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Faculty and Staff

At the Torrey Honors Institute, our faculty are world-class scholars representing a variety of disciplines. They are sought-after experts, authors of dozens of books, and masters of discussion-based teaching. They are also committed to interdisciplinary education and modeling a life of curiosity and wonder for their students. That’s why in a Torrey Honors class, you’ll likely find a systematic theologian leading a discussion on poetry, or a philosopher leading a discussion on Russian literature.

But what truly sets our faculty apart is their investment in our students. As faculty mentors, they facilitate personalized education, promote student growth and empower Torrey Honors students with the skills to excel in whatever vocation God calls them to after college.

Faculty

Paul Spears

  • Director of Torrey Honors
  • Associate Professor

Paul Spears has taught in the Torrey Honors Institute since 1998, and has been director since 2012. In his scholarly work, he investigates how educational history, philosophy and learning theories combine to construct educational praxis. Further, he also studies how philosophical and theological commitments shape the way teachers and students behave in the classroom. He has spoken around the world, from Mongolia to Washington D.C., on apologetics, theology, and educational philosophy.

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Fred Sanders

  • Professor
  • Associate Director of Torrey Honors

Fred Sanders is a systematic theologian who studies and teaches across the entire range of classic Christian doctrine, but with a primary focus on the doctrine of the Trinity. Fred has taught in the Torrey Honors Institute since 1999, and is an amateur historian of Biola's institutional history. He is co-founder of the annual Los Angeles Theology Conference, and maintains an active internet presence via Twitter and blog. He and his family are members of Grace Evangelical Free Church.

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Janelle Aijian

  • Associate Professor, Torrey Honors

Janelle Aijian hails from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She earned her doctoral degree in Philosophy from Baylor University, focusing on the religious epistemology of Blaise Pascal. Her current research involves the role of skepticism in the life of faith and acedia, or spiritual despondency. Her favorite texts to teach are The Brothers Karamazov, Moby Dick, The Republic and the gospel of John.

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Alina Beary

  • Assistant Professor, Torrey Honors

A native of Ufa, Russia, Alina Beary is a philosopher who is interested in virtue ethics, the deadly sins tradition, and ways in which implicit biases affect our ability to develop virtue. She earned her doctorate degree from Baylor University, where her dissertation focused on Thomas Aquinas and contemporary virtue ethics. She and her husband, David, have been married for over 10 years and have twin daughters. They love good literature and enjoy camping and hiking in the national parks.

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Isaac Blois

  • Assistant Professor, Torrey Honors

Isaac Blois is a New Testament scholar who received his training at St. Andrews University, where he studied the intersection of Jewish theology with the Greco-Roman milieu of Paul’s early-Christian correspondents in the Roman colony of Philippi. Isaac is passionate about reading and helping others read the Bible as a whole, a love which was fostered and developed during his undergraduate years as a student in the Torrey Honors Institute.

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Siân Draycott

  • Instructor, Torrey Honors

Siân Draycott grew up in Wales and graduated from Oxford University with an MA in Theology and is completing an MA in Classical Studies, with an emphasis on contemporary reception.  In addition to team leading with IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) in Portugal and the wider Western European field, Siân has experience as a high school teacher in the UK and an ESL tutor. She loves talking to people about Jesus, watching Wales play rugby, and reading good books.

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Joe Henderson

  • Associate Professor, Torrey Honors

Joe Henderson is a scholar of English literature and the Old Testament, uniting his love of reading well with his love of reading the Bible. His doctoral research on the poetry of the book of Jeremiah is the fruit of his interest of both the history of biblical interpretation and of literary criticism. His other interests include Robert Louis Stevenson's novels, Paul's theology, Milton's Prose, Brevard Childs' hermeneutics, Flannery O'Connor's stories, and Charles Wesley's hymns.

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Matt Jenson

  • Associate Professor, Torrey Honors

Matt Jenson is a systematic theologian specializing in theological anthropology and ecclesiology. He holds a B.A. in literature and philosophy from Wheaton College and a Ph.D. in theology from the University of St. Andrews, where he was part of the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts. Jenson is a happy and grateful part of Fountain of Life Covenant Church in Long Beach and an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church.

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Adam Johnson

  • Associate Professor, Torrey Honors

Adam Johnson is a theologian who focuses on the doctrine of the atonement, exploring the many ways in which the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ effect the reconciliation of all things to God. He and his family lead the Torrey National Parks class every summer.

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Jane Kim

  • Associate Professor, Torrey Honors

Jane E. Kim was born in State College and grew up in Philadelphia. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in English and French, and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature from Cornell University. Her dissertation focused on the influence of Dante's poetic theology on British Romantic conceptions of the poet and poetry. Jane is thrilled to be a part of the Biola community, studying great books with Torrey Honors' bright students.

