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Meet the staff


Dr Marty Harris


Presidential Cabinet Member

PhD, Washington State University 

MS, Washington State University 

BA, University of California, Irvine

Dr. Martin Harris holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Irvine. He received an M.S. and PhD in clinical psychology from Washington State University (APA accredited). After, completing a professional psychology internship at UCLA (APA accredited), Dr. Harris carried out postdoctoral work at Cornell University. While at Cornell he developed a research program for students interested in working with migrant farm workers. Dr. Harris received several university awards for this work including the President’s “James A. Perkins Prize” award for Interracial Understanding and Harmony.

Subsequent to Cornell, Dr. Harris served as a Program Officer for the American Psychological Association. In this role, he managed and wrote grants from several federal agencies including, NIMH, NIA, SAMHSA, CSAP, CSAT & others.

Dr. Harris has served as a tenured faculty member at Vanguard University and Bethany University and has taught and/or served as adjunct faculty at Washington State University, Pepperdine University and UCI College of Medicine. Administratively, Dr. Harris has served in the roles of Department Chair, Graduate Director, Associate Provost, Acting Provost, Diversity Officer and Vice President of Enrollment, Advancement and Student Life.

From 2009-2012, Dr. Harris served as Campus President/Dean of Academic Affairs for The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, Westwood and Irvine Campuses.  In this role he oversaw all aspects of campus operations, student services, and academic house including all faculty hires, annual program review, academic program growth, curriculum design, program specific accreditation, regional accreditation issues, implementation and related policy and practice.

For over ten years Dr. Harris has served as a pastor (licensed and ordained) to a homeless church in Santa Ana, California.

Fluent in both English and Spanish, Dr. Harris has carried out research, developed academic partnerships, lectured and facilitated faculty exchanges with universities in Mexico, including CETY’s University in Baja California and La Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Mexico City). He currently teaches counseling psychology (in Spanish) at Azusa Pacific University.

From 1995 to present, Dr. Harris has served on the APA Minority Fellowship Program initial review board. In this capacity, he has helped allocate millions to funding doctoral students specializing in clinical psychology, gerontology, neuroscience and medicine.  Dr. Harris has participated as a presenter, consultant or grant reviewer to several state and federal agencies. Including, the U.S. Department of Justice OJJP & ONDCP, SAMHSA, TCADA, HACU and others. In 2003, he developed and directed the first ever federally contracted conference (CSAP) on the efficacy of faith-based approaches to substance abuse treatment, prevention and education.

A published researcher, Dr. Harris serves on the Board of Editors for the Journal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture. Dr. Harris has extensive experience in developing, and leading academic programming, including those that require specific accreditation and or state approvals. These include programs for licensing in psychology, marriage and family therapy and applied behavior analysis.

Dr. Harris more recently served as Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean, College of Science and Integrative Health, and Professor (full) at Southern California University of Health Sciences.


Gabriela Mora-Alvarez

Chief Financial Officer / Chief Operating Officer 

Presidential Cabinet Member

MBA, Azusa Pacific University

BA, Vanguard University

Asc, LABI College


Gabriel Mora-Alvarez is both an LABI and Vanguard Alumni. Gabriela serves as the Chief Financial Officer, some of her duties include overseeing Human Resources and payroll, as well as student accounts, student payments, accounts receivable and payable, donations, employee hiring, projections, and all departmental budgets.

Gabriela has worked with LABI since 2015. She is passionate about doing business as her ministry and loves being able to not only work within the college operations but also being able to pour out into the students. 


Nehemias Romero

Dean of Institutional Research and Accreditation 

Presidential Cabinet Member


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 as Dean of Academic Affairs and as an Adjunct Professor teaching courses such as New Testament, Old Testament, Kingdom of God, and Penteostal Theology. He also oversees the LABI's accreditation progress, as well as LABI's application for federal student aid. He lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles, CA. 

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Dr. Steve Pinto 

Dean of Spiritual Formation/ Student life and Campus Pastor

Presidential Cabinet Member

DMin, Capital Seminary

MTS, Liberty University

BA, Vanguard University

Asc, LABI College


Dr. Steve Pinto is the Dean of Spiritual Formation/Student Life and Campus Pastor of LABI College. He also serves as the Associate Pastor of Faro Church, a multicultural and bilingual fellowship in the heart of Orange County, CA.
He is the author of "The Silent Exodus: A first-hand experience and academic exploration of the complicated challenges of leading a Latino church in the twenty-first century. Additionally, he functions as an adjunct professor at Vanguard University and LABI College. His primary teaching areas are Christian Worldview, Youth Ministry, Effective Leadership, Discipleship Making, and Expository Preaching.

