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Parent Council

Overview

The Biola University Parent Council is here to serve you! They are available to foster communication between the University and parents in order to improve the quality of the Biola experience for all students and their parents. The Council meets three times each year to act as liaisons to the Administration, provide hospitality at University events and work with specific fund-raising campaigns. Yet their primary role is that of parents, feel free to contact them with any questions or concerns that you may have.

Members

Josh and Amy Burgess — Fort Worth, TX

names

We always loved the idea of our kids going to Biola one day, but never thought it would actually happen. We feel so blessed to have our son there now, and our daughter considering it as well! Texas is a long way from California, but seeing our son thrive academically, spiritually and relationally there has been pure joy for us as parents.

Our son, Thomas, is a junior at Biola this fall. He is a Computer Science major and is part of Torrey Honors College and the Stewart Science Honors program. He loved his freshman year and felt right at home from the beginning. We’ve enjoyed watching him grow in his faith, and form friendships we know will last a lifetime.

Our daughter, Grace, is entering her senior year in high school and Biola is her top choice. We look forward to many years of continued partnership with Biola.

We are happy to hop on a call and answer any questions you have.

Anthony and Arica Clement — Bay Area, CA

Anthony and Arica Clement

We’re Anthony and Arica and we’re both Bay Area natives. We have three wonderful children and our oldest, Amaya, is entering her second year at Biola. Biola has felt like home since we first visited in 2019. We loved the intimate feel of the campus and the peace we both experienced while visiting. Amaya entered Biola with an undeclared major but towards the end of her freshman year decided on a communications major. She settled right in, making friends and building relationships with other students and professors. She has a great group of friends that did so many things together; from attending a local church, to trips to downtown Disney. We’ve seen her grow and mature personally as well as spiritually. She also did well academically, making the Dean’s list both semesters of her freshman year. We are so thankful that God has led Amaya and our family to Biola. It was very clear from the beginning that this was God’s plan. Amaya applied for several schools, in and out of the area. She received her first acceptance letter from Biola along with an academic scholarship. This was a confirmation and answer to our prayers.

Please feel free to contact us (aaaclement@sbcglobal.net) if you’d like to chat about our experience which includes the full range of emotions or if you’d just like to pray about where God is leading your student.

John and Lorelei Coddington — Upland, CA

Lorelei Coddington

My husband, John (Talbot ’95), and I (‘88) live in Upland, CA, and are now official empty-nesters. This fall, two of our children are studying at Biola. One son is a senior Torrey Honors student and is majoring in Chemistry ('21) and the other is also a Torrey Honors student and is majoring in Computer Science ('23). Our daughter just graduated this past spring with degrees in Music, Vocal Performance and Communications Sciences and Disorders. She has now moved on to graduate school in Iowa for speech language pathology. 

Not only are two of my children at Biola, but I am also in my third year as an Associate Professor at Biola in the School of Education. I have the unique opportunity of seeing Biola up close as both an alumna, parent, and faculty member, and I am thrilled to be a part of Biola’s mission. We can visibly see the significant impact Biola has had in shaping and molding our children's worldview, and it has been exciting to observe them deepen and mature in their knowledge and understanding of the content of their majors as informed by their knowledge and application of God’s Word. 

As we journey through this coming year, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. In particular, I welcome questions about Torrey Honors College, Sciences, Music, and Education. I can also provide an understanding of faith integration and insight into the educational aspects of Biola. We have also navigated food allergies and experienced various issues around dorm life. I look forward to being a resource to you and a prayer support as we move through the year.

Gary and Cindy Gilbert — San Marcos, CA

Gary and Cindy Gilbert

Cindy and I are the proud parents of Lindsey Gilbert, a Psychology major and a member of the Class of 2023, and Cameron Gilbert who graduated from Biola in 2014 with Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology.

As parents it has been a wonderful experience to watch Lindsey blossom from being the shy, quiet introvert she has always been to the outgoing, spontaneous, and free spirit she has grown into during her first year at Biola. Cindy and I are convinced that the personal strides Lindsey has made is due to the extraordinary love and acceptance she has received from the devoted professors, supportive staff and the amazing students of Biola.

We love our Biola family and Cindy and I are available to assist you in any way we can. God bless you all.

