Biblically Centered Education
Biola Stylebook Dept: UCM Revised: March 19th, 2014


The Biola University Stylebook is a resource designed to help employees stay consistent when writing for or about Biola. It answers common questions about names, titles, capitalization, punctuation, grammar and so forth. The Associated Press Stylebook and the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary ( are recommended as authorities for issues not covered here.

The Biola University Stylebook applies to university publications and correspondence intended for external audiences or larger internal audiences. It is not intended to take the place of style guides in the classroom or for academic student publications.

Please note that this style guide is a living document that will be updated as the need arises. If you need clarification or have a question that isn't addressed by the stylebook, please let us know. Suggestions, comments or questions should be sent to

General Entries

abbreviations and acronyms

In general, words should not be abbreviated in running text. building, Tuesday, September (unless accompanied by a day and year, see months), California (unless preceded by a city, see states).

Write out the full names of offices and institutions before using initialisms, adding initialisms in parentheses if you intend to use them alone in subsequent references. The President's Administrative Council (PAC) met on Tuesday. In general, omit periods from initialisms. PAC, SAT scores, but U.S., U.N. Use "U.S." and "U.N." as adjectives and "United States" and "United Nations" as nouns.

academic degrees

Capitalize and don't use an apostrophe when giving the full name of a degree. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. She has a Master of Arts. She has a Doctor of Missiology. Use lowercase and an apostrophe in other situations. She earned a bachelor's degree in biology. He has a master's degree. She earned a doctorate. Of course, capitalize proper nouns. He is considering pursuing a degree in English. Avoid an abbreviation except in tabular entries (e.g. Ph.D.) and use instead a phrase like: John Smith, who has a doctorate in philosophy … . See also disciplines.

The following abbreviations are used for academic degrees:

  • B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)
  • B.M. (Bachelor of Music)
  • B.S. (Bachelor of Science)
  • D.Min. (Doctor of Ministry)
  • D.Miss. (Doctor of Missiology)
  • M.A. (Master of Arts)
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration) Note: no periods.
  • M.Div. (Master of Divinity)
  • M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts)
  • MOL (Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership) Note: no periods.
  • Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy; in psychology this degree is different than a Psy.D.)
  • Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology)
  • Ed.D. (Doctor of Education; different than a Ph.D. in education)
  • Th.M. (Master of Theology; different than Master of Arts in Theology)

academic degrees received from Biola

In most cases, indicate class year in parenthesis directly following the first reference to individual alumni (and degree abbreviations if a degree is above the undergraduate level). For those who earned at least 12 units from Biola but didn't graduate, then indicate their last year of attendance. Follow the appropriate formats below.  Note: The apostrophe should curve away from the year.

  • Undergraduate degree: Elizabeth Murphy ('62); Stephen Murphy of the Class of 1955 or, for informal use, the Class of '55.
  • Graduate degree: Stephen Murphy (MBA '60); John Rothchild (Ph.D. '76)
  • More than one Biola degree: Stephen Murphy ('55, MBA '60, Ph.D. '64)
  • More than one of the same type of degree: Stephen Murphy ('55, '58) (for someone with two bachelor's degrees).
  • For someone with two master's degrees: Mary Carter (M.A. '75, M.A. '78).
  • If both bachelor's degrees or both master's degrees were earned in the same year, then do not repeat the year: Stephen Murphy ('55) or Stephen Murphy (M.A. '92).
  • Name with suffix: Tim Davis Jr. ('60)
  • Couple, both are Biola alumni: John ('56) and Jane (Smith, '58) Harrison; John Harrison ('56) and his wife, Jane (Smith, '58)
  • Couple, only one is a Biola alumnus: Norm Tyler ('53) and his wife, Eleanor; Bob and Ann (Peters, '02) McCormick
  • Maiden name: Include maiden name of a Biola alumna who attended Biola under her maiden name. Do not include if she attended Biola only under her married name.

academic/fiscal years

When citing an academic year, always use the abbreviated form for the second year unless the second year is in a different century. The 2001–02 academic year, 1999–2000. Use an en dash. Not 1994–1995, 1994/95, '98–'99 or 98–99.


"Street," "Boulevard" and "Avenue" should be abbreviated as "St.," "Blvd." and "Ave." if part of a numbered address in running text, but all other street types (Circle, Court, Drive, Highway, Road, etc.) are always spelled out. Biola is located in La Mirada at 13800 Biola Ave.

Spell out and capitalize formal street names when used without a number. Biola Avenue. University Drive. Pierce Court. Lowercase and spell out when used alone or with more than one street name. He drove down the avenue. Biola’s original location was the corner of Hope and Sixth streets. See also mailing addresses under Address, Phone Number and Fax Formats.


Use "alumnus" with one man or with a person whose gender is unknown. Use "alumna" with one woman. Use "alumni" with a group of two or more men or with a group that includes both men and women. Use "alumnae" with a group of two or more women. Avoid using the slang terms "alum" and "alums." Alumni of Biola are those who earned at least 12 units from Biola.


Do not use an ampersand (&) in running text unless it is part of an official name. Barnes & Noble. Ampersands may be acceptable in tables and lists.


Capitalize official titles of awards. Audrey Talbot Award in Bible Exposition. See also Alumni Awards under University Entities.


Capitalize "Bible," except when used as a nonreligious term. That textbook is considered the bible of marketing. Lowercase "biblical," except when part of an official title or program. We believe that holding a biblical worldview is foundational to understanding life. See also Scripture/scriptural.

biblically centered

Because it is part of the mission statement (see mission statement under University Entities), this phrase is common in Biola materials. Unfortunately, it often ends up with a hyphen, which is grammatically incorrect. See also hyphenation.

body of Christ

Do not capitalize "body." This is a synonym for the universal church. See also church.

books of the Bible

When referring to books, chapters, passages or verses of the Bible in running text, spell out the full names of the books and use a colon to separate chapter and verse numbers. Jesus Christ’s preeminence is a key theme of Colossians. Should 1 Corinthians 13 be read at weddings? In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul instructs the church to “pray without ceasing.” To cite a specific verse or passage parenthetically, use the abbreviated name of the book, followed by the chapter number and verse number(s). We should “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Paul wanted his readers to focus on the great day when Christ will return (1 Cor. 7:26-31).

