David Peters retires after 47 years

Biola says farewell to David Peters, professor of political science, as he transitions into retirement.


Grant Walter/THE CHIMES

Jackie Grade, Writer

David Peters stands near his giant book collection in his office. He has taught for 47 years at Biola. | Grant Walter/THE CHIMES

As the school year comes to a close, David Peters, professor of political science and public administration, will conclude his 47-year teaching career at Biola.

Back in 1966, 23-year-old Peters stepped freshly out of graduate school carrying an M.A. and a desire to work in Congress. However, Biola asked to interview him, as it needed a political science professor in order to receive accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Instead of pursuing his dream of becoming a congressman, Peters moved out from Oklahoma in order to begin teaching at Biola.

“I wanted to confess Christ and do politics,” Peters said.


Not only has Peters taught at Biola as a long-term professor, he has served six terms as the mayor of La Mirada and 25 years on the La Mirada City Council. He has successfully fulfilled his desire not only to speak about politics, but also to remain an active member within the political world.

“I am as busy as a cranberry merchant,” Peters said.

Scott Waller, assistant professor of political science, has known Peters since he started working at Biola as an adjunct in 2003. Waller stated that Peters established the political science department and it is now thriving because of his work.

“[The department] is fond of saying Dr. Peters can’t be replaced,” Waller said. “Aristotle couldn’t replace him.”


Not only was Peters able to witness Sutherland Hall throughout its construction, he also met and closely related with president Sam Sutherland. Peters became close with him and aspired to work as long and hard as he.

“Sutherland retired at age 70, so I decided to teach until I was 70,” Peters said.

Students respect Peters for his consistent ability to pour his time and care into them. John Reid, senior political science major, said that in whatever class Peters taught he always exuded a passion for students to grow and a talent for integrating Christ into politics. Peters is always full of stories and acronyms in order to help them remember things, Reid added.

“I love all of his ‘isms’!” Reid said.

Ann Marie Cortez, a senior political science major, expressed her gratitude for Peters as her professor and networker. As Cortez hopes to go into law, Peters helped her connect to an internship last summer to start off her work experience in the field of law. She praised Peters for the time he has taken to invest in her and encourage her to continue writing.

“Professor Peters has a nice and quirky character,” Cortez said. “I really like how he will randomly come up and tell you that you are doing well.”


Peters plans on continuing with his lifestyle after retirement. He will remain in his La Mirada home as a 40-year member of Grace Evangelical Free Church. He and his wife Sheri Kleinasser, a student whom he met at Biola, live four blocks from campus but have not grown accustomed to the non-farming atmosphere, he said.

“You can take the boy away from the farm, but you will never take the farm away from the boy,” Peters said.

He explained that his love for farming has transferred over into his Californian lifestyle. He has everything from apple, avocado and grapefruit trees to raspberries, cucumbers and squash planted all around his yard.

Peters also plans on travelling back home to Oklahoma two times a year in order to visit his family and original home that he misses.

At age 70, Peters has decided that while he is done with his teaching career, his active and busy lifestyle will remain intact.

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