Bryan Loritts is currently the teaching pastor of Fellowship Bible Church Memphis in Tennessee, a multi-cultural church ministering to the evolving community of urban Memphis. He graduated from Philadelphia Biblical University with a B.S. in Bible and Pastoral studies and a Masters in Theology from Talbot School of Theology. Bryan served at Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood as Pastor of New Members and then Pastor of the Warehouse, a ministry to GenX at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena. He then served as the Young Adults Pastor at Calvary Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Bryan has also served as an adjunct professor at Crichton College, and is on the board of trustees for Biola University, Presbyterian Day School, and Memphis Leadership Foundation. In addition to serving the community of Memphis, Bryan's ministry takes him across the country as he speaks to thousands annually at churches, conferences and retreats. He is also the author of the book God on Paper as well as a contributing author for the book entitled Great Preaching.
Bryan's unique ability to communicate the deep truths of Scripture in a relevant uncompromising manner has helped to reach a generation embedded in postmodernism. He is a sought after speaker whose messages can be heard weekly across the nation on the Bott Radio Network. Bryan and his wife Korie also serve together on the Family Life speaker team. This ministry takes them across the country as they speak at Weekend to Remember conferences, joining in the fight for healthy godly marriages. Yet as passionate as he is about communicating God's truths both locally and abroad, spoken and written, his greater passion is his wife, Korie, and their three sons, Quentin, Myles and Jaden.
Adam Edgerly is the currently the lead Pastor of the Newsong Los Angeles site. Newsong LA is a multicultural and economically diverse faith community. It is a network of Third Culture people, learning, loving, and serving cross culturally even in the midst of pain.
Adam also served the Evangelical Covenant Churches as the Director of Community Transformation Ministries. Adam is a graduate of Biola University with a B.A. as well as a Masters Degree in Intercultural Studies. Adam also has earned an MBA in Business Administration from Emory University. He loves to learn about other cultures and world religions and he has visited about 15 countries. He enjoys the bohemian environment of coffee houses (he used to own one). Adam also enjoys reading, attending poetry slams, mountain biking and body surfing.
Tamara Anderson is the Associate Dean of Graduate Students at Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist with extensive experience in providing workshops on topics required for licensure in various mental health and related professions. Dr. Anderson teaches graduate courses in psychopathology and ethics and law and is especially interested in the training of professional psychologists. Her research interests focus on gender issues, attachment, ethics and law, and conflict resolution.
Erika G. Bertling, a proud “100% hapa,” was born in New York to her American parents -- a Caucasian dad and a Chinese mom. She was raised in Okinawa, Japan, and had massive culture shock when she moved to California to be a student at Biola. Over the years since, she’s stayed based in Los Angeles while traveling to many countries during her career as an audio mixer for television. She added another piece to her cultural mosiac when she married into a European family, since her husband Thomas is German. Erika has remained passionate about diversity education and dialogue, and loves living in a city where such a variety of incredible ethnic food is always available!
Brad Christerson is Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of Urban Studies at Biola University. He is co-author of Growing Up in America: The Power of Race in the Lives of Teens (2010 Stanford University Press) and Against All Odds: The Struggle for Racial Integration in Religious Organizations (2005 New York University Press). He has also written extensively in the area of globalization, immigration, and religion in America.
Ivan Chung is the Director of International Student Services and an adjunct instructor in the Cook School of Intercultural Studies at Biola University. Prior to coming to Biola, he was a pastor in Milwaukee, Houston, Chicago, and New York. He is currently involved in leadership and reconciliation ministries in east Africa and ministry/educational movements in creative access areas of East Asia. His passion is for global/local multiethnic urban ministry, as well as reconciliation and partnerships among culturally disparate ministries. Ivan loves sports, hates the Lakers (except Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher), and can eat Asian food all day.
Maria Contto earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Biola University in 2002 and is currently working on her Master’s in Counseling for Student Development in Higher Education at Cal State Long Beach. Maria immigrated from Peru as a child with her family. She is proud of her roots and enjoys sharing how her culture reflects part of God’s Kingdom. The Department of Multi-Ethnic Programs at Biola has been highly influential in developing in her an awareness for racial reconciliation, shalom and social justice. Intentionally seeking relationships with diverse communities has enriched Maria's relationship with God and she is deeply passionate about nurturing a multi-ethnic, multicultural community. She invests time in Multi-Ethnic Programs at Biola by supporting and mentoring students. Maria has made Southern California her home and is grateful to live in a place that regularly celebrates cultures including music and food!
Donald Gordon is the Senior Transfer Student Counselor in Biola University's Undergraduate Admissions department. In 2005, he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities with an emphasis in Philosophy at Biola. He is currently completing prerequisite courses for a Master of Arts degree in Psychology at Cal State Long Beach. Aside from work and school, he enjoys eating a wide variety of foods, spending time with family, and listening to different people's stories.
Matthew Hooper is currently the Associate Dean of Students at Biola University. He holds degrees in Communications from Biola (1994) and Christian Ministry and Leadership from Talbot School of Theology (2001). Over the past 13 years, Biola's Multi-Ethnic Programs have provided an opportunity for him to pursue a "third degree" in issues related to diversity and racial reconciliation--a degree still in process today. As a white male in leadership, he recognizes the critical part he must play in influencing individuals and institutional culture toward greater awareness and activism in pursuit of a Kingdom-centered perspective on ethnic diversity, justice and healing. He, his wife, Sheela, and two daughters, Annie and Breeana, live in La Mirada and are part of New Heart Community Church.
Linda Kazibwe James was born in Uganda, raised in Kenya, East Africa. She completed a degree in Biochemistry at Biola and is currently a High School Biology, Chemistry and Algebra Teacher. Linda has been involved in music and dance since her childhood. She studied Ballet and Gymnastics while being an active swimmer and athlete. Music and dance are her passions and have always been part of her life, whether recreationally or as part of serious performance.
