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.