Use the following abbreviations for biblical books: 

Gen.; Exod.; Lev.; Num.; Deut.; Josh.; Judg.; Ruth; 1 Sam.; 2 Sam.; 1 Kings; 2 Kings; 1 Chron.; 2 Chron.; Ezra; Neh.; Esther; Job; Ps.; Prov.; Eccles.; Song of Sol.; Isa.; Jer.; Lam.; Ezek.; Dan.; Hosea; Joel; Amos; Obad.; Jon.; Mic.; Nah.; Hab.; Zeph.; Hag.; Zech.; Mal.; Matt.; Mark; Luke; John; Acts; Rom.; 1 Cor.; 2 Cor.; Gal.; Eph.; Phil.; Col.; 1 Thess.; 2 Thess.; 1 Tim.; 2 Tim.; Titus; Philem.; Heb.; James; 1 Pet.; 2 Pet.; 1 John; 2 John; 3 John; Jude; Rev.


Capitalize the full, proper names of buildings. Student Union Building. Tropicana Apartments. Metzger Hall. On subsequent references, it is acceptable to use generic names, which should be lowercased. The building. The apartments. The library. See the University Entities section for a list of buildings.

capital, capitol

"Capital" refers to a city that is a seat of government. "Capitol" refers to the building in which the legislative body sits. Also "capital" used as an adjective relates to assets that add to the long-term net worth of an organization (e.g., capital improvements).


Council for Christian Colleges & Universities. Use full name on first reference. Note the ampersand, which is part of the organization's official name. May use CCCU on subsequent references. Biola is a member of this organization.

centers and institutes

Use full name on first reference. Institute for Spiritual Formation. On subsequent references, "the center" or "the institute" is acceptable.


Use "chair" rather than "chairman," "chairwoman" or "chairperson" for department chairs at Biola. Emerson Hall is named for the former chair of the Department of Psychology. For outside organizations, use their preferred title. The Federal Reserve chairman announced that interest rates would be lowered.


Do not capitalize unless part of an official name. He attends church every week. First Baptist Church of La Mirada. Do not capitalize when referring to the universal body of Christ. Christ loves the church.


Lowercase "city" in all "city of" phrases. The conference will be held in the city of San Diego. To identify a city name with its state, see states.

class years

Capitalize "Class" when referring to a specific class. The Class of 1972 will hold a reunion. To refer to multiple, specific classes: The Classes of 1982 and 1983 will meet. See also academic degrees received from Biola and decades.


Do not put a comma before a conjunction in a simple series. The flag is red, white and blue. Commas may be used before a conjunction to avoid confusion in a long, complex series of phrases. At the sandwich line, students can choose from ham and Swiss, bacon, lettuce and tomato, and turkey and cheddar. Do not set off Jr. or Sr. with commas. Carlos Ramirez Jr. will perform. Commas should be placed inside quotation marks at all times. "Biola is a leading Christian university," Davis said. Do not use a comma after a question mark or exclamation point as in the following example. "How many students attend the university?" the student asked.

company names

Use full company names. If "Company" or "Corporation" is part of a name, then use "Co." or "Corp." but drop "Inc." or "Ltd." After the first reference, a company name can be shortened. Hewlett-Packard Co. becomes Hewlett-Packard.

composition titles

Italicize the titles of books, plays, long poems, journals, magazines, newspapers, long musical compositions, albums, movies, television programs and radio programs rather than using quotation marks around them as the Associated Press Stylebook says to do. Use quotations around the titles of book chapters, short stories, essays, articles, television episodes, songs, photographs and lectures.

continual, continuous

"Continual" means over and over; "continuous" means without interruption. We come to work continually. She spoke continuously for an hour.

Council for Christian Colleges & Universities



Capitalize when part of a proper name. Los Angeles County, Orange County. Lowercase when used alone. He commutes from another county. Plurals of generic terms (like "counties") after proper names are lowercased. Los Angeles and Orange counties.

course names

Capitalize actual course names, but do not surround with quotation marks. Evolution of Economic Systems. Beginning French. In a sequence of courses with a single title and course description, the complete number of the sequence must be repeated. English 110A and 110B, not English 110A-B or English 110A & B.

credits/semester hours/units

"Credit hours" is redundant; use "credits." "Semester hours" and "units" are acceptable synonyms.

cum laude

Italicize and lowercase. Translates to "with praise." This distinction is earned at the undergraduate level with a cumulative grade point average of 3.50–3.69.

dean's list

Lowercase. Students achieving a semester grade point average of 3.6 or better while enrolled in 12 or more units with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better will be placed on the dean's list for that semester.


Do not use an apostrophe. 1980s. In formal usage, do not abbreviate. 1990s. For informal usage, an abbreviated form is acceptable with use of an apostrophe before the incomplete numeral but not between the year and the s: '90s; '00s; Classes of the '50s will meet at the reunion.

department and office names

In running text, capitalize formal department and office names; use lowercase for a shortened or informal version of the name. The Department of Art runs the gallery. The art department runs the gallery. (Note: Some administrative departments — such as University Communications and Marketing — do not use "department" or "office" as part of an official name.) Lowercase the field when not referring to the department by its official name. He is a sociology professor. She is an admissions counselor. Use lowercase when "department" or "office" stands alone. The department will close at noon.


