Phil (’60) and Jean (’60) Dodson celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in August 2017. Phil served as the minister of music and worship at Olive Drive Church from 1962 to 2000 and has distinguished himself as a musician and supporter of the arts in Bakersfield for over 50 years. He was the longtime musical director of the Masterworks Chorale, Bakersfield’s civic chorus, and was instrumental in bringing the Great Aeolian-Skinner Organ from Harvard University to Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield — where it is now one of the largest organs west of the Mississippi River. Jean served as associate concertmaster for 46 of her 48 years with the Bakersfield Symphony and also served as concertmaster of the Bakersfield Master Chorale Orchestra for 53 years. Today, she runs a full violin teaching studio.
Jim Sheldrake (’60) has transitioned into interim pastor at Deckerville Bible Church in Michigan, and has held the title since September. He was a full-time pastor there from 1976 to 1990.
Glenda Hanneman Loehman (’61) is retired and serving the Lord in her church’s Awana ministry and the children’s Bible study on Sunday evenings. She and her husband, Jim, are active in the Gideon Ministry and have three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Jan K. (Strain, ’67) Potter recently published Diamond Dreams, a young adult Christian romance novel set in Colorado Springs, Colo. Wrapped in a cloak of humor and fun, Diamond Dreams sheds light on important topics, like identity in Christ, moral purity, grace, genuine love and why God allows bad things to happen.
Jeffrey R. Funk (’75, M.Div. ’78) recently published Coming Alongside: Basic Pastoral Care at the Bedside through the Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association. Coming Alongside is a biblically sound book that encourages and assists individuals who are ministering to those in need of pastoral care. The book not only helps those engaging in bedside care understand how to fellowship with brothers and sisters prior to their passing, but also how to show love and compassion to them in their last days.
Steve Quatro (’76, M.A. ’03) contributed a chapter to the recently published book Sports Ministry that Wins. For the past 11 years, he has taught sports ministry at Azusa Pacific University. In 2009, he published a book on how to effectively employ sports in a church setting for outreach titled Intentional Outreach: A Guide to Simple Church Sports Ministry. The book contains six principles, which when applied to a church-based outreach effort, can lead to developing measurable ministry results.
Neil Stipp (’76) has been composing sonatas for organ with other instruments. Recently, he composed the Sonata for Viola and Organ, which was premiered at Pasadena Presbyterian Church, and won a bronze medal from the Global Music Awards in September 2017 in the category of neo- classical/classical contemporary and in the category of composition/ composer. His Sonata for Clarinet and Organ also premiered at Pasadena Presbyterian Church and won a silver medal from the Global Music Awards in November 2017 for the same two categories.
Valerie E. Weber (’77) earned her Ph.D. in human and organizational systems on March 23, 2017, at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara. Her dissertation, titled The Voices of Megachurch Volunteers in Short-Term Missions (STM) Work: A Phenomenological Study, was published in the spring of 2017.
Bob Blecksmith (’78) published Praying the Psalms: A G-Man’s Journey Down the Psalter Trail in January 2018. No other book in the Bible better captures the myriad emotions we experience as humans than the book of Psalms. Blecksmith provides personal, real-life stories and practical examples to apply each Psalm for living in today’s world, and in the process, seeks to help readers experience a closer walk with the Lord.
Jonathan C. Brentner (M.Div. ’78) published Shipwrecked! Learning From the Bible Bad Guys in March 2018. Rather than give in to such things as anger, resentment and an unforgiving spirit as the Bible’s bad characters did, the book focuses on the value of bringing the gospel into all our circumstances, demonstrating that failure does not have to be the last chapter in our lives.
Dwight Vogt (’79, M.A. ’85) published Made to Flourish: God’s Design for All Individuals, Communities, and Nations in November 2017. Vogt takes readers back to God’s original design for humanity in Genesis 1 and 2 and contends that to be saved from sin is also to be saved to live out this original design. A biblical vision of God’s plan has his human image bearers restored to their vocation — and this vocation is to bring flourishing as God intends it.
Michael Ogdon (’81) has joined a gospel quartet. He has been singing with the Chordsmen for six months, primarily on the lead, but occasionally doing the baritone and sometimes tenor. The group has a 33-year run of monthly concerts in the Fresno area.
