greatest, it means we come helplessly to Christ who takes care of us and even washes our feet. If we want to be the greatest, we go and do likewise, leading not with triumphalism and bluster, but with a towel and basin. If we want to be the greatest, we need to be willing to be last and not first, the humbled and not exalted.”

In chapel this semester, students will study the book of John, and will specifically consider John 3:30 — “He must become greater; I must become less.”

Senior Vice President and Provost Matthew Hall presented this year’s new faculty members at the service as well.

“These men and women have responded to a calling to Biola University to educate our students to think and live in the light of God’s truth and to make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ,” said Hall. “I am thankful for the excellence these new faculty members have demonstrated in their chosen field; for their professional accomplishments and personal journey of discipleship; for the richness they add to the academic life of this institution; and for their willingness to model biblical thinking, living, scholarship and service for the students of Biola University.”

Biola’s new faculty vary in expertise from AI-based defense systems to multicultural psychology to analog animation techniques in short films. Learn more about Biola’s new faculty for the 2023-2024 academic year.

U.S. News & World Report named Biola a 2024 Best National University earlier this week. Learn more about Biola’s ranking as a best college.

Written by Jenna Mindel, University Communications intern. for more information please email