On March 22 Biola University announced the closure of the online and in-person Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) degrees, minors, certificates and concentrations due to continued low enrollment. Biola will no longer be accepting new students to the program, starting Summer 2024.

“The TESOL program, and Dr. Michael Lessard-Clouston, have had an extraordinary ministry history, and we will be celebrating this as we teach-out the program. I praise God for the work of Dr. Michael Lessard-Clouston, Dr. John Liang, Dr. Kitty Purgason, and Dr. Herb Purnell. Each one has contributed greatly to the ministry,” said Dr. June Hetzel, dean of the School of Education.

There are 400 active TESOL and applied linguistic students ministering nationally and globally who regularly interact with each other online. These interactions are an example of the impact that the Biola TESOL programs have had through the years.

Students currently enrolled in the programs will be guaranteed the opportunity to complete their TESOL degree, minor, certificate or concentration over the next two years.

“We are committed to delivering a Christ-centered education to all of our students and helping them finish their academic programs,” said Hetzel. “I believe we are living in a moment of remarkable opportunity for the gospel, a time in our national and global life when the light of Christ is desperately needed. I look forward to celebrating the completion of their degrees at commencement in the years to come.”

For more information on the closure of the program, email media.relations@biola.edu.