Linda (Bergen, M.A. ’82) Olson published Your Story Matters: 3 Breakthrough Secrets to Stories that Transform in February 2018. In this book, Olsen explores the creation of simple stories that can transform lives, the clarity to create a story, courage to follow the story pathway, confidence that your story matters and connection when you match what people want with what you have to offer. She has also published His Ways Are Higher: One Woman’s Journey of Self-Forgiveness Against Unbeatable Odds in 2015, which explores the battle of faith and healing in the midst of crisis.
Dan Eyestone (’83) returned to live in Spokane, Wash., after teaching secondary choral music and theater crafts at Faith Academy in Manila, Philippines, from 1990 to 2014. He now conducts research work for the company he’d worked with overseas, as well as others doing kingdom work around the world. He and his wife have two grown sons who work in aviation maintenance and theatrical lighting.
Calvin Dyck (’85) recently produced a benefit concert for the Mennonite Central Committee for their work in East Africa, featuring local choirs and the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra and the Moipei Trio from Nairobi, Kenya. When he graduated from Biola, Professor Marlin Owen gave him a copy of Haydn’s Quartet “The Seven Last Words of Christ.” This Easter, Dyck took this special work on tour, complete with visuals and readings and audience involvement. His children, Christine and Andrew, both attend Trinity Western University. His wife, Heather, also works at TWU and helps him produce concerts.
Gina Marie Mammano (’87) published Camino Divina—Walking the Divine Way: A Book of Moving Meditations with Likely and Unlikely Saints in April 2016. In this collection of walking meditation adventures, wise words and shimmering silence, soulful exploration and creative imagination weave together an opportunity for savoring and understanding our interiors and exteriors in a much deeper way.
Brian Onken (M.A. ’87) published More Than His God Card with Ambassador International in November 2014. Many readers of the Bible assume that when Jesus did a miracle it was, fundamentally, to prove that he was God — Jesus was pulling out his “God card.” Brian Onken leads readers to a fresh vision of what is conveyed in the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ miracles to help them catch a renewed and compelling glimpse of Jesus.
Mark Joseph (’90) published Rock Gets Religion: The Battle For The Soul of The Devil's Music in February 2018. It's a sequel to Joseph’s other music books, The Rock & Roll Rebellion (1999) and Faith, God & Rock 'n' Roll (2003), which explores the tensions caused when religious youth are thrown into the world of rock 'n' roll. He weaves thoughtful commentary amidst the stories of devout and not-so-devout rockers.
Darryl Wooldridge (’92) published Relationship is the Transformative Space: Living in the Not Yet through Wipf and Stock in February 2016. This book considers God’s heart in relationship and its implication toward human spirituality and how this intent has been interrupted and restored. God is actively interested in the recovery of a fully expressed image in humanity.
Andrew Baker (’93) graduated from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, with a Master of Letters from the Institute of Theology, Imagination and the Arts. During his time in Scotland, he also studied at the Leith School of Art and the University of Leicester. He now lives in Santa Barbara with his Scottish terrier, Hamish, and is teaching English for multilingual students at University of California, Santa Barbara.
Beth Grant (Ph.D. ’99) published Courageous Compassion: Confronting Social Injustice God’s Way in July 2014. Combining sound biblical insights with amazing stories of the sexually enslaved who have found freedom, Grant demonstrates that spiritual darkness is more than a concept, yet spiritual light is also a transforming reality.
Jayson Georges (’01, M.Div. ’08) and Mark D. Baker published Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures: Biblical Foundations and Practical Essentials with InterVarsity Press in October 2016. Georges and Baker help readers decode the cultural script of honor and shame. Apt stories, illuminating insights and ministry-tested wisdom complete this well-rounded guide to Christian ministry in honor-shame cultures.
Adam Johnson (’01, M.A. ’06, assistant professor of theology, Torrey Honors Institute) published Atonement: A Guide for the Perplexed through Bloomsbury T&T Clark in July 2015. The book offers an introduction to the doctrine of the atonement focused on the unity and diversity of the work of Christ. Johnson reorients current patterns of thought concerning Christ’s work by giving the reader a unifying vision of the immensely rich and diverse doctrine of the atonement.
