Directors make theme known

The theme for Torrey Conference will focus on the damage of shame.


Brooks Ginnan/ THE CHIMES

Jana Eller, Writer

Torrey Conference co-directors Talbot graduate student Tessa Robertson and junior elementary education major Jennifer Hahn announced “Released to be known, set free to see” as the theme for Torrey Conference in chapel on Oct. 17.

The sessions will focus on how shame damages the view of the gospel and relationships with God and others. This will be fostered through the main sessions with interpersonal neurobiologist Curt Thompson, the keynote speaker, who will address how shame affects the brain, as well as the breakout sessions on Wednesday.

“We and the [conference student staff] felt like this was such a common experience of people and even of students: feelings of shame or inadequacy, not being enough,” said Todd Pickett, dean of spiritual development. “And this really gets in the way of relationships. It can cause us to hide from one another and from God.”

Breakout sessions will focus on specific topics that cause people to be ashamed of themselves, such as race or sex. By addressing certain issues, speakers and panelists aim to encourage students to defy the molds they feel bound by.

“I think that a lot of Biola students kind of struggle with shame but they kind of pretend that everything is fine on the outside. So I think it will kind of unearth a lot of deep stuff that’s going on within students,” said Gisselle Trochez, senior marketing major.

Pickett hopes the unique atmosphere will allow students to be vulnerable with one another in a way that is not normally present.

“The scriptures talk a lot about us being loved, and loving others. And with that, however, comes a desire to be known. If we are loved, but not known, we are concerned that it is not authentic. And of course when we are known but not loved, we feel rejected,” Pickett said.

Students look forward to engaging in this topic, as some believe it is not talked about enough at Biola or in the Christian community.

“I think it’s cool that we’re talking about shame, because it’s something that everyone deals with that no one talks about, so it’s really nice to have that space. And I feel like there’s people that really go through it and experience it and are gonna be in a place where they can wake up to that,” said Alyssa Jupiter, undeclared freshman.


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