Lowercase disciplines when not used as part of a degree's full name. She majored in intercultural studies with an emphasis in Islamic studies. The chemistry class meets weekly. If used as part of a degree's full name, see academic degrees.

disinterested, uninterested

A disinterested person is impartial; an uninterested person is indifferent.

divine pronouns

Lowercase pronouns when referring to God. he, him, his, thee, thou, you. This is the style used by many of the most popular Bible translations, including the NIV, NRSV, ESV and KJV.

divine titles

Capitalize all divine titles and names. Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Christ, Lord, King, Savior, Son of God, Yahweh, Lamb of God, etc. 


Treat an ellipsis as a three-letter word, constructed with three periods and spaces before and after the periods, as shown here: ( … ). "No one should go to bed angry ... or hungry," he said.

em dash/en dash

Use an em dash to set off phrases. I will go — no matter what — tomorrow night. Use a space on either side of an em dash. Use an en dash between numbers in times in tabular entries. Your appointment is 10–11 a.m. Do not use a space on either side of an en dash. But in journalistic entries, use "to" between times. Your appointment is 10 to 11 a.m.


Use "emeritus" with a man or with a person whose gender is unknown. Use "emerita" with a woman. Use "emeriti" with a group of two or more men or with a group that includes both men and women. Use "emeritae" with a group of two or more women. Professor Emeritus of English John Smith. Professor Emerita of Mathematics Mary Jones. The department's faculty includes six professors emeriti. President Emeritus Clyde Cook was honored at the event. The president emeritus was honored. Faculty emeriti are retired faculty members on whom the university has conferred special status. Note: Not all former Biola faculty members are emeriti faculty, so be sure to check.


Use "ensure" to mean "guarantee." Use "insure" for references to insurance.


Lowercase unless part of an official title. The study reveals insights into evangelicals. Evangelical Press Association.


Capitalize the names of recurring university events when they are used in a specific sense. This year's Midnight Madness was great. Lowercase events when they are used in a general sense. She attended several parent weekends.

faculty/faculty member

Faculty is singular when referring to an academic body (Biola's faculty is one of the finest in the nation) but plural when referring to several individuals (The college's faculty are working with local schools). A single professor is a faculty member.

faculty titles

Do not include "Dr." before names of faculty or staff members. If it is necessary to identify a professor's doctoral degree, then do so in sentence form. Bob Greg, who holds a doctorate in philosophy from Notre Dame, teaches the class. Check whether an instructor is a professor, associate professor, assistant professor, lecturer or another title. Avoid using the abbreviation "Prof." except for informal usage.

farther, further

"Farther" refers to physical distance. We can go no farther on this road. "Further" may be used in this sense but is most often used figuratively to refer to extent or degree. We will proceed no further in this business.

fewer, less

"Fewer" is used of numbers; "less," of quantity. Fewer students require less food.

fiscal years

See academic/fiscal years.


"Freshman" is used for a singular noun or for an adjective. Billy is a freshman this year. The freshman field trip went well. "Freshmen" is a plural noun. The freshmen were nervous.

fundraising campaigns

The full name of a campaign should be used in first references. In subsequent references, a shortened form can be used. When used alone, "campaign" is lowercase. The campaign's goals were to maintain excellence and extend opportunity.

gender-neutral language

Use gender-neutral terms when referring to a person whose gender is unspecified. For example, the following is incorrect: The average student completes an internship by the end of his junior year. Several suggestions for recasting sentences to achieve gender neutrality are included below. For the sake of readability, do not use "s/he" or "his/her"; avoid the use of the phrases "he or she" or "his or her" if possible.

Likewise, use gender-neutral terms when referring to humanity as a whole or a group that includes both genders. "Humanity," "people," "human beings," "the human race," "all" or "everyone" are good substitutes for generic uses of "man," "men" or "mankind." When addressing a group informally, it is preferable to use "everyone" or "all" instead of "guys."

Here are several techniques for recasting a sentence to achieve gender neutrality:

1. Pluralize the nouns. Each student will grade his own test could become Students will grade their own tests. (Note: Be careful not to mix singular and plural. Do not use "they" to refer to an individual.)

2. Replace the pronoun with an article ("the," "an," "a"). A student who submits her paper late ... could become A student who submits the paper late...

3. Drop the pronoun. A good journalism student will avoid the appearance that he is biased could become A good journalism student will avoid the appearance of bias.

4. Avoid conditional sentences, such as those beginning with "if" or "when." If a visitor needs a parking pass, tell her to contact the department office could become A visitor who needs a parking pass should contact the department office.

5. Repeat the noun or use a neutral noun such as "person" or "one." Before a student selects a college, he should visit the campus could become Before one selects a college, one should visit the campus.

geographic regions

In general, capitalize compass points when referring to a place and lowercase when referring to a direction. Settlers from the East went west in search of new lives. Lowercase compass points when describing a section of a nation, state or city (eastern Texas) unless denoting widely known sections, like Southern California, Northern California, the Bay Area, West Coast, Western capitalism, Eastern religion.


Lowercase, unless part of an official title or referring to any or all of the first four books of the New Testament. The Gospel Choir will perform. The professor taught from the Gospels. The Missions Conference taught students how to share the gospel with people from other cultures. The choir sang gospel music.


Do not capitalize "government," "federal," "state" or "city." Neither the federal government nor the state of California provide direct funding to Biola. Capitalize "legislature" when referring specifically to a state's legislative body, but not when used generically or in plural references. The California Legislature approved the funding last year. The Nevada and Utah legislatures are expected to consider similar measures. See also city and states.

great books

A term that refers to the classic works of Western civilization. Use lowercase. In some cases, it may be helpful to use quotation marks around the term to clarify that it is not merely referring to books that are great. Biola's Torrey Honors Institute is one of the nation's leading great books programs.

headlines/titles (in periodicals)

In the main headline or title, capitalize the first letter of all words except prepositions and conjunctions that are three letters or less — unless they are the first or last words in a title. In subtitles, only capitalize the first word and proper nouns. Capitalize all major words in hyphenated compounds unless they are preceded by a prefix or follow a musical key symbol. Long-Range Planning, Pre-eminent Program, E-flat Concerto. Headlines/titles should be no more than two lines. Use single quotation marks for double quotation marks in all headlines/titles.