Chiraphone Khamphouvong is Director of the Office of World Missions at Azusa Pacific University. A Lao native, Chiraphone escaped with her family of twelve to a Thailand refugee camp before immigrating to the U.S. in 1982. Her formal and informal education has been good for her living in various countries along with work and world travel. Chiraphone was a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa post-Apartheid regime as a Teacher Trainer and Community Resource Worker. She serves as a board member with Cal State Fullerton’s Students Social Justice Summit, United Nations Association Board of Pasadena, and two other non-profits. Chiraphone is passionate about people, holistically sustainable development, and strives for excellence as a life-long learner and educator locally and across the globe.
Christina Lee Kim is an assistant professor of psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University, and licensed clinical psychologist. She teaches undergraduate courses in developmental psychology and cross-cultural/ethnic issues in psychology. She also provides clinical supervision at the graduate level for doctoral students in clinical psychology. Dr. Kim's research interests include multiculturalism and gender issues, racial and ethnic identity formation, and Asian American psychology. She currently co-leads a stratified research team of graduate students on a range of topics related to multiculturalism and ethnic identity formation.
Terry McGonigal has served as Dean of Spiritual Life at Whitworth University for fifteen years. As campus pastor, Terry preaches regularly in chapel, coordinates small groups and provides pastoral care for the community. Terry teaches course in biblical studies, and his signature course is “Biblical Theme of Shalom.” This course considers the wide variety of ways that multiple Hebrew and Greek words are translated as “peace,” with application for personal, communal, and international practices that will foster well-being and wholeness. Terry has been the recipient of the Dove of Peace Award from the Center for Christian-Jewish Dialogue in Colorado Springs, CO. Terry travels frequently with students in Central America, Europe (including visits to Holocaust death camps Buchenwald and Dachau), and most recently in January, 2009 on the Prejudice Across America program to New York City, Atlanta, Washington, DC and Chicago. He currently serves with Envision, a panel of scholars and practitioners attempting to develop new ways to think about the intersection of Faith, Politics, and the Future. Terry’s passion is to integrate scripture, spiritual disciplines, and communal practices in order to facilitate shalom thinking and living for all.
Tamra Newman is currently the Director of Multi-Ethnic Outreach at Biola University. She graduated from Biola in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is currently a Candidate for her Master’s in Counseling for Student Development in Higher Education at Cal State Long Beach. Tamra has a passion for creative expressions in ministry. She directs the BEAT (Biola Ethnic Advancement Team) which consists of team of students from diverse ethnic backgrounds who serve on a worship, dance, or testimony team in Admissions outreach and is the leader/choreographer for M.I.M.E (or Music In Motion Ensemble) group at her church in Compton. Tamra has served in Undergraduate Admissions for the past five years and is the advisor for Biola’s Black Student Union.
Joel Perez graduated from Biola University in 1995 and went on to receive a Masters in Education at Azusa Pacific University and is currently completing a doctorate at Claremont Graduate University with an emphasis in diversity and evangelical Christian colleges. Joel currently serves as the Dean of Transitions and Inclusion at George Fox University where he is responsible for campus wide diversity initiative. He is a first generation college student has been married for twelve years and has three boys. He has a passion for baseball and loves watching his beloved Dodgers when he has a chance.
Luis Reyna is a proud Los Angeles native and an alumnus from Biola University. He has been an active participant of Biola's MEP (Multi-Ethnic Programs) community, and attends Emmanuel Reformed Church in Paramount. Since graduating, Luis has served in various urban ministries. His experience has led him to share his emotions and thoughts through his writing and music. He is known in the Hip Hop community as L1 and is apart of an underground alternative band, Blueprint Graffiti. This SCORR he will be presenting "Alumni to Students: What We Wish We Knew When We Were You" alongside Liana Sims.
Alexia Salvatierra is the Executive Director of CLUE (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice), an organization of religious leaders throughout Los Angeles county who come together to respond to the crisis of working poverty by supporting low-wage workers in their struggle for a living wage, health insurance, fair working conditions and a voice in the decisions that affect them. Rev. Salvatierra is an ordained Pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with over 20 years of experience in interfaith and community ministry, community organizing and legislative advocacy.
Liana Sims (aka Queen) received her Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry from Biola University in 2008 and is currently pursing her Masters in Apologetics at Biola as well. Liana has a deep passion to serve God and His people. Currently she serves at Faithful Central Bible Church, in the area of Youth Ministry. Because of her own life story, Liana is now an Obesity and Health Awareness Advocate/Spokesperson. Over and above all else, Liana loves to preach - nothing gives her joy like seeing people set free and made whole by the power of God's Word and Truth. For this very reason, Liana advocates for preaching and living Biblical Reconciliation. As a student at Biola, Liana was the Multi-Cultural Relations Chair and she strives to live out reconciliation on the daily basis.
Rodney K. Sisco is Director of the Office of Multicultural Development at Wheaton College. Having served over 25 years in Christian Higher Education in Admissions and Student Development capacities, Mr. Sisco has a vision for Christian higher education focused on Christ centered diversity. He has led workshops focusing on diversity for a broad range of audiences including: faculty, administrators, students, church leaders, and business professionals. In addition, he has led workshops focusing on leadership development, educational motivation, mentoring, and spiritual development. Administratively he has consistently provided leadership in Wheaton's developing diverse community. Along with others within the College, Mr. Sisco has helped to develop the greater than 85% retention rate of students of color at Wheaton and the recruitment of students, faculty, and administration. He has a B.A. in Sociology and Christian Education from Wheaton College and has taken classes in the Educational Ministries MA program at Wheaton Graduate School.