Fred and Pamela Green — Snohomish, WA

Fred and Pamela Green

We are Fred and Pam Green from Snohomish, WA and have a daughter that just graduated from Biola’s Nursing Program (‘19) and a son that just finished his junior year in Commercial Music. Our daughter, Taylor was involved in the EMI ministry and their mission trips as well as The Spring Missions Conference where she held the job of coordinator her Junior year. She spent a summer in Israel volunteering at Shevet Achim a ministry she became aware of through Missions Conference. She married a fellow Biolan in January 2019 and they live in Buena Park as he finishes his Master’s Program in Accounting at Biola. Our son Hunter played Lacrosse his freshman year, is a drummer for one of the chapel bands on campus, and is involved with EMI as well, and planning on leading 2 mission trips next year. He studied abroad last summer in Peru for a Spanish credit. Both of them have had wonderful experiences at Biola and have loved their time there. Fred and I would be happy to share or answer questions from any parent thinking of having their child attend Biola.

Marcia and Ed Harper — Redmond, WA

Marcia and Ed Harper

We are Ed and Marcia Harper from Redmond, WA. We currently have three Biola students — Bethany (‘20), Nursing and Torrey Honors College; Katelyn (‘22), Pre-nursing and Torrey Honors College and Kristen (‘22), Christian Ministries. Our students are part of the Swim/Dive team. We have been part of the Biola family for 5 years. We have experienced trusting God with the financial commitment of Biola and encouraging our students to also trust and share in this commitment; the care and support of the Learning Center; challenges of mental health issues; students living far from home, transitioning from homeschooling in HS to college, and the exciting transition to NCAA D2 athletics. We would love to listen, support, and pray with you as part of the Biola family.

Please feel free to reach out to us regarding: Athletics, Torrey Honors College, Christian Ministries, Nursing, The Learning Center and accommodations, and navigating living out of state and staying connected to the Biola community.

Please feel free to contact us at harper.marcia.m@gmail.com

David and Kathy Juhn — Issaquah, WA

Kathy Juhn

Greetings from Seattle, WA, we are parents to Karen who is a rising junior majoring in Political Science. Karen’s first year at Biola was blessed with leadership opportunities, traveling to San Francisco, DC, and a summer mission trip to Uganda.

Her academic achievement has gotten her on the Dean's list. We are incredibly proud!

Here’s a glimpse of how Karen spent her first year at Biola. From the first week of orientation, Biola provided a variety of opportunities to learn, to grow and to serve in the community. Karen participated in SMU (Student Mission Union) as a President’s Intern, AEI (American Enterprise Institute) field coordinator, ISI (Intercollegiate Studies Institute) club member, Mock Rock (Men of Honor) *they won first place, SMU, and a summer mission trip to Uganda. In her free time, you could easily find her at Disneyland (season pass), hammocking, heading to the beach or escaping to lots of good places to read on campus as she enjoys good acai bowls.

As parents, it has been an absolute delight to see her personality blossom and to gain essential life skills during her first year in college, as she learns to lean on God and have more and more opportunities to understand God’s mercy and grace. She has met some wonderful new friends who share similar interests and are eager to share and understand their differences.

We are grateful to the faculty, staff, student organizations and everyone who has paved the path for students at Biola. If you ever spend time at Biola, you will experience the extraordinary love of God amongst everyone on campus. What a joy it is to be part of Biola Parent Council and we’d be delighted to be part of your journey at Biola. Please feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to eat, drink coffee or pray with you. We can also speak in Korean as both of us are bilingual. We look forward to meeting you!

Ted and Penny Malley — Arroyo Grande, CA

Ted and Penny Malley

We are Ted and Penny Malley, parents of four great kids, living in Arroyo Grande, CA. Our oldest, Katie (Spring ‘22) is majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Art. She has participated as a chapel intern with Spiritual Development, helping run the mid-week After Dark chapel. We were thrilled when she told us that out of all of the great colleges she’d been accepted to, she had chosen Biola! Penny graduated from Biola with her teaching credential in 1994, so we knew what a rich education and strong spiritual foundation this school provides. Our son Tyler (‘25) is an Engineering major, excited to participate in the fantastic Engineering program where he spends three years at Biola and two years at USC, expecting to graduate with two degrees. We’d love to see their younger siblings attend one day, too! Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions, we’d love to talk with you! E-mail us at pennyemalley@gmail.com and tedmalley@gmail.com.

Mike and Kristen McLaren — Phoenix, AZ

Mike and Kristen McLaren

In 2018-19, our nest officially emptied as we had two Eagles at Biola! As a Biola Alumni (Kristen, class of ‘91), we couldn’t have been more thrilled! Our daughter, Ryanne ('19), graduated with a degree in Piano Performance (Organ Minor) and loved being part of Torrey Honors College. She had amazing opportunities during her undergraduate years including participating in study programs/trips abroad to Italy, Ireland, and the UK. It was amazing to see her go from a freshman hesitant to leave home to a world-traveling academic! She attended the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) for graduate school. Our son, Seth ('22), is a Kinesiology major and enjoys singing in a choir and playing intramural soccer and softball. Both had to learn how to navigate challenges that come with living far from home, but it has been a blessing to see them grow in maturity and faith through both their struggles and successes! We love Biola and especially enjoy connecting with other families from out of state!

