Fall 2015, Issue #1

Aug 31, 2015

Changes to Biola’s Chapel Requirement

You may occasionally hear your student talking about Biola chapels - perhaps how challenging it can be to get up for a 9:30am morning chapel (such is college life), a profound reflection from a prayer service, or a life-changing thought shared by chapel speaker. We in Spiritual Development love our jobs: we love creating space for students to worship the Lord through Word, prayer, and song as we provide chapel programming, spiritual formation education and discipleship, and Pastoral Care.

This fall, we are updating a couple of our policies, and we wanted you to be aware of the changes we are making:

For many years, students have been able to “make up” 15 of the 30 required chapels and 4 of the 8 Torrey/Missions sessions by watching them online and writing reflections. Our assessments have shown what we suspected, that this practice was not sufficiently achieving our learning outcomes. At the end of the semester, students are “cramming” the make-up chapels and writing rather cursory responses, knowing these would not be graded in the usual way. (With 19,000 “make-up reflections” each semester crossing the accountability desk in the final weeks—we could not possibly review and respond to them.) Make-ups had to go, and we had to reimagine the Spiritual Development (chapel) requirement without them.

For two years, we looked at statistics, ran focus groups, talked with staff and faculty, reviewed feedback from students, and looked at what other universities do. As a result, the university is implementing a new requirement that is ready to go and begins this fall. Here are the facts:

  • “Make-ups” are no more.
  • Physical attendance has been raised from 15 to 20. (Torrey/Missions) Conference sessions from 4 to 5.
  • There will be no “reductions” for special circumstances (e.g. commuting or work hours.  Those with dependents, however, should talk to our office.)

With over 4,000 students, we know that responses to this change will vary. Most students will be glad that make-ups are over, for the reasons cited above. Some may bristle at the increase in minimum personal attendance from 15 to 20. However, we will continue to offer more Spiritual Development opportunities for credit than any school we know—more than 140 semester plus Spiritual Direction. All chapels will continue to be filmed and posted on “Open Biola.” 

In the end, we are trading in the sub-par practice of “make-ups” for a little more time together in community worship through the preaching of the Word, prayer, and song. These have always been important modes of learning in Christian higher education, complementing but distinct from classroom learning. In the end, we think this change improves the quality of our programs in Spiritual Development, whose mission is to move truth from the head to the heart, nurturing the fullness of God’s love in us and among us through worship, wisdom, rhythms and relationships.

Todd Pickett
Dean of Spiritual Development

Parent Volunteer Coffee and Dessert

Join us on campus to learn about the many opportunities to volunteer as a Parent Ambassador while connecting with other Biola parents. Volunteer opportunities will include helping at events like Biola Weekend, University Day and others. Parents will be able to sign up for a volunteer assignment and learn more about what it means to be a Parent Ambassador.

Whether it's setting tables for dinner, stuffing registration packets, or greeting and seating guests, we have opportunities for parents to use their skills to serve our families alongside Biola staff members. Register for this free event here.

Biola’s Chief of Campus Safety Named Campus Safety Director of the Year

Biola University’s Chief of Campus Safety, John Ojeisekhoba, has been named Campus Safety Director of the Year — an honor annually awarded by Campus Safety magazine — in the category of “higher ed.” The winners were announced Wednesday, June 24, at the Campus Safety National Forum in Washington, D.C.

“I am amazed and humbled. I give praise to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” said Ojeisekhoba. “The true champions are the men and women who work at [Biola’s] campus safety. I am thankful for the many departments on and off campus that help support us as we strive to achieve our goals.”

Read more here

Biola Weekend

Parents and family members are invited to attend Biola Weekend on October 23-24! Join us for special events, a meal with President Corey, 5K run/walk and Punk N’ Pie talent show. Please note that classes will still be in session on Friday, October 23 and therefore it is a good idea to discuss plans with your student.

A full schedule and registration will be available here on September 8.

New Faculty at Biola University

Biola University welcomes 30 new faculty members this fall — each of whom represent the university’s aspiration to attract and retain the finest Christian scholars. The new professors vary in interest and expertise from the Old Testament to time-based video art and sculpture to Spanish horror stories.

Learn about Biola’s newest faculty below and read their thoughts on the value of Christian higher education and the significance of a strong foundation in their specific fields by clicking here.

Care Package Offerings

Students love to receive mail- especially mail full of treats! Take a look at the care package offerings through Care Package Express.

Important Dates

Sept. 4
Last day to complete late enrollment and payment

Sept. 7
Labor Day holiday (university closed)

Sept. 11
Last day to add classes

Oct. 14-16
Torrey Memorial Bible Conference

Oct. 19-30
Academic Advising for Interterm 2016 and Spring 2016

Oct. 23
Last day to withdraw from classes

Nov. 2-Dec. 18
Registration for Interterm 2016 and Spring 2016

Nov. 25-29
Thanksgiving break (university closed November 26-29)

Dec. 14-18
Final exam week

View the academic calendar here

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
1-562-903-6000