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Development Opportunities

Group photo of Biola Faculty

Fall Faculty Conference

This annual event provides an opportunity for all regular-contract faculty to come together as one visible corporate body; to be reminded of our mission, purpose & values; and to create a forum for focused attention to identified topics of need and/or enrichment shared by all faculty resulting in professional growth and development.

Topics & Issues selected for faculty enrichment and development at the faculty conferences generally parallel the University Outcomes and rotate on a cycle to give balanced attention to our university learning priorities.

Resources from Past Conferences:

2016-2017 Conference Part I & II

2015-2016 Conference Part I & II

Fall 2014 Conference Theme: Future Focused

Fall 2013 Conference Theme: Faith Integration in the Classroom

Fall 2012 Conference Theme: Faculty Engaging Students to Influence a Changing World

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 Shelly Cunningham or Karina Serrano. Cost of books and materials will be covered by the Office of Faculty Development.

Faith & Learning Integration

(from the Office for the Integration of Faith and 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. The office provides a broad spectrum of development opportunities to train faculty in this area.

  • Coalition of the Willing: A year long small group experience designed to deepen faculty members' integrative understanding of the Christian faith as well as develop a common language and set of models for doing integration.
  • Summer Faculty Integration Seminar: These seminars bring faculty members together with a leading theologian for teaching and discussion. Faculty members are required to write an integration paper at the end of the seminar and are paid for their participation.
  • Table Talk: Table Talks seek to provide systematic, ongoing theological education, as well as effective models of integration of faith and learning. These monthly luncheons offer integrative topics often taught by Talbot faculty members or a faculty member from the university at large who models integration within his or her discipline.
  • Faculty Working Groups: These working groups have tended to grow out of the shared interests of the faculty who participate in the Coalition of the Willing. They are in depth attempts at bridge-building between theology and concepts of academic or cultural significance.
  • Additional Resources: Articles, discussions, and multi-media resources are available on the website.

To get involved in one of these development opportunities or for more information contact Dr. Rick Langer, Director of the Office for the Integration of Faith and Learning.

Learning Assessment Certification (ATLAS Levels 1-3)

(from the Collaborative for Excellence in Teaching and Learning)

Faculty Assessment Fellows

(from the Collaborative for Excellence in Teaching and Learning)

Faculty Fellows Engaging Community

(from the Office of Cross-Cultural Engagement)

The Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement (CCCE) mission is to create, promote, and facilitate opportunities for faculty and students to better understand cultural differences with the purpose of engaging and learning beyond Biola's cultural frame of reference. CCCE's vision is to ensure that Biola students have the opportunity to engage in significant cross-cultural learning experiences through community engagement, study abroad and study USA programs via academic service learning.

Faculty Fellows Engaging Community (FFEC) supports gifted and ambitious faculty scholars at Biola University, who commit to integrating an Academic Service Learning (ASL) component into one of their courses to ultimately transform the classroom into real life experiences; engaging students in a cross cultural and community / civic learning experience. This integrated component may be simply a 15-20 hour student time commitment with one of our community partners (non-profit, Para-church, school, etc.).

Who can participate: All applicants must be Biola professors who teach undergraduate courses. For more information please contact The Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement, email: or 562-777-4094.

Canvas Training

(from the Department of Digital Learning and Program Development)

There are four levels of Canvas training, each level requires 2 hours and is offered on multiple days/times during the Spring and Fall semesters:

  1. Canvas Basics - basic information for on-campus class use.
  2. Canvas Rudimentary - for functionality regarding Assignments, Tests/Quizzes, Grading, and Rubrics. Those who have completed the basic training and want to know a little more functionality to assist with on-campus teaching should sign up for one of these 2-hour sessions.
  3. Canvas Advanced - for Groups and Group Work, Video Conferencing, Collaborative Assignments, Presentations. ONLY those who have done the first two Canvas trainings should sign up for one of these 2-hour sessions.
  4. Canvas Proficiency - for More Detailed Rubrics, Course and Program Outcomes (proficiency) Reporting, Analytics, Educational Technology Integration, Open Education Resources. ONLY those who have done the first three Canvas trainings should sign up for one of these 2-hour sessions.

NOTE: Any faculty who intend to teach online, flipped, or blended courses are required to successfully complete all four of the 2-hour Canvas sessions listed above before they are scheduled to teach their course at Biola University.

The department sends an email to all Biola faculty with a sign-up form a few weeks before the trainings are offered. A Biola email address and laptop are required to participate. Staff, administrative assistants, and TAs may also attend training as needed.

The Department of Digital Learning and Program Development are also available to consult with faculty and assist them in any way with Canvas, whether it's for on-campus or online classes, simply call (562) 944-0351, ext: 5490, email, or drop by their office located in White Hall 49.

Peer Coaching

The Peer Coaching Program is available to assist faculty in strengthening their classroom teaching skills.

What does the program provide?

  • 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 & 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.

Private and Confidential

  • All aspects of the program are private and confidential (written evaluations are the sole property of the faculty member who is being coached.)
  • The program and resulting evaluations are not intended to serve as an evaluative process for the purpose of making personnel decisions.

Who can participate?

  • The Peer Coaching Program is open to any faculty member on regular contract
  • Participants may be referred by their Department Chair, Director or Dean.
  • Individual faculty members may also contact the Director of Faculty Development to request participation in the program for their professional development and growth.

Strength Coaching

“What makes an effective teacher? There is no cookie cutter template.

  • 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).

“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.")

Who can participate?

  • 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.

On-Request Training and Consultation

The Director of Faculty Development is available on an as-needed basis to meet with any faculty member who has questions related to their teaching or professional development.

Employee Training & Development

(from the Human Resources Department)

As a Biola University employee, faculty members have access to all training offered by the Human Resources department. On the My.Biola site, under your Employee tab, there is a list of training seminars that you can sign up for. Upcoming training seminars are also shown on Inside Story.