Corey brings Biola to Asia

Biola will pursue its existing ties in Asian nations more avidly, President Corey said after returning from a 10-day trip to China and Indonesia.

Kathryn Watson, Writer

Biola will pursue its existing ties in Asian nations more avidly, President Corey said after returning from a 10-day trip to China and Indonesia.

Corey visited China and Indonesia this month with the intent of building and establishing “mutually beneficial” relationships with leaders in business and education. Over the course of his visit, Corey visited Shanghai, the most populous city in the world, Jakarta, the capital and largest city of Indonesia and Singapore, an affluent and independent island city-state. Corey, who sees those places and other neighboring Asian nations as rising in potential and prominence, plans on centering Biola’s international focus on the Asian nations over others.

“I consider Biola University a Pacific Rim university,” Corey said. “I think more and more of, ‘What is Biola’s role in Asia?’”

On the flip side, Corey is also considering what Asia’s role in Biola is. Many in Asia have expressed interested in the mission and vision of Biola. Various families and foundations in Asia have supported Biola in the past, and Corey was able to connect with those supporters in Shanghai and Singapore. Corey said the strong economic climate of Asia, as well as China’s rising power, contributes to the appeal of that side of the world, Corey said.

“I see some great opportunities … for stewardship and investing in what we’re doing beyond the borders of the United States,” he said. “Economically, there’s a lot of prosperity in different parts of the world, including South East Asia, the economy of India, the economy of China, of Indonesia, South Korea.”

China has the world’s largest population at 1.3 billion as well as being the second-largest national economy based on purchasing power, according to the CIA World Factbook. Indonesia, with Muslims accounting for 86.1 percent of its approximately 240.3 million people, is the largest Muslim-majority nation in the world, according to 2009 data from the CIA. Together, those nations and their neighboring nations make up some of the most influential parts of the world. Corey emphasized the importance of strategizing alongside the up-and-coming nations. Corey, who lived in Asia for a year, said he could attest to the developments.

In Indonesia, Corey worked closely with the Universitas Pelita Harapan, the nation’s largest Christian university, to develop 15 initiatives for the two universities. Corey suggested collaboration, like working on joint research projects with faculty from UPH to give the educators their more prominence. The collaboration might also include ministries and study abroad opportunities, Corey said.

“What would it mean for Talbot to offer a master of arts and theology to some of their faculty to help them be more grounded in theological thinking from their various perspectives?” Corey probed, offering another example of possible collaboration.

He credited former Biola leaders for the strong ties to Asia.

“The reputation of Biola is strong in many parts of Asia … because of Clyde Cook and others that have gone before me,” Corey said. “As an ambassador for Biola University on this trip, I wanted to continue to encourage and strengthen important relationships that really are mutually beneficial. … Biola is just beginning to see the kind of influence it can have internationally.”

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