Compound adjectives that precede the noun they modify are hyphenated unless they are easily recognized as a single concept, like lower division or upper division class, computer science field, private sector contributions, real estate markets. Compounds that are hyphenated as adjectives (off-campus housing, part-time employment, decision-making skills) are not typically hyphenated after the nouns (her apartment is off campus; she works less than full time; findings that assist in decision making). Exceptions, however, may be made after forms of the verb "to be" to avoid confusion. The dress is reddish-orange. The man is quick-witted. The steak was well-done. Compound adjectives consisting of an adverb ending in –ly are not hyphenated. privately funded, highly regarded, biblically centered education. Compound adjectives with numerals should not be hyphenated. The $40 million campaign.

indefinite articles

Words starting with a pronounced h, long u or eu take the article a, not an. a hotel, a historic year, a euphoric moment; but an honest man, an heir.


See centers and institutes.


Use lowercase.

its, it's

"Its" is a possessive pronoun. Every dog will have its day. "It's" is a contraction of "it" and "is." It's time to go home.


See names.

lend, loan

The verb "to lend" means to give for temporary use on condition that the same or its equivalent will be returned; to give money for temporary use on condition of repayment with interest; or to give assistance. "Loan" is now acceptable as a verb, but it is used only in the literal sense, never figuratively. I will loan you the money. I will lend you a hand.

letter spacing

Use one space at the end of sentences, not two.


Licenses and associations do not take periods. CPA, LCSW.

lie, lay

The verb "to lie" (indicating a state of reclining) does not take a direct object. I lie down. Its past tense is "lay" (I lay down); its past perfect tense is "have lain" (I have lain down all day); and its present participle is "lying" (I am lying down; I was lying down). The verb "to lay" is an action word and takes a direct object (I lay the book down); its past tense is "laid" (I laid the book down); past perfect is "have laid" (I have laid the book down); and its present participle is "laying" (I am laying the book down; I was laying the book down). The verb "to lie" (as in to speak an untruth) takes the forms "lied," "have lied" and "lying."

magna cum laude

Italicize and lowercase. Translates to "with great praise." This distinction is earned at the undergraduate level with a cumulative grade point average of 3.70–3.89.


see disciplines.

missions/mission trip/mission trips

"Missions" refers to the field. She is studying missions. "Mission" is singular when used with "mission trip" or "mission trips." He went on a mission trip. The Student Missionary Union hosts several mission trips. Note: "Missions trip" is incorrect, as is "missions trips." The word "mission" is also used to describe a singular, fundamental purpose as in Biola's "mission statement." See also Missions Conference under University Entities.


When a month is cited in a specific date, abbreviate only "Jan.," "Feb.," "Aug.," "Sept.," "Oct.," "Nov." and "Dec."; all other months are always spelled out. Spell out a month's name when cited alone or cited with just a year. Jan. 1, 2007. March 1, 2007. January. Jan. 1. January 2007. There is no comma between a month and year. When a month, day and year are cited together, place a comma after both the day and year. Feb. 25, 1908, is the day Biola was founded.

music group or ensemble names

Capitalize the proper names of the groups but do not place in quotes. Gospel Choir. The King's Men.


Avoid the use of courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs. or Ms.). Enclose nicknames in quotes. Rob "Boomer" Smith.  Do not divide personal names at the end of a line. Break after the first name if it's not possible to keep the whole name together. J. R. R. / Tolkien not J. R. R. Tol- / kien. Compound names should be hyphenated or not, according to the preference of the individual. Sarah O'Neill Murphy. Sally Smith-O'Brien. Compound names should be alphabetized under the last surname, or according to the individual's established usage. Do not place a comma before a "Jr." or "Sr." See also company names.


In general, numbers from zero to nine should be written out. Starting with 10, use numerals. The event will be held in four days. She is taking 18 units this semester. But if a number starts a sentence, then write it out or recast the sentence so it does not start it. Twelve children attended the play. Consult the Associated Press Stylebook for exceptions, of which there are many. They include ages, dimensions, course numbers, grade point averages, unit and monetary values, scores, percentages, compound numbers and decimal units — all of which may be indicated with numerals. For amounts of a million or more, always use numerals followed by "million," "billion," etc.: $8 million. 8 million people. Use commas with all numbers above 999: 1,000, $13,500, 500,000. Spell out ordinals through ninth, except in formal names. first grade, 1st Sgt., 21st century, 25th anniversary. For academic credits (also called "semester hours" and "units"), always use numerals. It is a 3-unit course.

off campus, on campus

Hyphenate only when used as an adjective. He will study in an off-campus program. She has an office on campus.

office names

see department and office names.


Spell out "pages" (pages 36–37, not pp. 36–37). Use an en dash between pages.


Do not use the percentage symbol (%) except in tabular material. Spell out "percent."


Do not use an apostrophe to pluralize words, numbers, days or names.  No "ifs," "ands" or "buts." 1950s. Sundays. Petersons. The one exception is when pluralizing single letters.  He earned four A's. Mind your p's and q's. To pluralize proper names ending in "es," "s" or "z," add an "es." The Joneses and the Gonzalezes will attend. For most proper names ending in "y," add an "s," even when preceded by a consonant. The Kennedys and the Coreys both hail from Massachusetts. For others, add an "s." The Cooks. The Smiths.


