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Development Opportunities

The Office of Faculty Advancement (OFA) coordinates the following development opportunities for faculty. Faculty can stay apprised of these programs throughout the year by reading the bi-monthly Faculty Advancement Newsletters. For more information about each of these programs or to schedule an individual consultation, please email


General Programming

Fall Faculty Conference

Fall Faculty Conference is an annual event for all faculty to come together as one visible corporate body motivated by a sense of collective mission, purpose and values. The goal of the Faculty Conference is to help create focused attention to topics of need and/or enrichment identified in annual faculty surveys and focus groups. Conference programming is designed to address what faculty see as high priorities within our Biola community and for their professional growth and development (in teaching, research and service). Recognizing that faculty are transitioning from various summer projects, classes and life experiences, this program offers space to come back together as a community and helps set the tone for the upcoming academic year.

The conference is motivated by the felt need to strengthen our sense of community. The cornerstone of a healthy community is a high degree of trust, rooted in the following three values:

  1. Cohesion: As a Christian, academic community, what common bonds do we share?
  2. Supportiveness: How can we express value to each other? How can we ensure people know they are wanted and appreciated?
  3. Openness: How can we promote continued learning and an open exchange of ideas in a kind and honest manner?

Pedagogy Development Consulting

The Pedagogy Development Consulting (PDC) is available to assist faculty in strengthening their communication and instructional pedagogy through personalized coaching. The program is open to any faculty member on a regular contract and information shared as part of the consulting process is confidential. The PDC provides:

  • A structure for focused attention to the classroom behaviors and practices of a faculty member in order to identify and better leverage teaching strengths that support learning and to identify and revise practices that do not support the learning goals of the course.
  • Generates information and recommendations faculty members may use to improve their teaching.
  • Assists faculty with how to leverage teaching development information gleaned from their IDEA course evaluations.
  • Works with faculty to develop individual pedagogical growth plans.
  • Serves as the basis for the development of effective teaching practices throughout an academic career.

Writer’s Retreat

Every summer, we host the Faculty Writer's Retreat to provide a dedicated working space for faculty to focus on writing. The program provides a common space — sometimes it is easier to do the solitary work of writing if you are surrounded with other writers pursuing the same goal. In addition to a quiet/distraction free space, supplies, beverages and meals are provided. The invitation is sent out to all regular contract faculty members on a first come, first serve basis due to limited space.


We coordinate with departments and faculty across campus to offer workshops addressing faculty development needs.

New Faculty

New Faculty Orientation

A one and a half day orientation in August that is required for all first time faculty on a regular or one-year contract. Day one of the orientation includes an overview of key campus personnel, departments and important dates and events. New faculty participate in a walking tour of campus and are introduced to the Biola portal and website. Day two is hosted by Human Resources and covers important benefit, health and insurance information.

First Year First Semester

First Year First Semester (FYFS) is a comprehensive orientation and development program for all new regular contract full-time faculty. The course runs every Monday afternoon during the fall semester. Topics covered include: Biola History, Best Practices for Culturally Competent Teaching, Research Life of a Professor, Promotion & Tenure Expectations, Student Development Resources, Using the IDEA Course Evaluation Instrument, and Assessment Training in Course Learning Outcomes & Rubric Design.

Quick Start Mentoring

During the new faculty's first semester at Biola, they are paired with a second year faculty member for “quick start" mentoring. The second year faculty help the new faculty adjust to Biola in an informal supportive manner. The faculty development office provides a meal card to each Quick Start Guide to meet with new faculty for coffee/lunch throughout the fall semester.

Faculty Mentoring Program

In January new faculty are paired with a senior scholar to meet twice a month throughout the spring semester for proactive guidance. Reviews of the program have reported it to be a highly rated and valuable experience for both the mentors and the protégés. Topics covered are determined by the expertise of the mentor and the specific needs of the protégés. 

The Mentoring Program Handbook has been prepared to assist both the mentor and mentee as they participate in the program.

Female Faculty

Research & Writing Learning Community Work Group

The Research & Writing Learning Community Work Group is dedicated to assisting participants with establishing research and writing goals and habitual best practices to sustain these goals over the long-term. The group is mentored in this process by Dr. Liz Hall, who facilitates the group meetings and reviews writing projects. 

In addition to learning more about the research and writing process, group members work on individual writing projects and provide peer feedback to the writing projects of their colleagues. Participation in this group is recommended for female faculty in their early years of the professoriate and/or for faculty who are at the novice level in their establishment of a research and writing agenda. 

The group meets five times in the fall and five times in the spring at a date and time determined by the participants each term.

Female Faculty Reception

We host an annual reception to welcome new women faculty and administrators, and to celebrate the successes and achievements of women who have received promotion or tenure, terminal degrees, published, presented and made progress in working toward other career marker points. The reception also includes a professional development topic and speaker(s).

