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Biola University: Advent and Lent Project

by Brian Nixon

Since 1908, Biola has stood as a beacon of hope for the intellectual, spiritual and moral growth of its students.

By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service

Biolo Commencement Ceremony smallerLA MIRADA, CA (ANS — December 31, 2017)  — Of all the schools I’ve attended, Biola University may be one of the most memorable. I have fond memories driving north from Costa Mesa, California, to La Mirada, California to soak in various apologetics classes. Throughout my time at Biola I was exposed to some of the finest apologists and scholars in the evangelical church: William Lane Craig, J.P Moreland, Gary Habermas, and Dallas Willard — as examples [1].

After receiving my certificate in apologetics, my only contact with Biola was through its wonderful arts program, The Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts [the CCCA, 2]. As an artist, musician, and poet, I was interested in how Biola was propagating the arts from a Christian worldview. I quickly realized that Biola was fast becoming one of the finest Christian educational institutions in the nation. And through a generous gift by Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, the CCCA is a leading voice in the realm of art and faith integration.

Advent Project smallerBut what has kept me engaged on a yearly basis with Biola is the marvelous Advent and Lent Project, an online devotion sponsored by the CCCA [3]. In addition to a scriptural reading, the Project adds poetry, art, and music to enhance the devotional experience. To tell you the daily offerings are a welcome addition to my advent and lent readings would be an understatement; I yearn for the multi-faceted experience.

As an example, on December 3rd, I read I Thessalonians 5: 1-11, followed by a poem by Nobel Prize-winning poet, Czeslaw Milosz — A Song on the End of the World, finishing with a devotion by Dr. William Lock. Off to the side of the reading is a painting by Mariotto Albertinelli, The Visitation. And in the background I listened to a composition entitled Writing Poems by Ludovico Einaudi.   In addition to the devotion, there is a “About” link that affords me the opportunity to learn more about the artists, writers, musicians, and composers referenced in the devotion. Overall, the Project is both a devotional and educational experience. I highly recommend it to all interested in the integration of art and faith. My only complaint is that I wish it offered something everyday of the year. But beggars can’t be choosy.

In addition to the Advent and Lent Project, the CCCA offers a host of interviews, articles, and exhibits highlighting the conversation between Christianity and culture. Do yourself a favor, begin the devotional experience and learn more about the CCCA. In a day and age where the darkness around us is deep (to quote poet, William Stafford), it’s marvelous to find an institution that lights a candle in the midst of the night.

BIola smallerEditor’s Note: Biola University traces its origins to the Bible Institute of Los Angeles established in 1908 by Lyman Stewart, founder and president of the Union Oil Company, and the Rev. T.C. Horton, two men of extraordinary vision and commitment to Christian higher education.

Dedicated to sharing and defending the Christian faith, Stewart and Horton established the Institute to educate and equip men and women to impact society at home and abroad with the truth of the gospel. The Institute’s influence was felt along the entire Western Seaboard from Mexico to Canada and across the Pacific to China. By 1909, over 540 extension courses were sponsored by the Bible Institute. In 1912, the school had grown sufficiently in its outreach and constituency to call R.A. Torrey, a leader in the field of Christian education, as its dean.

Biola College became Biola University on July 1, 1981, composed of the School of Arts and Sciences, Rosemead School of Psychology and Talbot School of Theology. A year later, in 1982, Dr. Clyde Cook became the seventh president. The School of Intercultural Studies, with its outstanding program in world missions, was established in 1983 and renamed the Cook School of Intercultural Studies in 2009. The School of Business was added in 1993 and renamed the Crowell School of Business in 2007. The School of Education was added in 2007. On May 11, 2007, the Board of Trustees selected the university’s eighth president, Dr. Barry H. Corey, to lead Biola into its second century.

Dedication ceremony of Biola smallerToday, eight schools comprise the university: Rosemead, Talbot, Cook School of Intercultural Studies, Crowell School of Business, the School of Education, the School of Fine Arts and Communication, the School of Humanities and Social Science, and the School of Science, Technology and Health.

As it pursues an ambitious vision for the years ahead, the university continues to be recognized as a leader in Christian higher education. In 2014, Biola was ranked 10th on the list of America’s “up and coming” national universities by U.S. News and World Report and earned a position in the top tier of the prestigious national rankings. Meanwhile, enrollment continues to surpass 6,000 students, with more students than ever seeking the benefits of a Biola education.

Since 1908, Biola has stood as a beacon of hope for the intellectual, spiritual and moral growth of its students. As the only national university to require a Christian commitment of its faculty, students and staff, Biola University is building on its legacy of impacting the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. https://www.biola.edu/apologetics
  1. http://ccca.biola.edu/
  1. http://ccca.biola.edu/resources/

Photo captions: 1) On Friday, May 26, 2017, more than 200 graduates, and 700 undergraduate students graduated and walked across the stage in Biola University’s spring 2017 commencement ceremonies in La Mirada, California. 2) Advent project. 3) Biola logo. 4) The original dedication of Biola. 5) Brian Nixon.

Brian Nixon useAbout the writer: Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, and minister. He’s a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus (BA) and is a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (D.Phil.). To learn more, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Nixon

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