With names of plural nouns that end in "s," add only an apostrophe. Obey Jesus' commands. The students' room is clean. For joint possession, use a possessive form after only the last word. John and Tim's business. If objects are indivually owned, use a possessive form after both words. John's and Tim's lunches. Refer to the Associated Press Stylebook for additional guidance.

principal, principle

"Principal" as an adjective means "most important." His principal demand was that the students complete all their reading assignments. "Principal" used as a noun means "a leading person or chief." She is the school principal. He is a principal with Watkins & Watkins. "Principle" used as a noun means "a basic belief or truth." Stick to your principles.

publications, published by Biola

Always italicize publication titles. Biola Magazine. Journal of Psychology and Theology. See also Biola Magazine and Chimes, The under University Entities.


Only capitalize official program titles. Lowercase informal and generic references to programs and courses of study.  Many students are enrolled in the nursing program. Biola offers a number of study abroad programs, including the Latin American Studies Program. She is a graduate of the master's program in Christian apologetics.

residence hall(s)

Preferred over "dorm(s)" in more formal contexts.

resident assistant(s)/resident director(s)

Spell out on first reference and do not capitalize before a name, as this serves as a job description. See titles. May use RA(s) or RD(s) on second reference.

Rev. or Reverend

Use "the Rev." — not "Rev." — as a title on first reference. Lyman Stewart joined forces with the Rev. T.C. Horton to launch the Bible Institute of Los Angeles.


Always capitalize "Scripture" when referring to the Bible but lowercase "scriptural." Do not capitalize "Scripture" when referring to the scriptures of non-Christian religions. See also Bible/biblical.


Do not capitalize unless part of a formal name or designating an issue of a periodical or publication. Registration for the fall semester begins Tuesday. I enjoyed the Summer 2006 issue of Biola Magazine.

semester hours

See credits/semester hours/units.


Do not capitalize semesters. fall semester 2000, fall semester.


Use lowercase for "state" in all "state of" phrases. The state of California requires all student teachers to complete a background check. Spell out the names of states when they stand alone in running text. When needing to abbreviate a state's name, such as when using the state's name in conjunction with the name of a city, use the following abbreviations:

Ala.; Ariz.; Ark.; Calif.; Colo.; Conn.; Del.; Fla.; Ga.; Ill.; Ind.; Kan.; Ky.; La.; Md.; Mass.; Mich.; Minn.; Miss.; Mo.; Mont.; Neb.; Nev.; N.H.; N.J.; N.M.; N.Y.; N.C.; N.D.; Okla.; Ore.; Pa.; R.I.; S.C.; S.D.; Tenn.; Vt.; Va.; Wash.; W.Va.; Wis.; Wyo.

Eight states are never abbreviated in running text: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah.

In running text, place a comma after the name of a city and another comma after the state name, unless at the end of a sentence. She will travel to her home in Omaha, Neb., to visit her family for Thanksgiving. Biola University is the largest employer in La Mirada, Calif. In mailing addresses, use the two-letter Postal Service abbreviations. CA, MD, IL, etc.


Plurals of generic terms (like "streets") after proper names are lowercased. First and Belmont streets.

summa cum laude

Italicize and lowercase. Translates to "with highest praise." This distinction is earned at the undergraduate level with a cumulative grade point average of 3.90–4.0.


See who/whom/that/which.


Use "theater" except for official names that use the British spelling. Biola Youth Theatre, Biola Opera Theatre, Biola Theatre.


Use "a.m." and "p.m.," not "AM," "pm," "P.M.," or other variations. Do not precede "noon" or "midnight" with "12." When a time falls exactly on the hour, don't list the colon and zeroes. 10 a.m. To indicate duration of time, use "to" between the hours in text, but an en dash in calendar or tabular entries. The picnic will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Class times are 11 a.m.–noon, 4–5 p.m. and 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Leave space after the number, but not on either side of the en dash. Do not mix formats.


Capitalize formal titles used directly before an individual's name. President Barry Corey. Councilwoman Jane Doe. However, try to place long titles after names as lowercase appositives. Aaron Kleist, professor of English. Use lowercase for a formal title listed after a name or without a name. Barry Corey, president of Biola University. He is the president of Biola University. Use lowercase when a formal title is listed before a name but set off by a comma. The event featured a speech from the school's dean, Bob McDonald. Use lowercase for titles that serve mainly as job descriptions. The student expressed gratitude to custodian Bill Thomas. See also faculty titles.


See credits/semester hours/units.


Capitalize as part of a university's name. Welcome to Biola University. When the word stands alone, use lowercase. Students at the university are required to attend chapel services. Biola is one of the fastest-growing universities in the nation.

Washington, D.C.

Note the comma and periods. When used mid-sentence, place a comma after the "D.C." The American Studies Program uses Washington, D.C., as an educational laboratory.


"Who" and "whom" refer to people and animals with a name. "That" and "which" refer to inanimate objects and animals without a name. Also, "that" precedes an essential clause. This is the translation that most scholars prefer. "Which" precedes a non-essential clause. This translation, which most scholars prefer, is available in the Biola Bookstore. The Associated Press Stylebook offers guidelines for whether to use "who" or "whom," but if "whom" sounds pompous and strained in certain instances, then "who" is acceptable. For example, the question "Whom do you trust?" can become "Who do you trust?"


University Entities


Built in 1966, this all-female residence hall was named "Alpha Chi" until 2011, when it was renamed to eliminate confusion with the Alpha Chi Omega sorority.

Andrews Banquet Room

The Andrews Banquet Room is located on the bottom floor of Talbot East.  Note: There is no apostrophe.

Bardwell Hall

Academic building used primarily for science classes and offices. Named after Eliza A. Bardwell, this building is one of the original from the opening of the La Mirada campus in 1959. The Jesus Mural is on its eastern side.

Beachcomber Apartments

Purchased in 2005, this off-campus apartment complex on Rosecrans Avenue serves male and female undergraduate students.