Lactation Rooms

Biola University has the following dedicated spaces for breastfeeding women.

  • Library: In the lower level of the library, a Mamava lactation pod is available. For access, download the Mamava App.
  • Myers Hall: On the second floor at the top of the back stairwell near office #209. For access to the room, please contact the benefits coordinator in HR.
  • Emerson: For access, please contact the administrative assistance for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

    Additional Links

    Biola is dedicated to the flourishing of female faculty at Biola. For more information on gender-related policies and support, please see the following:

      Adjunct Faculty

      Adjunct Newsletters

      The Office of Faculty Advancement sends bi-montly newsletters to adjunct faculty with teaching and scholarship resources and upcoming training and development opportunities, such as the ones listed below. While on-contract, adjunct faculty also receive the university Campus-Wide News emails sent on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the Community News sent on Fridays.

      Adjunct Online Orientation

      The Adjunct Online Orientation Part I is an optional 1-hour orientation accessed through Canvas (Biola’s learning management system) that newly hired adjunct faculty can complete at their own pace. Part I of the orientation covers the following topics:

      • University Mission & Policies
      • Student Care & Intervention
      • New Faculty Survival Guide
      • Basic Pedagogy Resources

        Adjunct Integration Sessions

        During the spring semester, the Office for the Integration of Faith and Learning hosts a series of training sessions in integration for adjunct faculty that are intended to help equip faculty to do integration more confidently and more effectively for classroom teaching. These training sessions involve teaching regarding integration, small group discussion, coaching, and an opportunity to present an in-depth example of integration to be used in the classroom with constructive and encouraging feedback. 

        The total anticipated time commitment over the course of the spring term is approximately 10–12 hours. 7–8 participants are selected and a stipend is provided.

        Adjunct Filling Station

        The Adjunct Filling Station is an annual event held every spring semester to acknowledge and affirm the contribution of our adjunct faculty. The evening includes dinner, a celebration of adjunct faculty contributions, professional development and practical resources to support ongoing professional development.

        Additional Programs

        In addition to the tailored programs above, adjunct faculty are invited to Faculty Advancement programs such as lunch and learns, faculty conference, workshops and webinars. Adjuncts are notified of these programs through the adjunct newsletters.

        On Request Training and Faculty Learning Communities

        Faculty Learning Communities

        Faculty learning communities are small groups (4–12 participants) of faculty from different disciplines who meet together for one or two semesters to focus on a topic of mutual interest to (that can) enhance their development as teachers and scholars. The time and commitment level may range from convening to read and discuss a book to more intentional development that extends to faculty working on shared projects and/or conducting pedagogical classroom research activities that focus on such topics as diversity and active learning techniques.

        In order to participate in, or form, a Faculty Learning Community, please contact our office.

        Strengths Coaching

        “Gallup's StrengthsFinder instrument identifies a person's top five signature themes of talent (out of a possible 34). Through the course of their teaching, faculty bring these signature themes to their students, showing them exemplary ways to think, plan, organize, relate and learn." (Deborah White, a Strengths Education Consultant in a resource called — "Teaching With Your Strengths.")

        • According to The Gallup Organization, the best of the best in any field have found a way to use their strengths. 'All great teachers are alike in a key way – they use their natural talents to the utmost, whether they are aware of it or not.' (Liesveld & Miller, 2005, p.11).
        • In The Courage to Teach, Parker Palmer talks about good teaching emanating from an authentic sense of self-identity. 'Whoever our students may be, whatever the subject we teach, ultimately we teach who we are.'(Palmer, 1998).

        The StrengthsFinder instrument is available as an online assessment tool to any faculty member who desires to complete the assessment. After completing the assessment (takes about 45 minutes), a 60-90 minute coaching session is arranged for faculty to learn more about their results and how best to leverage their strengths in their teaching and relationships with students and colleagues.

        General Consultation

        The Associate Provost for Faculty Advancement is available on an as-needed basis to meet with any faculty member who has questions related to their teaching or professional development.

        Across Campus

        Educational Effectiveness

        The Office of Educational Effectiveness provides assessment training for faculty through various workshops and individual consultation. You can find more information on the Educational Effectiveness Resources page.

        Office for the Integration of Faith & Learning

        The Office for the Integration of Faith & Learning is committed to encourage and help our faculty teach and model a distinctively Christian vision of their field, and to equip them to train students captured by that same vision, in order that we might change the world. You can learn more on the About page.

        Diversity and Inclusion

        The Division of Diversity and Inclusion offers professional development opportunities that equip employees with practical intercultural knowledge, attitudes and skills.

        Digital Learning & Program Development

        The Office of Digital Learning and Program Development offers training for faculty and staff in online pedagogy and best practices, and provides technical support for the LMS and online teaching. Digital Learning recommends that full-time and adjunct faculty teaching an online or remote course at Biola follow the training programs.