Ryan S. Peterson (M.A. ’01, assistant professor of theology, Talbot School of Theology) published The Imago Dei as Human Identity: A Theological Interpretation through Eisenbrauns in January 2016. Peterson argues that humanity is created to image God actively in the world. This is therefore an identity claim, and it tells us about humanity’s relationship with God and the rest of creation, what humanity does in the world and what humanity is to become.
Tom Townsend (’02) has served in church music for over 30 years, most recently at Church of the Open Door in Glendora, Calif., for 21 years. He is currently working as an entertainment manager at Disneyland with Disney Performing Arts, overseeing educational workshop experiences with guest ensembles from around the world. Townsend is married to Julie Duffield (’90) and has two sons, Justin (a freshman film student at Biola) and Owen.
Dale Thackrah (’03, M.A. ’09) is the new executive pastor at Redeemer Bible Church in Gilbert, Ariz., after spending the last several years as the biblical living pastor at Redemption Church Gateway in Mesa, Ariz. Dale is married to Shawna (Bock, ’99), and they have two children: Noah, 7, and Kenna, 6. The family resides in Queen Creek, Ariz.
Rebecca King (’04) has joined labor and employment law firm Fisher Phillips as an associate attorney in Irvine, Calif. She earned her J.D. from Loyola Law School in 2015, and with experience resolving matters at all stages from pre-claim negotiations through verdict, King focuses her practice on employment litigation as well as advising clients on general employment issues, including disability and discrimination concerns, as well as succession planning and transitions.
Rianne Schorel (’05) recently published My Life With My Concussion: A Journey of Comeback from an Invisible Injury. Rianne and her identical twin sister, Nanja, both want only one thing: to be a professional footballer in the Dutch women’s team. Rianne leaves for America at the age of 16. She is achieving international success. When she is finally invited to participate in the national team of women, fate strikes. No matter how well trained and prepared she was, she had not seen it coming. Rianne then focuses on a new challenge: dealing with the daily consequences of a concussion.
Todd M. Smith (M.A. ’05) recently published Dark Valleys: When You Love Jesus But Hate Life. This life is filled with dark valleys, and most of us are just looking for an immediate way out of the valley we’re in. This book won’t offer a quick fix or a shallow, oversimplified, five-step solution. What it will offer is an honest, hard look at depression, sadness, scriptural truth and the promise that God is your shepherd.
Petrina Gooch (M.A. ’07) was recently named to the board of directors at HED (formerly Harley Ellis Devereaux), a U.S. multi- discipline architectural firm. Gooch leads a five-person HR team with the firm, and has been with the firm for over 10 years. She is based in their Los Angeles office. She became a voting member of the company’s board in March 2018, making her one of a few female African American members of AEC boards of directors in the country.
Keith R. Krell (D.Min. ’08) and Verlyn Verbrugge published Paul and Money: A Biblical And Theological Analysis Of The Apostles’ Teachings And Practices through Zondervan in June 2015. Relying on the surprising results of current Pauline scholarship and a careful exegesis of New Testament texts, this book offers a thorough investigation of the apostle Paul’s sayings and dealings with money.
Adam Rollefson (M.A. ’08) was recently hired as the student pastor at Fivestone Church, near Dallas, Texas.
Abbie (Smith, M.A. ’09) Sprunger published Stretch Marks I Wasn’t Expecting: A Memoir of Early Marriage and Motherhood through Kalos Press in September 2017. A candid memoir about growth, faith and belonging, this book delves with startling honesty into conversations about infertility and inner-city living, mommy wars and the incarnation, letdowns of marriage and learning to notice God in the mundane.
Danielle Hitchen (’10) recently published Psalms of Praise: A Movement Primer, the second in a series of children’s board books designed to teach babies, toddlers and preschoolers the central tenets of the Christian faith. Psalms of Praise is published by Catechesis Books, a publishing company created by Hitchen specifically with her “Baby Believer” series in mind.