Bell Tower

The Bell Tower that stands on Biola's campus includes five of the Meneely bells from the original 11 that were suspended atop the north dormitory tower on Biola's downtown Los Angeles campus. The bells were the largest set of chimes on the Pacific Coast at that time and were first played by Anna Horton, wife of Biola co-founder T.C. Horton. Today, they chime daily at specific times.

Biola Magazine

Biola Magazine is Biola's official university magazine, sent out three times each year to alumni, donors, parents and friends of the university. Capitalize and italicize the title in running text. Do not refer to the magazine as Biola Connections or Connections (the magazine's former name).

Biolan, The

The Biolan (note the capitalized "The" and italics) is Biola's student-run yearbook, first published in 1927.


These terms can be used to describe a student, alumnus or group of students and alumni, though "Biola students" or "Biola alumni" is preferred.

Biola Professional Building

Located off campus at 12625 La Mirada Blvd., this building houses the Biola Counseling Center.

Biola University

In first references, use the full name. In subsequent references, you may use "Biola" or "the university." Do not use "Bible Institute of Los Angeles" or "BIOLA" unless referring to Biola's history before 1949. Do not use "Biola College" unless referring to Biola's history between 1949 and June 30, 1981. Again, do not use "BIOLA" (all capital letters) when referring to the university today; the university's name is not an acronym.

Biola University Center for Christian Thought

The Biola University Center for Christian Thought, which officially opened in 2012, is a forum where leading Christian thinkers from around the world gather for several months at a time to research and discuss issues of significance to the academy, the church and the broader culture. Refer to the center by its full name (including "Biola University") on first reference. On later references, "the center" is acceptable." Do not refer to it as the "Center for Christian Thought."

Bluff, The

Located directly off of La Mirada Boulevard on the eastern edge of campus, The Bluff is made up of a group of three hillside buildings including the Welch Apartments, Li Apartments and Thompson Hall. It has been referred to as Bluff housing in the past, but became "The Bluff" in 2006.

Board of Trustees

Use full, capitalized name when referring to Biola's Board of Trustees. On second reference to the body, "board" or "trustees" is acceptable. Do not capitalize "board" or "trustees" when used alone. Lowercase "trustee" or "board member" as a title, whether before or after a name. See the titles guidelines under General Entries.


Biola's former undergraduate adult degree completion program. On first mention, refer to it as the BOLD degree completion program or BOLD program. This program offered two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. In most cases, it is no longer necessary to refer to this program by name; refer to BOLD alumni as you would refer to alumni of any other undergraduate program, with graduation year in parenthesis.

Bon Appétit

Biola's catering service

business building

The unnamed building that houses Crowell School of Business should be referred to as the "business building." It was built in 2007.

Café Biola

Also known as "The Caf," this is the main on-campus dining area. It's home to the Café Banquet Room. Avoid using "cafeteria."

Calvary Chapel/Feinberg Hall

Feinberg Hall is one of Talbot School of Theology's buildings and is made up of two stories. The top story contains Calvary Chapel, which hosts Talbot chapel services during the week. The lower story houses Talbot offices. Feinberg Hall is named after Talbot's first dean, Charles Feinberg. Calvary Chapel is not affiliated with the churches of the same name. The structure was completed in 1974.


Biola offers numerous chapel services throughout the week. Use lowercase when referring to chapel services, except when referring to specially named chapel services such as AfterDark Chapel.

Chase Gymnasium

Lowercased "gymnasium" and "gym" are acceptable on second reference or in informal contexts. Named after Biola's sixth president, J. Richard Chase, it was built in 1966 and expanded in 2005.

Chimes, The

Identify as the student newspaper on first reference and always italicize.

cinema and media arts

This name replaces "film/television/radio."

Common Grounds

One of Biola's on-campus coffee shops.

Crowell Hall

The building that houses the Conservatory of Music. Named after Alice Gray Crowell, whose sister, Lula May Crowell, married Biola co-founder Lyman Stewart in 1915. Built in 1963.

Crowell School of Business

Name of the business school, but not the building where the business school is housed. Named after the Crowell family of Crowell, Weedon & Co., who gave money for the building and whose roots connect with Biola co-founder Lyman Stewart. See business building.

Dorothy English Hall

Classroom building on the McNally portion of campus. Named after Dorothy English, a 1936 graduate who left $8.5 million to the university after her death in 2002 — the largest one-time gift in Biola's history.

Eagles' Nest

An on-campus restaurant/diner. Note the placement of the apostrophe. (The logo on the diner's door, which leaves out the apostrophe, is incorrect.)

Earl & Virginia Green Art Gallery

The Earl & Virginia Green Art Gallery features several rotating exhibitions of work by contemporary artists each semester, and also provides space each year for graduating senior art students to showcase their work in a professional setting. On first reference, use the full name. "The art gallery" or "the gallery" are acceptable in subsequent references.

Emerson Hall

Formerly a male-only residence hall, Emerson was converted in 2016 into offices for several academic departments. Built in 1958, the building is named after Wallace Emerson, founder of Biola's undergraduate psychology program and professor of psychology at Biola from 1948 to 1968.

Feinberg Hall

See Calvary Chapel/Feinberg Hall.

Fluor Fountain

Officially the "Fluor Fountain of Faith," it is most commonly referred to by the shortened name, which is acceptable in all references. Built in 2003, the fountain was funded by donor Marjorie Fluor Moore, who provided the funding in honor of her late husband, Simon Fluor.

Fred and Ruth Waugh Prayer Chapel

This prayer chapel is located on the bottom floor of Talbot East. On first reference, use its full title and specify that it is located in Talbot East in order to distinguish it from Biola's older and more recognizable Rose of Sharon Prayer Chapel.

Hart Hall

Built in 1970, this residence hall serves both men and women.  It is named after Margaret Hart, a former dean of women.