Feel free to contact us at AZkris10m@gmail.com

Norm and Lisa Olson — Salem, OR

Norm and Lisa Olson

Our story is a bit different, we are not college graduates, in fact our son was the first in our Olson family to graduate from college. Since we did not have the college experience ourselves, it was important to us, as parents, that our kids traveled to visit colleges and learn more about college life firsthand. It turned out to be one of the best decisions we made to help our kids find and choose a college for themselves.

After a campus tour in 2014, our son told us while exiting the campus, Biola was where he would be attending college. During Colton’s second semester of his freshman year, he reached out to us and wanted to make sure we knew Biola was so much more than just a college education for him. He already knew it was shaping, challenging, and growing him in ways he would not get at another college. It was then we knew as parents Biola was the college we had prayed for. Colton graduated in 2019 with a Business Marketing degree.

Our daughter Kelsey (‘23), is a Kinesiology major. She had traveled to visit her brother several times before he graduated, so Biola was already on her heart. Even though we loved Biola for Colton we wanted to ensure it was the right choice for Kelsey as well and pushed her to visit a few other colleges. She never wavered, always comparing the other colleges to Biola. Her freshman year did not turn out as any of us would have planned due to COVID, but we can honestly say we have all been blessed by the way in which Biola has handled every detail.

We absolutely love being a Biola family and feel it is a privilege to be a part of the Biola Parent Council. We are excited to have the opportunity to meet perspective, new and current families, and partner to support the Biola community. We would be happy to come along side of you to share our experiences, pray and encourage you, as well as answer questions or concerns you may have. You may reach us at Olson904@msn.com.

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Daniel and Bernice Ramirez — La Mirada, CA

Daniel and Bernice Ramirez

We are Dan and Bernice Ramirez and live in La Mirada about 5 minutes from Biola. Biola is a wonderful place to send your children for an education. Our son Danny is going to be a junior this coming fall. He is a Bible/Theological Studies major and is involved in the scuba diving club and Alpha Bible Study club. He has developed strong friendships with other students from Biola and just loves being on campus even when he doesn't have school. If he isn't home we know he is at Biola or out for coffee with a friend from Biola. We love these ties of his.

The professors at Biola are so caring and pour Godly wisdom and advice into the students. They have helped Danny during difficult times. We are so grateful to them. The campus is also safe and very well taken care of. My husband and I enjoy spending time on campus walking around the track, getting lunch at the caf or getting coffee at Common Grounds. We love Biola and hope to see Daniel's younger siblings attend there as well. Biola gives you a top-notch education in a safe, Godly environment.

We would be happy to assist your student in any way we can since we are local. We would love to pray with you and/or your student for direction and peace. We are here if you need us. Your student is welcome to come over anytime! And your welcome to call us for advice.

Rina Rojas — Lincoln, CA

Rina Rojas

Hello, I’m Rina Rojas parent to Sarah Lopez, class of 2022. My daughter is a Cinema and Media Arts major and part of the Torrey Honor’s Institute; she is also a student worker on campus.

Our family lives in Northern California and my favorite part of our Biola experience is the community feeling and how intentional everyone is about keeping parents involved in their children’s education journey. In addition to being a Biola parent I’m also a Biola graduate student through their online program.

I am available to connect in person if you live in the greater Sacramento area or by phone. We can talk about anything that would encourage you and support your efforts as you walk through the higher education journey with your child. I also speak Spanish if that’s your preferred language!

Fred and Jenn Schippa — San Diego, CA

Fred and Jenn Schippa

To begin, let us say “We love Biola!” From the moment we walked on campus in April of 2018, we knew Biola was and is a place where Jesus is Lord and God is exalted! Our twin Sons, Gabe & Brody agree. They began walking out their Biola journey in the fall of 2019 and have grown beautifully in the process, and in the Lord. Presently, both are Physics Majors, unless the Spirit leads differently. Both were accepted into the Torrey Honors program, but because their High School class had only 3 students, (they were called to pioneer a new Christian HS) they felt led to decline so as to consider a variety of classes. We have heard Torrey is a wonderful program, and definitely worth praying about for God’s consideration. This is simply how our family was led and it has been a good decision. Our son Gabe, got a job on campus with Event Services which was such a great opportunity for him and filled much of his time when he wasn’t studying. He and Brody also played Intramural Volleyball - both indoor and Beach - and had a blast! Brody quickly became a part of Student Orientation Services (SOS) and with this Team, became a part of the Biola legend of Mock Rock. It was very time consuming, and Brody said it was worth every minute of it! They both made the Dean’s List even with these commitments and we are grateful for the balance Biola offers. More than anything, we appreciate the fact that the Authority of Biola is unequivocally, Jesus Christ. We love praying for all things Biola, and were led to be a part of the President’s Circle to support in this way as well. We live in San Diego, and attend every Biola event we can, and they are always Spirit filled and awesome!

