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Biola University Announces New School of Cinema and Media Arts
Contact: Jenna Loumagne, Manager of Media Relations, Biola University, 562-777-4061, jenna.loumagne@biola.edu

LA MIRADA, Calif., Dec. 5, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ -- Biola University will launch its ninth school in July 2018 — the School of Cinema and Media Arts. When Biola was launched in 1908, the visionary founders of the university had no idea that within the next decade all the major film studios would be located in Los Angeles turning their community into the entertainment capitol of the world.

Today, Biola is located 24 miles from the heart of the entertainment industry, which is making greater influences in American and global culture than ever before. The new school will accommodate growing student interest in cinema and digital media and create opportunities for new academic programs — all aligned to increased career opportunities in the industry.

"Cinema and media arts is an area of incredible growth opportunity for Biola," said Biola University President Barry H. Corey. "This new school will allow us to position ourselves as an influential leader in the field in order to equip future culture creators."
 
Biola currently offers an undergraduate degree in Cinema and Media Arts, with concentrations in media management, production, and writing for film and television. A record number of applications were received for Fall 2017, as 180 students applied for 72 openings in the program. With the establishment of the new school, the program will introduce 17 new undergraduate degrees and concentrations to be introduced over the next five years in areas such as acting, film scoring, cinematography and directing. Biola hopes these new programs will attract nearly 750 new students by 2027.

In September, Biola's board of trustees approved that the university will contribute up to $16 million of institutional investment, sourced internally from endowment or from external sources, toward the final funds necessary to renovate the existing production center and construct a new building to be completed in late 2021. The new 50,000+ square-foot facility will house a screening room capable of seating 220, several sound stages, a Foley stage, recording and editing rooms, five classrooms and 23 faculty and staff offices.

"The focus of the School of Cinema and Media Arts will equip a new generation of ethically thoughtful professionals in cinema and media arts, grounded in a Christian worldview, educated in an academically rigorous environment, ready to assume positions of influence, and able to provide the clear moral vision the world desperately needs," said Provost and Senior Vice President, Deborah Taylor.

A national search for the founding dean of the school will commence later this fall and formal fundraising activities will begin for the construction of a new building for the school. The university will appoint a search committee this semester. In addition, the school will hire six new faculty and five staff members to accommodate the program's growth.

"We are grateful for our strategic partner, the James and Joan Lindsey Family Foundation, for providing advice, counsel and financial support to make this new school possible," said Taylor. "With their extensive knowledge of media and marketing, they have played an integral part of the planning, strategy, and vision for the school."

Biola has always believed that media was a tool to be used in support of the university's mission whether placing a radio antenna on the top of its building, starting Biola Press or producing the Biola Hour, one of the longest running radio shows.

"Integration of our faith and craft is not superficial as we believe storytelling is inherently germane to what it means to be created in the image of God," said Gerald Fisher, chair of the Cinema and Media Arts program. "Emphasizing high production value gives our graduates the skill set future employers desire. We are one of the oldest and largest Christian media programs in the world. Our location in Los Angeles cannot be beat."

For more information and press inquiries, contact Jenna Loumagne, manager of media relations, at (562) 777-4061 or jenna.loumagne@biola.edu.