Your Giving, Our Gratitude
To Our Faithful Friends:
I want to express my heartfelt thanks to you for your generous support through your prayers, time and sacrificial giving.
From student scholarships to new rain gutters, academic endeavors to brilliant buildings, your partnership is fueling Biola as we seek to continue to provide the highest quality faith integrated education, preparing the rising generation of Christ followers for years to come. We wanted to share with you a brief overview of the many ways that you and others in our Biola community have rallied together to support these endeavors and we hope you enjoy the photos and stories that share a small glimpse of what your support has helped accomplish.
The 2022–2023 academic year has been one of dreaming, planning and casting vision for the future of this faithful institution. We are eager to see how the Lord will continue to be at work and how he will accomplish his work for the kingdom through the faithfulness of partners like you! The plans on the horizon are exciting as we seek to equip future generations to meet a world in need with the hope of Jesus Christ.
The partnership of friends like you has enabled Biola to be a leading voice in higher education around the world. As we continue to labor towards our goal of equipping men and women for lives and vocations of Christ glorifying impact, here are some highlights from this academic year.
Vice President for Advancement
Happy 115th Birthday Biola University!
Celebrating 115 years of excellence in Christian higher education, Biola University looked back on many decades of academic success and spiritual growth as it forged further into its second century in early 2023.
To mark the anniversary, Biola hosted “I Heart Biola Week” from February 20–24, 2023.
“Generations after its first class was convened in downtown L.A., Biola remains committed to the inerrancy of Scripture and the necessity of equipping Christian students to be bold and faithful leaders,” said Dr. Barry H. Corey.
In 1908, Lyman Stewart and Reverend T.C. Horton established the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. Stewart was founder and president of the Union Oil Company; Horton was a prominent pastor and writer.
“Let it be our hope and prayer that from this place shall radiate streams of influence which will be a great blessing not only to the multitudes around us but also to the darkest places of the earth,” Stewart said early in Biola’s history.
At the time of its founding, the University took up its mission at the center of a rapidly growing and modernizing region that would become one of the most influential in the world, teaching the Bible and raising up generations of Christian professionals grounded in God’s Word. Soon, it was serving hundreds of students while proclaiming the gospel to the city of Los Angeles.
Today, Biola provides more than 5,000 students with higher education that is rooted in Scripture, preparing leaders for vocations of Christ glorifying impact through 145 academic programs. Solo de gloria!
Dr. Matthew J. Hall Welcomed as Provost and Senior VP
On February 24, 2023, Biola University officially welcomed Dr. Matthew J. Hall as the new Provost and Senior Vice President, holding an official installation ceremony to mark a new page in Biola’s history and introduce a dynamic new leader who plays a central role in shaping academics at Biola.
In his new position, Dr. Hall acts as Chief Academic Officer, establishing and implementing Biola’s academic priorities, and works with the deans, academic officers and faculty as a member of the senior leadership team.
“I want to suggest that this is a particularly thrilling time to be a follower of Jesus and to be about the great project of Christian higher education,” Dr. Hall said during his formal installation ceremony on Feb. 24, 2023. “I say that because I believe this world, and a generation of young adults, is asking an urgent question, one I pray we will have ears to hear.”
Dr. Hall is an ordained minister who preaches and teaches throughout North America and the Spanish-speaking world. Academically, he has focused on theology and culture in American religion, and has taught graduate and undergraduate classes for more than a decade.
Dr. Hall along with his wife, Jeannie and three kids join us from Louisville, Kentucky where Dr. Hall previously served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS). He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Kentucky as well as degrees from the SBTS (M.Div; Th.M.) and Grove City College (B.A.).
School of Fine Arts and Communications Marks First Year in Bardwell Hall
Biola’s thriving community of student and faculty artists celebrated their first full year in Bardwell Hall, a visionary new home for the arts at the heart of Biola's campus.
Our alumni remember the building well as the former home of Biola’s science programs, but was renovated and reopened in the fall of 2021 to include 1,100 square feet of student gallery space, 40 working studio spaces for students, outdoor exhibition space, a rooftop terrace, a photography darkroom, and more.
A striking addition to the Biola University campus, Bardwell Hall now features student artwork in the entrance to the building—a signature gallery showcasing student work and student-curated exhibitions.
“Bardwell Hall has opened up even more opportunities for our students to practice and show their work in a beautiful and modern space that honors the tradition of creativity at Biola,” said Dr. Barry H. Corey. “And its location in the center of campus also ensures the arts have a key role in the ongoing conversation among the disciplines at the University.”
The Department of Fine Arts and Communications balances classroom learning with community-based experiences through studio time and common spaces—values at the center of Bardwell Hall’s renovation. The enhanced teaching and studio spaces offer students vastly improved access to practical and experimental spaces—as well as display areas—that are key to the development of the next generation of faithful artists.
