About Us

Mission Statement

The mission of the doctoral programs in educational studies (Ph.D. & Ed.D.) of Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, is to mentor men and women with evident gifts of leadership and teaching in mind and character, within a Christian community of scholars and practitioners, to make contributions, from a distinctly Christian perspective, in scholarship for and in the practice of Christian educational studies and ministry within God's Kingdom—as faculty in educational institutions, as leaders in ministry organizations, and as pastoral staff in local churches, throughout the world—in order to nurture the faith and maturity of children, youth and adults.

Program Goals

  • Demonstrate, from an evangelical Christian framework, an understanding of biblical and theological principles and research procedures derived from scholarly research and personal Bible study, that will inform both the student's scholarship for and the practice of Christian educational ministry, as well as the student's personal spiritual formation and growing relationship with God.

  • Demonstrate competency in critical thinking about and knowledge of the field of Christian educational studies and ministry that will guide the development of philosophies of ministry and knowledgeable utilization of social science research to inform the student's scholarship for and the practice of Christian educational ministry from an integrative perspective (theology, philosophy and social sciences) as displayed in both written and oral communication.

  • Demonstrate enhanced competence as a faculty member, in teaching suitable for higher education and other formal and informal settings in effective course design, in providing educational leadership in curriculum development, and a commitment to the vocation of academic scholarship in its dimensions of teaching, learning, research and service. (applies to both, but especially Ph.D. program)

  • Demonstrate, from an evangelical Christian framework, an understanding of biblical and theological principles and research procedures derived from scholarly research and personal Bible study, that will inform both the student's scholarship for and the practice of Christian educational ministry, as well as the student's personal spiritual formation and growing relationship with God.

Distinctives

Talbot School of Theology has been providing doctoral studies in the field of Christian education since 1984. These Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs bring together a number of strengths that benefit our students.

The Fostering of Christian and Critical Thinking

We are committed to the integrative synthesis of social science research and theory within a Christian worldview. Theological reflection and integration are major features of our programs as we encourage an interdisciplinary study of issues relevant to teaching and leadership in Christian education.

Competent and Committed Faculty

Our richest resource is our faculty. They demonstrate both competence in the classroom and a commitment to ongoing study and educational leadership. All strive to stay current on educational concerns and to remain involved in ministry. Their instruction and mentoring of students is the heart of the program.

The Resources of a Christian University Context

This includes broad library holdings and computer access to a wide range of relevant academic data bases, and access to selected elective courses both within Talbot and in the School of Intercultural Studies, which also offers Ph.D. programs.

The Development of Research Competence

There are many issues and concerns in the field of Christian education that need careful study if we are going to provide wise and effective leadership and instruction for the future. We are committed to equipping our students with the tools they need to evaluate and apply current research and conduct their own research to strengthen the practice of Christian education.

An International and Intercultural Student Body

The diversity of cultural, educational, and ministry experience our students bring to the classroom enriches our discussion and stimulates our thinking with a wide variety of issues and perspectives.

We hope that the strengths of this program will be a rich resource for you to draw on for your own growth and development as an educational leader.

History of the Doctoral Programs

Talbot School of Theology began an Ed.D. program in Christian Education in 1984. In 1998, Talbot received permission from the Association of Theological Schools to change the nomenclature of the program to Ph.D., and shortly after that changed the title to be in "Educational Studies." An Ed.D. degree was added in 2003, providing students with both degree options to choose from.

Since its beginning, over 150 people have graduated with either a Ph.D. or an Ed.D. from Talbot. Present enrollment is approximately 55 students, with around 34 in the residential program and 21 in the hybrid-residential options (Current Faculty Track Ph.D., Hybrid Ed.D.). The program has been growing in recent years, attracting many international students and people teaching in higher education settings, providing a rich study experience for students and faculty alike.

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
1-562-903-6000