Paul Spears accepts role as new director of Torrey
Paul Spears has taken on the role as the new director of the Torrey Honors Institute. The founder and current director, John Mark Reynolds, recently accepted a position as Provost at Houston Baptist University. | Job Ang/THE CHIMES
Paul Spears was announced as the new director of the Torrey Honors Institute Monday morning in an exclusive email sent out to the Torrey community from Cassandra Van Zandt, the dean of humanities responsible for heading up the search for a new director. Irene Neller, vice president of University Communications and Marketing, made an official announcement concerning the appointment later in the afternoon.
“I love the work that I do and I’m so committed to it and I’m so confident in the program. This is an opportunity to work with the students and faculty I love to work with and not change the fundamental project we’re on, ” Spears said.
Torrey program will remain unchanged
The Torrey Honors program will continue to teach 50 three-hour classes a week, teach the great books and mentor students to learn how to think well, write well, read well and live well, according to Spears.
“He’s the obvious new director,” said Fred Sanders, associate professor of theology in the Torrey Honors Institute. “As Dr. Van Zandt was talking with everybody, I think uniformly everybody’s first choice was obviously Paul Spears ought to do this. Paul’s been here from the beginning.”
Spears has been involved in the honors program since 1998 as both a faculty member and mentor, he is also the current chair of Morgan House, one of the tracks in the program.
Sanders further explained Spears’ long-term involvement has allowed him to develop within the program.
Spears committed to intellectual and spiritual mentoring
Current Torrey Honors director and founder John Mark Reynolds took to Twitter to congratulate Spears. Reynolds announced his resignation from Biola in a blog post on Feb. 27. In the blog post, Reynolds explained that he accepted the position of provost at Houston Baptist University.
“Reynolds’ system worked well because he trained his staff to follow a system that worked,” Spears said. “I’ve worked with him for 14 years so it’s hard to imagine him even leaving. He’s going into a great opportunity but we will miss him.”
Spears describes the transition as surreal, especially since Reynolds is still at Biola.
“I covet the prayers of my friends and faculty as I step into this role. I am committed to the Torrey vision and training and mentoring the students in their intellectual and spiritual life for God’s kingdom purposes,” Spears said.
Spears will replace Reynolds beginning June 25.