Biola Welcomes Matt Redman as Songwriter in Residence
In September 2022, renowned worship leader Matt Redman, of “10,000 Reasons” fame, joined us at Biola to take up the new role of Songwriter in Residence, giving students the opportunity to learn from the double-Grammy winning musician in person.
Redman is a prolific and well-loved songwriter and performer, having released 16 albums and a number of worship songs—from “Blessed Be Your Name” in 2002 to “10,000 Reasons” in 2013—that millions of churches around the world sing each sunday in worship and Christians around the world know by heart.
“I am excited to be taking on this new role and making the relationship more official,” said Redman, who has spent time at Biola and worked with students from the Worship Arts program in the past.
2022–2023 in the Rankings
Year after year, Biola is ranked nationally for its academic strength. Biola is widely recognized as one of the top Christian universities — known for leading degree programs in business, film, science, theology and more. Among the latest rankings:
U.S. News and World Report
Teaching in National Universities”
U.S. News and World Report
“Best Value Schools”
U.S. News and World Report
“Top Performers on
“Best in the West”
The Princeton Review
“50 Best Colleges on the
“Top Film Schools
in North America”
“Best College Dorms
New Health, Ministry Programs Open Horizons for Students
A pair of new programs at Biola are providing novel career paths for students pursuing healthcare and ministry at the University after recent launches.
In fall 2022, the School of Science, Technology and Health at Biola University launched a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Allied Health Pre-Occupational Therapy, a growing and competitive field. The program will help prepare students who plan to become occupational therapists while grounding their learning in Christ-centered healthcare practice.
At the Talbot School of Theology, students were preparing to take their first courses in the new Korean-language Doctor of Ministry (DMin) track in May 2023. Talbot has partnered closely with the Korean community in L.A. and now provides native language instruction for pastors and other church leaders who participate in the new doctoral track, entitled, “Strengthening the Skills of a Shepherd.”
As the academic year recently concluded with two commencement ceremonies and nearly 850 students graduating, we look forward to the next year in anticipation of the new leaders who will begin their roles as of July 1st. The new appointees are as follows:
Dr. Ed Stetzer
Dean of Talbot School of Theology
Read the full announcement about Dr. Stetzer’s appointment on Biola’s website.
Dr. Michael Arena
Dean of Crowell School of Business
Read the full announcement about Dr. Arena on Biola’s website.
Dr. Mark Muha
Vice President for Student Development
Read the full announcement about Dr. Muha on Biola’s Chimes website.
We hope you will join us in praying for them as they and their families transition to Biola in the next couple months.
Film School to be Named for In-N-Out Founder Following Sizable Grant
As soon as late 2026, film students attending Biola will walk through the doors of the new Snyder School of Cinema & Media Arts, named for Esther L. Snyder, who co-founded In-N-Out Burger and left a legacy of faith, family values and excellence.
In May, the popular burger chain and SoCal staple announced a grant to Biola that would be the largest in the history of the University. As a result, in October 2023 Biola will break ground on a $92 million, 52,100 square-foot film production studio that will extend the capabilities and technology accessible to students learning the art of faithful filmmaking. The project is expected to take about two years to complete.
In announcing the grant, In-N-Out Owner and President Lynsi Snyder-Ellingson, granddaughter of Esther L. Snyder, offered these gracious words: “God is a huge part of the In-N-Out story, and I have no doubt my grandmother would be grateful to know her name is associated with a school recognized for excellence in craft and character.”
The grant will also establish the In-N-Out Burger Scholars Fund to provide opportunities for foster and at-risk youth to study in the Snyder School. Biola’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name the School of Cinema & Media Arts after Esther L. Snyder in May. In-N-Out was founded in Baldwin Park in 1948 and is currently headquartered in Irvine.
“In-N-Out Burger, Biola, and the movies—we see so much of the heritage of Los Angeles in this partnership,” said Biola President Barry H. Corey. “This naming of the Snyder School and the inspirational vision of Mrs. Esther Snyder will be a testimony to students and alumni for generations that humility in leadership, Christlike love of others, entrepreneurial tenacity and upright business principles are virtues worth living.”
Esther L. Snyder was steadfast in her faith and in support of faith-based education. She also fostered the integration of faith and Scripture within a company that has grown to include some 27,000 employees and nearly 400 restaurants across the Southwest U.S. To this day, In-N-Out cups, fry boats and bags are imprinted with verses like John 3:16, Proverbs 3:5 and Revelation 3:20.
“As Biola’s fastest growing school, this incredible gift will dramatically improve our School of Cinema & Media Arts’ already strong academic program for students, as well as help accommodate our significant enrollment growth,” said Founding Dean and industry veteran Tom Halleen. “We want our students to be great at what they do, but also great in who they are as we prepare them to tell their stories across all the screens we use in everyday life: the movie screen, TV screen, computer screen, and their device’s screen.”