Hope Hall

The largest residence hall on campus, it serves both men and women. It was built in 2003 and is named after Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles, the site of Biola's original campus.

Horton Hall

Biola's newest residence hall, completed in 2006. It serves both men and women. The new hall replaced the former Horton Hall, which was built in 1959. Named after T.C. Horton, co-founder of Biola.

Institute for Research on Psychology and Spirituality

Part of Rosemead School of Psychology.


A four-week term in January — between the fall and spring terms — when students are able to take condensed classes. Use lowercase in running text. Do not hyphenate.

Jesus Mural

Painted in 1989 and 1990 by Kent Twitchell, the well-known mural on the eastern side of Bardwell Hall is actually titled "The Word." But it's usually best to refer to it as "the Jesus Mural," seeing as that's how everyone knows it.

Li Apartments

Built in 1990, this on-campus apartment building is part of The Bluff. It serves male and female undergraduate students. Named after Fook Kong and Irene Li, former members of the Board of Trustees.


"Biola University Library" is the preferred name for the building, staff and collection. On second reference, either "the Biola Library" or "the library" is acceptable. Never use "Library Resource Center," which was its name when it opened in 2001.

Lido Mirada Apartments

Purchased in 2002, this off-campus apartment complex on Rosecrans Avenue serves male and female undergraduate students.

lower campus, upper campus

These informal terms apply exclusively to the two major residential areas of campus. "Lower campus," which is at the south end of campus and at a lower elevation than "upper campus," includes Hart Hall, Stewart Hall and Hope Hall. Upper campus, at the north end of campus, includes Sigma, Alpha, Horton Hall and Emerson Hall. The Bluff is typically seen as distinct from upper campus, even though it's in the same area, because it's exclusively for upperclassmen and it's set off geographically by a bridge.

Marshburn Hall

This academic building houses Cook School of Intercultural Studies. Named after Sylvester Marshburn, a former Board of Trustees member and donor. Built in 1967.

Mayers Auditorium

Located in Marshburn Hall, this auditorium is used for events and large classes. It should not be confused with Myers Hall, which houses classrooms and offices for Talbot School of Theology. Named after Marvin K. Mayers, the founding dean of Cook School of Intercultural Studies.


The portion of Biola's campus that used to be McNally Junior High School. It is home to classrooms, faculty offices, various academic departments, a theater and the Media Production Center. The McNally campus was acquired in 1988.

Metzger Hall

The main administrative building on campus houses numerous offices. Named after Adele Metzger, whose estate funded about half of the building. Built in 1979.

mission statement

The official text of Biola's mission statement reads as follows: "The mission of Biola University is biblically centered education, scholarship and service — equipping men and women in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ." There is no hyphen in "biblically centered." Also, do not use a semicolon between "service" and "equipping." That's grammatically incorrect.

Missions Conference

This annual spring event is sponsored by the Student Missionary Union. Capitalize the title, as it refers to a recurring, specific university event. See also events under General Entries.


my.Biola is Biola's Web portal — a personalized, password-protected site that offers a number of tools and services for students, faculty, staff and alumni. These include such areas as student registration, transcript information, financial records, employee data, university announcements and so forth. The site's name should always appear as one word with a lowercase first letter and a period directly before Biola, as follows: my.Biola. Do not use "My Biola," "My.Biola,"  "MyBiola," "my Biola" or any other variation. If listing the full URL, use only lowercase letters:

Myers Hall

This academic building houses classrooms and offices for Talbot School of Theology. Named after Ray Myers, former chairman of the Board of Trustees and contractor for the La Mirada campus. Built in 1962.

Perez Hall

This one-story office building on the McNally portion of campus is named after the late entertainers Pepito and Joanne Perez. Joanne left her estate to Biola, specifically for the benefit of what was then the Department of Mass Communication, in 2004.

President's Circle

The President's Circle is made up of donors who contribute a specified amount to the Biola Fund each year. Several levels of membership are available, depending on annual giving amount. Information can be found at

Rood Hall

Classroom building on the McNally portion of campus. Named after Biola's third president, Paul W. Rood.

Rose Hall

Formerly the Rose Memorial Library, the building is now home to Rosemead School of Psychology. The building is named after Daniel Rose, donor for the original library, which was built in 1959.

Rose of Sharon Prayer Chapel

This prayer chapel is located adjacent to the library. On first reference, use its full title in order to distinguish it from the Fred and Ruth Waugh Prayer Chapel in Talbot East. Alumnus Robert Minshew ('65) funded the construction of the chapel after the death of his wife, Sharon Lynn Minshew.

Rosemead School of Psychology

Rosemead is a graduate school that started at Biola in 1977. Clyde Narramore founded the school in Rosemead, Calif., and proposed that it become a school of Biola.

schools of Biola

Biola has eight schools: Cook School of Intercultural Studies, Crowell School of Business, Rosemead School of Psychology, the School of Education, the School of Fine Arts and Communication, the School of Humanities and Social Science, the School of Science, Technology and Health, and Talbot School of Theology.

On first reference in external communications, give the school's full name and indicate that it belongs to Biola University (if not already clear from the context). Tom Smith (Psy.D. '00) graduated from Biola University's Rosemead School of Psychology or Tom Smith (Psy.D. '00) graduated from Biola's Rosemead School of Psychology. In subsequent references, it is acceptable to refer to the "named" schools as "Cook," "Crowell," "Rosemead" and "Talbot." He has taught at Cook for two years. A reception for Talbot's students will be held in Andrews Banquet Hall. Do not use initialisms (such as CSICS, SAS, SOE) in external communications.


Built in 1977, this residence hall serves both men and women. It was named "Sigma Chi" until 2011, when it was renamed to eliminate confusion with the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Soubirou Hall

This classroom building is used primarily by the nursing department. Named after Leonie Soubirou, the first director of the School of Missionary Medicine, which eventually became the Department of Nursing. Built in 1976.