Dr. Pinto'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 a keynote speaker at various youth events, camps, and conventions.


Dr. Pinto obtained an associate of arts degree in Ministerial Studies from LABI College, a Bachelor of Arts in Ministerial and Pastoral Studies from Vanguard University, a Master of Theological Studies degree from Liberty University, and a Doctor of Ministry degree with an emphasis on Formational Leadership in the 21st century from Capital Seminary.

Dr. Pinto, his wife Diane, and their two children, Alexi Grace and Nathan Canaan, live in Lake Forest, CA 


Steve Valdez


Presidential Cabinet Member

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.


Jose Luis Saavedra

Dean of Certificate Program 

Jose Luis Saavedra began his work in Latin American Bible Institute (LABI) in November 2010. planning, organizing, directing, and controlling extension centers. 

He came to LABI with extensive experience in economic and financial areas, working with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as Coordinator and Director of the PL-480 program at the agency Project Concern International (PCI) regional area  in Bolivia. The developmental programs that he directed were focused on improving food security in countries of extreme poverty. Prior to that, Jose worked as Chief Financial Officer for Bread of Life, a company distributing Christian literaturenationwide.

Jose received his degree in Financial Auditing from the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Bolivia. His postgraduate work was in Public Finances with a minor in development and strategic planning, with a specialty in international development. He did his biblical-theological studies at Alberto Mottesi University and Fuller Theological Seminary, obtaining a Master's Degree in Arts, Theology and Ministry.


In his newly expanded role, The Dean of LABI Extension provides visionary leadership for all LABI Extension sites, leading the development of a strategic plan that articulates a unified vision for the extension program and contributes powerfully to the fulfillment of LABI’s vision. In addition to strong in-class programs, the Dean will explore and lead the development of alternative deliveries such as online, hybrid, and accelerated programming. The Dean works closely with faculty and staff to assure that students receive first-rate instruction and spiritual formation consistent with the mission of LABI. 


Yvette Robles

Dean of Academic Affairs

Presidential Cabinet Member 

MS, La Verne University

BA, Bethany College

Yvette Robles earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Bethany College and a Masters's 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 Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Yvette also oversees the internship program and teaches practicum courses.

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Terry Bonfil

Director of Human Resources & Assistant to CFO

Presidential Cabinet Member

BA, Vanguard University (Candid)

Asc, LABI College

Terry Bonfil is the Director of Human Resources and Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer at LABI College. As Director of Human Resources, Terry Bonfil helps oversee the management and development of employees here at LABI College. As Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer, Terry Bonfil helps assist in the small-scale operations within the Business & Finance Office, such as overseeing student accounts and the implementation of financial policies, rules, and regulations. 


Terry has been part of LABI's legacy since 2016, when she was admitted as a transfer student from Cal State University, Northridge. She became a LABI Alumni in May 2018. During her time as a student, Terry served as Academic Support to the Dean of Academics in 2017. Later in October 2018, Terry was invited to join LABI''s staff once again to work alongside the Chief Financial Officer where she continues to serve to this day. In the near future to come, Terry Bonfil will also serve as the appointed Title IX Officer for LABI College. 

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Alma Rincón

Spanish Certificate Program Office Assistant

Asc, LABI College


Sandi Pirir

Residence Director

Asc, LABI College


Sandi serves as the Resident Director and Front Office Manager here on campus. In the residence department, some of her duties include working hand in hand with her RA to ensure that the needs for the residents living on campus be met. Sandi strongly believes that Residence Life expectations all have a huge role to play in the student's journey here at LABI. She is also the voice you will hear if you ever call our main phone number and she is happy to help answer or redirect any questions and needs you might have. 


Sandi has been part of LABI's legacy since fall of 2017. She became an alumni in May of 2019 earning her associates degree. During her time as a student she was RA to the Women's Hall and assisted the Extensions Department. She is thrilled to share that being invited to come back and be part of the staff team is a tremendous blessing for and her gratitude to this amazing college.

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