meet the faculty

Dr. Rodolfo Galvan Estrada III, Ph.d.

PhD, Regent University

MA, Divinity School of Duke University

MTS, Divinity School of Duke University

BA, Vanguard University

Rodolfo Galvan Estrada III is from San Diego, California. He has a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Regent University, holds two master’s degrees from Duke University, and has done post-doctoral work in Classics at Villanova University. He has published articles on topics related to the Holy Spirit and ethnicity in the Gospel of John, Acts, and Jude in various academic journals and popular magazines such as Christianity Today. His main area of research focuses on biblical pneumatology, ethnicity in the Greco-Roman world, and Latinx Biblical Interpretation. His book A Pneumatology of Race in the Gospel of John is an extended revision of his doctoral dissertation published with Pickwick (2020). He is currently writing a new book on an exploration of Christology, Kinship, Ethnicity, and the Empire in the Prologue of John with Palgrave MacMillian (2024). He teaches New Testament Literature, Biblical Exegesis, John, Acts, Introduction to Greek, the Social World of the New Testament, and Contextual Theology.

Steven Acevedo

DMiss., Grace Mission University (Candid)

MAICS, Grace Mission University (Pending)

MTS, Vanguard University 

MBA, Keller Graduate School of Management 

MAFM, Keller Graduate School of Management 

BSTM, DeVry Institute of Technology

AA, Cypress College

Steven obtained an Associate of Arts degree from Cypress College, a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications Management from DeVry Institute of Technology, a Master of Accounting and Financial Management and a Master of Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management, and a Master of Theological Studies degree from Vanguard University. He has a pending Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies degree that will be complete in the Fall of 2020, and he is concurrently a Doctor of Missiology candidate at Grace Mission University in Fullerton, California. He is a devoted husband and father; an avid reader, passionate learner, and equally passionate about sharing what he has learned with others. He teaches courses in Theology, Ethics, and Finance at LABI as a senior faculty member

Dr. Steve Pinto

PhD, Capital Seminary

MTS, Liberty University 

BA, Vanguard University

Asc, LABI College

Steve Pinto obtained an associate of arts degree from LABI College, a Bachelor of Arts in Ministerial and Pastoral Studies from Vanguard University, and a Master of Theological Studies degree from Liberty University. He’s a candidate for Doctor of Ministry with an emphasis on Formational Leadership in the 21st century at Capital Seminary. Steve’s knowledge of God’s Word and love for people, mixed with his high energy and sense of humor has been a powerful tool in God’s hands as an associate Pastor at Faro Church and as keynote speaker at various youth events, camps, conventions, and concerts around the country. He teaches, Communicating the Gospel in a Post-Christian Context, Introduction to Youth Ministry, Current Issues in Youth Ministry, Discipleship Making, and Expository Preaching.

Elizabeth Baez
MS,  University of Phoenix

BS, Vanguard University

Asc, LABI College

Elizabeth Baez is an ordained minister of Assemblies of God. She acquired a Biblical Studies degree from LABI. She obtained a Bachelor in Psychology from Vanguard University, and she earned a Master of Science in Counseling with a focus on Marriage, Family and Child Therapy from the University of Phoenix. She focuses on the professional task of counseling leaders in the human services industry, and has a strong focus on community-based behavioral healthcare and welfare services for children and families.  She is a senior faculty member at LABI where she teaches Introduction to Psychology, Counseling Children and Adolescents, Spiritual Care and Healing, Counseling for Youth Ministers, and Marriage and Family.

Nehemias Romero

MA, Fuller Theological Seminary

BA, Vanguard University

Asc, LABI College

Nehemias graduated from LABI in ‘09, obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Vanguard University in ‘11, and a Master of Arts in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in ‘15. He currently works at LABI College as Dean of Academic Affairs and as an Adjunct Professor teaching courses such as New Testament, Old Testament, Kingdom of God, and Pentecostal Theology. He also oversees LABI's accreditation and federal student aid progress. He lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles, CA. 