Gordon E. Penfold (D.Min. ’11) co-authored Re:Vision: The Key to Transforming Your Church, published by Baker Books in October 2014. As pastors frequently change churches to find the “right fit,” churches are suffering from a lack of sustained leadership from pastors with a viable vision for ministry. Re:Vision takes you through a process designed to help you re-envision your role, create a culture for positive change and recruit people to come alongside you as helpers and encouragers.
Stephen Moulton (’11) moved to Washington, D.C., in August 2017 and started work as a prosecutor in the tax division at the U.S. Department of Justice.
Phil Stevenson (D.Min. ’11), published Becoming a Ripple Church: Why and How to Plant New Congregations through Wesleyan Publishing House in September 2013. Stevenson gives pastors and church leaders the inspiration and strategic know-how to multiply their church’s effectiveness, as well as the nuts and bolts to get the job done.
Matthew Kellaway (’12) graduated in the spring of 2018 from California State University, Fullerton, with a Master of Music in Performance with an emphasis in choral conducting. He has been accepted to Berkshire Choral Festival and Chorus America Conducting Academy in the summer of 2018, conducting masterworks in both.
Albert Cheng (M.A.’12) contributed to Homeschooling in the 21st Century, a book that brings together work from 20 researchers, addressing a range of homeschooling topics, including the evolving legal and institutional frameworks behind home education, why some parents make this choice, home education educational environments and more. Cheng’s chapter focuses on homeschool parents and satisfaction with special education services. He is currently working on a post-doctorate at Stanford University.
Frank Schattner (Ph.D. ’13) published The Wheel Model: Catalyzing Sustainable Church Multiplication Movements through Jessup University Press in August 2014. The interest in church planting movements has generated considerable interest and discussion in the missions world. This book provides a biblical and historical backdrop for church multiplication and church movements while specifically exploring best practices that contribute to the sustainability of CPMs.
Mary Frank (’14) will be publishing her debut novel, Never Touched, with Crimson Tree Publishing under the pen name Laney Wylde in November 2018. Never Touched is a harrowing story of a teenage girl’s survival of sexual and spiritual abuse. Mary lives in Southern California with her husband, Ethan, (’14) and 3-year-old son, Jackson.
Sarah Hau (’14) is currently working for Universal Music Group at the Capitol Records building as a production coordinator after graduating from Berklee College of Music’s graduate program based in Spain.
Trevor Van Winkle (’16) has published Between the Walls of Night — The Gräzland Tales: Book I, a high-fantasy epic with a twist, subverting and commenting on some of the most fundamental elements of the genre: good and evil, light and dark, and most of all, the idea of the “chosen one.” Discover a new world in its own words as a simple farmer, tasked in secret to carry the ashes of the prince north, faces down dangers he could never imagine and discovers truths both cold and keen.
Kaitie Krogh (’16) was recently accepted to both Roosevelt University and Cleveland Institute of Music for a master’s degree in music performance.
Curt Albert Claassen (’42, ’43) of Berne, Ind., passed away at the age of 99 on Nov. 15, 2017, at Adams Memorial Hospital. After graduating from Biola and UCLA, Curt and his wife, Olga (Schultz, ’43), left for missionary service in India with the General Conference Mennonite Churches of Mauhadi, Janjgir, Champa and Korba from 1945 to 1973. Curt’s zeal for Jesus Christ characterized him with joy, love and kindness, which touched everyone around him.
Velma Evelyn Foster (’64) passed away on Jan. 29, 2018, after a brief illness at the home of her sister in Castle Rock, Colo. She is preceded in death by her husband, Robert Foster, her parents, five brothers and two sisters. She taught grade school in Whittier, Calif., after earning her education degree from Biola, retired in 1987, then married in 1996 until Robert passed in 2002.
Robin Pearson (’80), passed away on Resurrection Day morning, April 1, 2018, after a sudden illness in Loma Linda, Calif., while visiting her sister, Sally Pearson White (’78).
Keith Owen Johnson (’83) died of a heart attack while out for a run on the night of March 20, 2017, a week before his 58th birthday. Keith worked as a banker for over 30 years and raised his family in Temecula, Calif., before moving to Carlsbad, Calif., in 2013. Keith was an avid mountain biker and runner and loved to surf.