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Mark Makin

  • Assistant Professor, Torrey Honors

Mark Makin is a philosopher specializing in contemporary metaphysics and epistemology, with a deep appreciation for the history of philosophy. His research focuses on the nature of explanation in metaphysics and its applications. In his free time, Mark enjoys playing jazz saxophone, indulging in Jane Austen film adaptations, rooting for the New York Giants and exploring America’s national parks. 

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Greg Peters

  • Professor, Torrey Honors

Greg is a native Virginian who loves traveling (especially to monasteries in Europe) and reading. He enjoys the fiction of Chinua Achebe, Georges Bernanos and the nineteenth century Russian novelists; and the poetry of George Herbert, John Donne and Gerard Manley Hopkins. He is an ordained priest in the Anglican Church of North America, serving as rector at the Anglican Church of the Epiphany, La Mirada.

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Joshua Smith

  • Assistant Professor, Torrey Honors
Dr. Joshua Smith is a literary and American studies scholar. His primary research centers on nineteenth-century American thought and the conceptual influence of the American West. He is most interested in the ways that American territorial expansion and frontier mythology shape antebellum writing and national identity. His research has forged links between such disparate subjects as Nat Turner, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Ellison, Quentin Tarantino and Toni Morrison. 

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Todd Thompson

  • Associate Professor, Torrey Honors

Todd M. Thompson is Associate Professor of History at Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University. Before coming to Biola, Todd completed his Ph.D. studies at the University of Cambridge and spent four years teaching at an Arab university in the Middle East. He is interested in the global dimensions of intellectual history and his research focuses on the history of Christian-Muslim relations and the relationship between violence and religion. 

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Laurie Wilson

  • Assistant Professor, Torrey Honors

Laurie Wilson received her master’s degree in Greek and Latin and her doctoral degree in classics from the University of St. Andrews where she was an H.B. Earhart Foundation Fellow and a Postgraduate Fellow in the James Wilson Programme for Constitutional Studies. This background reflects her passion for classical reception studies and interdisciplinary research, which has focused on Augustine, Cicero and writings from the American founders.

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Matthew Wright

  • Associate Professor, Torrey Honors

Matthew Wright is a political theorist who specializes in the Thomistic-Aristotelian natural law tradition. This entails a methodology particularly sensitive to the diverse forms of natural association and authority that fall within political communities. He is interested in understanding how groups like families and churches relate to the political community and what political life uniquely contributes to the full development of human social capacities. 

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Diane Vincent

  • Associate Professor, Torrey Honors

Diane Vincent is Associate Professor of Medieval Literature at Torrey Honors, Biola University. Her doctoral work at the University of Cambridge investigated the use of question and answer, religious language, heresy, and ars grammatica in medieval England. Her interests range widely across the liberal arts including theological anthropology, history and pedagogy of university "great books programs", Greek tragedy, Plato, dance, choral music, Shakespeare, and the Bible.

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Staff

Jessamy Delling

  • Administrative Assistant to the Director

As a Torrey Honors alumna and a Biolan for life, Jessamy is delighted by having skill sets which contribute to the flourishing of Torrey Honors students and faculty. She loves working for her directors and with her team. While administration is her job, Jessamy considers writing her vocation. She is very involved in her local church, where she plans and prays for ways to serve in Christ’s kingdom as a writer.

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Chad Glazener

  • Assistant Director of Recruitment and Marketing
  • Adjunct Professor, Torrey Honors

Chad finds great delight in his work to shape and share the story of Torrey Honors. A proud alumnus of Biola and Torrey Honors, Chad is also a graduate of Regent College (DipCS, Theology and the Arts) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div, Biblical Languages). He serves as a pastor to his local church and with his family, aspires to live a wholehearted, creative and joyful life. 

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Michelle Lum

  • Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator

Michelle is an alumna of the Torrey Honors Institute and Biola University where she graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in Studio Art and a BA in Music. She is currently pursuing a MTS at Gateway Seminary and is passionate about the intersection between theology and art. In her spare time she likes to pick up new skills, spend time with her family and go on spontaneous adventures.

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Ellie Martin

  • Academic Specialist

A San Francisco native, Ellie moved to Los Angeles to attend the Torrey Honors Institute and complete her B.A. in Communication Studies from Biola University. While an undergrad, Ellie enthusiastically studied the relationship between literature and persuasion, and graduated Summa Cum Laude as a member of the Epsilon Kappa Epsilon Honors Society. She is currently working toward completing her Masters of Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University. 

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Mairin McCuistion

  • Alumni and Public Relations Specialist

Mairin is an alumna of Torrey Honors and Biola University. She is passionate about holistic education, the key role it plays in the ministry of reconciliation, and her calling to bring people together in meaningful connection. Mairin has worked in various capacities in the nonprofit and higher education sectors and is an advisory board member at IDEOS Institute. Mairin lives with her husband in Los Angeles’ South Bay.

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