Steve Valdez

MS, Emporia State University

BA, Vanguard University

Asc, LABI College


Steve Valdez is the Librarian at LABI College. In this role, Steve manages the library team by providing support to all aspects of the Dr. Simon Melendres Library, including providing support for research resources, and leading the Dr. Joel Torres Writing Center.

A big believer in higher education, Steve supports the LABI College community by maintaining the library. Steve Valdez is a qualified Librarian and holds a Master of Library Science degree from Emporia State University.  

Steve is no stranger to the field of librarianship. Having spent 2 years as a Library Associate at Vanguard University, Costa Mesa, California and 2 years as Library Director Librarian at LABI College where he has grown into the school’s Librarian.

Prior to starting his work in the library field, Steve also has worked in business administration, Steve spent 2 years as a Edward B. Cole Academy public charter school.

Has a Alumni of LABI College, Class of 1999, Steve has a heart for LABI College, the students, and the mission of the school.

Yvette Robles

MS, La Verne University

BA, Bethany College


Yvette Robles earned a bachelors degree in Psychology from Bethany College and a Masters of Science in Leadership and Management from the University of La Verne. Her leadership experiences have ranged from church administration to youth ministries and adolescent probation programs from the juvenile justice system. Her passion is empowering current and future leaders in healthy spirituality to enhance Kingdom work.  In addition to her role as Dean of Students, Yvette also oversees the internship program, teaches practicum courses, and is part of the Pastoral Staff in the Spiritual Formation Department.

Candra Whitfield

MA, Azusa Pacific University

BA, Azusa Pacific University 


Candra Whitfield earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Master of Arts in English from Azusa Pacific University. She has worked as an English instructor for Upward Bound at Azusa Pacific University, serving first-generation, college-bound students in the city of Azusa. She has spent two years teaching middle school English. In 2017, she presented her essay “Righteous Suffering: The Sufferings of Christian Women in Literature” at the Western Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature at Point Loma University. As an Adjunct Professor at LABI, she has taught Persuasive Writing for the past two years. She is unequivocally passionate about education and helping students attain academic success.

Adam Najar

MDiv, Liberty University

MATS, Faith International University

BA, Faith International University

BA, Calvary Chapel Bible College

AA, College of the Desert


Adam Najar obtained an Associate of Arts degree from College of the Desert, a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from Calvary Chapel Bible College, a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Faith International University, and a Master of Divinity from Liberty University School of Divinity. Currently, he is pursuing a Master of Theology from Liberty University School of Divinity. Along with teaching as an adjunct professor, Adam serves as the Associate/Teaching Pastor at Templo Victoria, a multi-campus, multi-cultural church based out of Cathedral City, CA. He has been serving in full-time pastoral ministry for the past thirteen years and finds no greater joy than expounding the Word of God and equipping the people of God for the work of the ministry. He frequently participates as a keynote speaker, whether domestically or internationally, at various events, such as Leadership Conferences, Youth Retreats/Conferences, Pastoral Seminars and Workshops, Apologetic Conferences, and Men’s Conferences/Camps. He is married to Monica and together they have two amazing children and currently reside in Cathedral City, CA.

Juan Lopez

Juan Carlos Lopez holds a Masters Degree from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland, TN.  He is a former SPD Youth Pastor, and is now helping plant a church in Long Beach, called Parish LB. His area of interest is Early Church Liturgy and how it can help shape Pentecostal theology. He teaches Church History as well as Ministry and Social Justice.

Victoria Perez Rivera

Victoria Perez Rivera obtained her Associates degree from LABI College in 2013, completed her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Vanguard University in 2015, and her Master's Degree in Theological Studies from Duke University in 2017. She is currently a PhD student in Religion at the University of Southern California. Her areas of academic interest include reception history of Pauline literature, ancient Greco-Roman culture, race, ethnicity and gender. She teaches classes such as New Testament, Biblical Exegesis, and Gender Issues in the Church. She lives in Fullerton with her husband Daniel and daughter Sophia.

Enrique Vivar
Austin Martinez
Emiliany Vargas
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