Derek Uejo


Fall 2019 John Jay Fellow

Hometown: San Diego, California
College: Biola University
Degree: B.A. Political Science

Derek Uejo was born and raised in San Diego, CA. He graduated cum laude from Biola University in La Mirada, CA in the spring of 2019, where he read and discussed texts across the Great Books tradition within the Torrey Honors Institute program. This also included his voluntary reading and discussion of the entire Old and New Testament canon of scripture, known as Torrey Total Bible. Although receiving his B.A. in Political Science, and a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honors society, Derek arranged his coursework to focus on theology, ethics, and biblical studies. In the fall of 2019, he wrote and presented his biblical theology seminar thesis entitled Long Live the Priest & King: Melchizedekian Christo-morphism in Genesis 14, Psalm 110, and Hebrews 5-7.

 While at Biola, to put theory into practice, Derek interned for City of San Diego councilmember Chris Cate, worked on the university’s government relations team, represented his dorm in the student government senate, offered tutoring help for political science classes, and was a teaching assistant for Talbot School of Theology professor Dr. Jeanette Hagen Pifer. Additionally, Derek served as chair of the American Enterprise Institute Executive Council on campus, and, in his last semester at Biola, helped plan and lead the Torrey Honors Urban Plunge team, guiding his peers to experience Los Angeles through culture, art, faith, and cuisine. Furthermore, each spring semester he would travel to preside over the RebelMUN crisis committee at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the first Model United Nations conference for high school students within the state. In addition to his work and academic experience, Derek was an active member of Biola University’s Evangelical and Mormon Interactions ministry, spending winter, spring, and even weekend breaks in Utah, participating in interfaith dialogues between evangelical Christians and Latter-Day Saints. He also spent the summer of 2018 abroad in Lebanon, serving, and teaching English among primarily Muslim communities of Syrian refugees, with Avant Ministries.

In his free time, Derek enjoys bouldering at his local rock-climbing gym, reading and discussing theology, going on road-trips, drinking a good tea, hiking, and watching movies. Following his time at the John Jay Institute, Derek hopes to continue his studies with an M.T.S. degree in New Testament and Early Christianity.

Read about the other Fall 2019 John Jay Fellows