Rick and Kay Warren to Receive Honorary Doctorates at Biola University Commencement

LA MIRADA, CA (05/21/2014)(readMedia)-- Saddleback Church co-founder and author Kay Warren will give Biola University's Spring 2014 Commencement address on May 23. She and her husband, Rick Warren, pastor and co-founder of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., will both receive honorary doctorates at the evening undergraduate commencement ceremony.

Warren will give the commencement address to 230 students at the graduate ceremony at 10 a.m. and 735 students at the undergraduate ceremony at 7 p.m., the largest graduating class in Biola's history.

"Kay Warren embodies a life of faith and courage, demonstrating what it means to fully embrace God's greater narrative," said Biola President Barry H. Corey. "Her work for the global church and those suffering from HIV and AIDS across the world is a model of the kind of conviction and courage that Biola seeks to develop in all of our graduates."

Warren is an international speaker, best-selling author, Bible teacher and former Biola parent, who has a passion for inspiring and motivating others to make a difference with their lives. She is best known as an advocate for those living with HIV and AIDS, and the orphaned and vulnerable children left behind. She is author of several books, including "Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn't Enough." She attended California Baptist College and earned her B.A. from California State University, Los Angeles.

In addition to honoring the Warrens with honorary doctorates, Biola will award the inaugural Charles W. Colson Conviction and Courage Award to the late Charles W. Colson in honor of his legacy as a heroic Christian leader. His son, Christopher Colson, will receive the award on his behalf at the commencement ceremonies.

"My father was extremely uncomfortable accepting accolades," said Christopher. "And if he were standing here today, he would immediately give all the honor to Jesus Christ, and to the thousands of men and women whom he inspired to bring the gospel to the least, the last and the lost. In that spirit, I and the Colson family gladly accept this inaugural award on his behalf."

Colson lived a life of biblical conviction with the courage to advocate for truth even when it was difficult or unfashionable. His life's calling was to serve and lead others to Christ, and to challenge Christians to understand biblical faith as an entire worldview that informs all areas of life.

Both graduation ceremonies will take place on McNally Lawn at Biola University.

The Warrens will be available for a limited number of interviews. Please contact Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Specialist, at (562) 777-4061 or jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu.

There will also be a live video stream of both ceremonies online at Biola's website: www.biola.edu.


Biola University is a leading Christ-centered university in Southern California that offers a premier, nationally ranked education within the setting of an all-Christian community. Founded in 1908, Biola is committed to the mission of biblically centered education, scholarship and service - equipping men and women in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ. With more than 6,300 students at its Los Angeles-area campus and around the world, the university offers 145 academic programs through its six schools, ranging from the B.A. to the Ph.D. For more information, visit www.biola.edu.