Stewart Hall

This residence hall serves both men and women. It was built in 1966. Named after Biola co-founder Lyman Stewart.

Student Health Center

Student Union Building

Sutherland Hall

This academic building features offices, classrooms and Sutherland Auditorium. It houses the School of Education and the Division of Student Success. Built in 1958, it was the first academic building completed on the La Mirada campus. Named after Sam Sutherland, Biola's fifth president.

Talbot East

Built in 2011, this four-floor academic building features offices, classrooms, conference rooms, the Fred and Ruth Waugh Prayer Chapel, Andrews Banquet Room, Riady Gardens and numerous other features. (Note: There is no apostrophe in Andrews.) The top two floors house faculty offices for Talbot School of Theology.

Talbot School of Theology

Do not refer to Talbot as "Talbot Theological Seminary," except when referring to its history. The name changed in 1983, two years after Biola moved from college to university status. Named after Louis T. Talbot, Biola's second and fourth president.

Tennis Center

The full name is preferable on first reference, Biola University Tennis Center.

Theatre 21

Located on the McNally campus. Note the British spelling of "theater." See theater/theatre under General Entries.

Thompson Hall

Built in 1990, this residence hall serves male and female undergraduate students. Though sometimes considered to be an apartment building because of its grouping with Li and Welch apartments in The Bluff, it is a residence hall. Named after Novell and Geneva Thompson, parents of Board of Trustees member Robert Thompson.

Torrey Honors Institute

An undergraduate honors program at Biola.

Torrey Memorial Bible Conference

Use the full name of the conference. Do not refer to it as "Torrey conference." Capitalize the title, as it refers to a recurring, specific university event. See also events under General Entries. This event is held each fall semester and is named after R.A. Torrey, one of Biola's early deans.

Tradewind Apartments

Purchased in 2005, this off-campus apartment complex on Rosecrans Avenue serves male and female undergraduate students.

Tropicana Apartments

Purchased in 2001, this off-campus apartment complex on Rosecrans Avenue serves male and female undergraduate students.

Upper Campus

See lower campus, upper campus.

Welch Apartments

Built in 1990, this on-campus apartment building is part of The Bluff and serves male and female undergraduate students. Named after Robert and "Bitsy" Welch. Robert was a longtime chairman of the Board of Trustees.

White Hall

Classroom building on the McNally portion of campus. Named after William P. White, Biola's first president.


Addresses and Phone Number Formats

email addresses

In text, electronic addresses are all lowercase. Do not omit the period when an email address falls at the end of a sentence. Do not underline or boldface email addresses in print. Also, it's email, not e-mail.

internet addresses

When a story mentions a specific website, include the URL within the text. In print, it is not necessary to include https://www. before the address. The best practice is to check any web address prior to publication to make sure it is correct and works. Avoid lengthy URLs unless essential. Use lowercase for all letters in a URL. Do not omit the period when a web address falls at the end of a sentence. When giving a URL, do not use a colon. Visit the alumni website at

When creating a hyperlink in digital content, always include the https://www. before the address. When linking to another page on Biola's website, do not include a slash (/) or tracking data (?ga followed by a string of numbers) at the end. Write relevant and clear anchor text and avoid repeated, uninformative anchor text like "Read More" or "Click Here." You can learn more on our alumni website.

mailing addresses

In mailing addresses, use the two-letter Postal Service abbreviations for states, including ZIP codes. 13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, CA 90639. Capitalize both letters in "P.O." and put periods in between letters. See abbreviations and acronyms under General Entries for when to abbreviate street names in running text.

telephone and fax numbers

For telephone and fax numbers, the format is (562) 903-6000. In advertisements, the format may instead be 562.903.6000. For phone extensions, use a comma after the 10-digit number and "ext." to list a four-digit extension. Biola Bob can be reached at (562) 944-0351, ext. 1234. When giving an extension without a 10-digit phone number, simply use "ext." Biola Bob can be reached at ext. 1234. Do not use an "x" to list an extension.




The official name for Biola's teams is the Biola Eagles, but it is commonly shortened to the Eagles after the first reference or in informal uses.

Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC)

When writing for broad audiences that may not be familiar with Biola athletics, give the full name on first reference. This is a regional division within the NAIA. GSAC includes only Christian schools, while the NAIA does not.


The university mascot is an eagle named Eddie.

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)

This is the national association in which Biola's teams compete. When writing for broad audiences that may not be familiar with Biola athletics, give the full name on first reference. Biola competes in NAIA Division I.

NAIA National Champion

NAIA National Championship/Championships

Use the plural when more than one title is awarded — in swimming, tennis and track both team and individual titles are awarded. 2007 Cross Country National Championships. Use the singular championship when one title is awarded, as in basketball and volleyball.

Top 10 or Top 25

Capitalize "Top." Do not use hyphens. Biola soccer made the Top 10.

For complete information about Biola athletics, including a list of teams, athletes and season statistics, go to For more information on the NAIA, visit For more information on the GSAC, visit


Commonly Misused Words

Consult the Associated Press Stylebook or Merriam-Webster's Dictionary for words not shown here.


archaeology/ archaeological



CCCU/Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (See also CCCU on the General Entries page.)

chair (see also chair/chairman/chairwoman on the General Entries page.)





ensure/insure (See ensure/insure on the General Entries page.)



full-time, full time (Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier.)

fundrais(er) (-ing) (one word, not two and not hyphenated.)

grade point average (Use GPA on second reference.)


home page (two words.)

homseschooling, homeschooled, homeschooler (one word)





long-term, long term (Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier.)







on-campus, on campus (Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier.)

off-campus, off campus (Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier.)


online (adj.)

part-time, part time (Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier.)





startup (n. and adj.)


student athlete (n.)


toward (not towards)


web page



ZIP code

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639