We also LOVE People, so please feel free to reach out to us at anytime. We are Fred & Jenn - and can be reached at jenn@schippa.us or 858.248.3717. God bless you all!

Nate and Heidi Smith — Arcadia, CA

Nate and Heidi Smith

We are Nate and Heidi Smith, and our son Nathan is a Biblical Studies Major at Biola. Nathan describes admission to Biola as God “opening the big college door, fulfilling the desire of his heart.” Nathan is 26 years old, and he and his younger brother Stephen graduated from Arcadia High School together in 2013. What many would say is impossible was made possible with God’s intervention and the help of therapists, teachers, and peers. Nathan has autism and apraxia, which limit his initiation skills and his verbal output. In middle school, he typed that his goal was to attend Biola. Six years later, Nathan has completed the Bible minor requirements and is now embarking on the Biblical Studies major. Nathan lives at home with us in Arcadia and commutes to Biola two to three times a week. For the remainder of the week, Nathan takes general education classes at Pasadena City College. Nathan always has a shadow aid with him to assist him, and because all of Nathan’s lectures are tape recorded for Heidi to transcribe, we as a family have been blessed by the biblical teaching Nathan has received in each Bible class. We are also grateful for the kindness of all who welcome Nathan and believe in his ability. This vote of confidence contributes immeasurably to Nathan’s success. It may be that both of our sons will graduate again together in 2022, Nathan from Biola and Stephen from UCLA with a PhD in Statistics.

In the overflow of our gratitude, we would love to encourage you and your student. We look forward to meeting you, and if you have any questions for us, especially regarding the Learning Center accommodations for special needs, commuting, general education requirements taken at a Junior College, our email is hrsmith716@gmail.com. Heidi can also be reached at (626) 664-0595.

Randy and Elysia Sorley — Yorba Linda, CA

Randy and Elysia Sorley

We are Randy and Elysia Sorley and are blessed parents of Joshua Sorley who will be entering his senior year at Biola University, majoring in business administration. In our three year tenure with Biola, we have observed our son mature in his relationship with the Lord, build a foundation of Godly relationships with fellow students and professors, and had the privilege of interacting with his friends, along with Biola staff, professors and administration personnel. We became more active during the second year by joining the parent council that broadened our perspective of this university and the necessity for parent involvement. Elysia and I are passionate about connecting with other families and students, through prayer and interaction, so students will discover the numerous resources Biola has available.

We would consider it a privilege to discuss any Biola University questions you may have regarding your child’s experience, education or apprehension. Please contact us regarding Christian commitment, life experience, student and parent involvement or even financing. You will be blessed observing your students grow during the next four years.

Our email is randy@rcsinvestigations.com. We look forward to connecting with you soon!

Join Our Team

The purpose of the Parent Council is to foster communication between the University and parents in order to improve the quality of the university experience for Biola students and their parents. Council members will serve as liaisons, reflecting the views of the parents to the administration, and communicating with parents about the goals and plans of the University. Additionally, members will serve as representatives of the University to prospective students and their families to support the recruiting efforts of the University.

Service Opportunities:

  • Attend all Parent Council Meetings on campus at your own expense (three times a year, during Opening Weekend in August, Family Weekend in October and Grandparent's Day in April)
  • Attend Opening Weekend events and staff the Registration Booth each August on campus
  • Attend Family Weekend events each October on campus
  • Participate in the Spring Calling Campaign and call 10 parents of prospective students in your area (from your home)

How to apply:

Parents who have a love for God, an affinity for Biola and a desire to serve others are welcome to apply to the Parents Council. We ask that new parents wait one year before applying, to allow your student and yourself the time to settle in and learn about Biola. Applications and references are accepted January 1 to June 1 for the upcoming fall semester. In June, applicants with completed references will be notified to schedule a phone interview. A decision regarding acceptance on the council will be determined by July 1, following the phone interview.

Biola University Parent Council Application

Biola University Parent Council Reference