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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. He is an educator who is intensely interested in how foundational philosophical commitments drive educational theories. In his work, he investigates how educational history, philosophy and learning theories combine to construct educational praxis. He also studies how philosophical and theological commitments shape the way teachers and students behave in the classroom. He has spoken all over...

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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 was born in Edmonton, Alberta and spent her early life moving all over the world, from Toronto to Houston to Nairobi. She earned her doctoral degree in Philosophy from Baylor University, where her dissertation focused on the religious epistemology of Blaise Pascal. Her current research interests involve skepticism, especially its place in the life of faith, and the ancient deadly sin of acedia, or spiritual despondency. Her favorite Torrey texts to teach are The Brothers...

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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 obtained his bachelor of arts degree from Biola University, his master of divinity from the Talbot School of Theology and is pursuing his doctorate degree at the University of St. Andrews. He has conducted in depth research on the Book of Philippians and topics such as the hermeneutical strategy of the New Testament. His thesis argues that in Philippians Paul presents boasting or honor as something that is experienced mutually by God, the Philippians and Paul himself, such that...

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Joe Henderson

  • Associate Professor, Torrey Honors

Joe Henderson teaches Bible, literature, and hermeneutics. In his doctoral work at Fuller Theological Seminary, he studied hermeneutics and Old Testament literature. His dissertation on the poetry of the book of Jeremiah is the fruit of his interest in the relationship between the history of biblical interpretation and the history of literary criticism. His other interests include Robert Louis Stevenson's novels, Paul's theology, Milton's Prose, Brevard Childs' hermeneutics, Flannery...

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Matt Jenson

  • Associate Professor, Torrey Honors

Matt Jenson is a systematic theologian specializing in the doctrine of sin and ecclesiology. In so doing, he is motivated by a desire to understand what it means to be human in terms of the relationships for which we were created and in which we live, move and have our being. He holds a B.A. in literature and philosophy from Wheaton College and a Ph.D. in systematic theology from the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), where he was part of the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the...

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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. In addition to biblical, theological and historical explorations of this topic, he enjoys exploring the contribution of literature and other fields to this topic. He and his family lead the annual Torrey National Parks class every summer.

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Jane E. 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. A graduate of Biola University and the Torrey Honors Institute, he holds an M.A.R. in Philosophy of Religion from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California, Irvine. What excites him most about teaching for Torrey, besides the great...

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Greg Peters

  • Professor, Torrey Honors

Greg Peters is a native Virginian who loves to travel (especially in Europe) and read. When not reading for work, Greg enjoys the fiction of Paul Auster, Bernard Malamud, Chinua Achebe and the nineteenth century Russian novelists. In addition, Greg loves the poetry of John Donne and George Herbert. In addition to being a professor at Torrey, Greg is an ordained pastor in the Anglican tradition, serving regularly in his local parish.

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Joshua Smith

  • Assistant Professor, Torrey Honors
Dr. Joshua Smith is a literary and American studies scholar. His primary research interests center on nineteenth-century American thought and the regional and conceptual influence of the American West. As a professor at the Torrey Honors Institute, he also teaches the classics, the knowledge of which he employs to explore the intellectual influences on important American thinkers, writers and historical developments. He is most interested in the ways that American territorial expansion and...

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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. Todd married his high-school sweetheart, Anna, and...

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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 interdisciplinary research, which has focused on Augustine, Cicero and writings from the American founders. Wilson has taught at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., Trinity...

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Matthew Wright

  • Associate Professor, Torrey Honors

In addition to being a general enthusiast of great books, 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...

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Diane Vincent

  • Associate Professor, Torrey Honors

Diane E. Vincent is Associate Professor of Medieval Literature at Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University. She completed her doctoral work at the University of Cambridge with the dissertation, The Signifying Question in Late Middle English Religious Discourse, c. 1380-1500. Her research interests include the role of religious language in medieval England; Lollardy, heresy and writing under persecution; medieval pedagogy; and philosophies of language and hermeneutics and their impact on...

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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

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 whole-hearted, 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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