Winter 2018

Live and LEARN

By Jason Newell

One of my only regrets as a two-time Biola graduate is that I didn’t take more classes. Don’t get me wrong: It’s not so much that I wanted the extra work or cost. (When I finished my degrees, I was ready to be done.) But looking back, there are some fascinating classes I wish I’d been able to take and some beloved professors I wish I’d been able to spend time learning from. People like Mike Wilkins, a respected expert on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, or J.P. Moreland, whose works on apologetics and philosophy have earned him a reputation as one of the 50 most influential living philosophers.

That’s part of what excites me about Biola LEARN, a new online learning platform that Biola launched this fall — and the focus of this issue’s cover story.

In a nutshell, Biola LEARN (an abbreviation for Lifelong Education and Resource Network) is a new website where some of Biola’s leading professors offer some of their most beneficial teaching in a condensed, convenient format. Unlike a degree program, the courses are not for credit. But also unlike a degree program, they don’t cost very much, with introductory pricing starting at just $9.99 per course. Think of it almost like being able to audit a class from anywhere in the world at a very affordable price.

It’s a setup that’s ideal for people who love to learn, particularly those whose learning styles are perhaps better served by the structure of a university-style course than from seeking to learn the same material from a book alone. Each Biola LEARN course and workshop consists of conversational, well-produced video lectures from Biola experts, as well as supplemental learning activities, such as quizzes, reflection questions and other assignments.

In its early stages, the platform offers eight different courses on such topics as nonprofit management, healthy relationships, effective worship leading and God and your work. There are even a couple of courses from the aforementioned Moreland, on Christian apologetics, and Wilkins, whose six-lesson “Biblical Discipleship” workshop I’m currently in the midst of completing (undoing some of my aforementioned regret).

All told, Biola LEARN offers great content at a great deal, and I encourage you to read our cover story to get a better sense of how it can help you, your church small group or other people you know. You can find more at biola.edu/learn.

And Biola LEARN isn’t the only great new educational resource for Biola alumni and friends to take advantage of. In late October, professors Sean McDowell and Scott Rae from Biola’s Talbot School of Theology launched an interesting new podcast called “Think Biblically: Conversations on Faith and Culture,” which we spotlight on page 14 of this issue. As a self-identified podcast addict, I’ve been enjoying each new episode every Thursday — and would even if I didn’t have a connection to Biola. Check it out today at biola.edu/thinkbiblically. You won’t regret it.

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Issue Highlights

  • Biola For Everyone

    New online platform Biola LEARN offers low-cost courses to anyone, anywhere

  • Renewing the Rivalries

    In their first season of NCAA Division II competition, the Biola Eagles are facing familiar foes once again

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