Sundoulos - Fall 2012

Dean's Column

by Clinton E. Arnold

Talbot has become a large and complex institution. In addition to the education of nearly 1,200 graduate students, Talbot is also responsible for roughly 25% of the coursework for every undergraduate student at Biola University—all 4,276 of them—in taking 30 units of Bible and theology. The Talbot faculty also play a key role in the integration of faith and learning across the university campus.

Since beginning my new role as Dean on July 1st, I have often been asked, “What is your vision for Talbot?” One of my heroes, the Apostle Paul, summed up his passion for churches by assessing how well they were progressing in three areas: “your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:3). My vision for Talbot is that it continues to be a place that holds tightly, unswervingly, to the heart of the Christian faith, and that it would be a place where Christians can learn to grow and flourish in a life of faith and in a self- denying love for one another.

To help me accomplish this vision and effectively serve the many students that God brings to us, we have a team that together shares the leadership and administrative load. As I learn the contours of my new set of responsibilities, I am increasingly grateful for the partnership that I have with my four associates. Each of these individuals play a key part in making the institution run smoothly and in working with me to cast vision for the future at Talbot. Here is a glimpse of just some of the things they do:

Michael J. Wilkins: Dean of the Faculty. In many respects, Mike serves as a shepherd to our 72 faculty members. He is the main point person for faculty, from hiring them, to facilitating their ongoing development as faculty members, to skillfully guiding them through the promotion process.

Douglas W. Geringer: Associate Dean. Doug oversees the Talbot budget (a mammoth task), has oversight of degree program assessment (in some ways, a quality control officer) and manages student issues. He also supervises the many staff members that keep Talbot running.

Douglas S. Huffman: Associate Dean, Division of Biblical and Theological Studies. Doug Huffman joined us in 2011 after serving at Northwestern College in Minneapolis, MN—an institution that shares many of our values (including the commitment to 30 units of Bible for undergraduate students). Doug is charged with overseeing all of the undergraduate biblical and theological studies, which is an enormous and multi-faceted responsibility.

Aaron Devine: Assistant Dean. Aaron is the newest addition to the Talbot leadership team, but is no stranger to Talbot. He served for ten years in the Graduate Admissions office and as an adjunct faculty member for Talbot. Aaron carries numerous administrative responsibilities (course scheduling, facilities, and scholarships to name a few) and will also be working with the accreditation process for Talbot.

One of the things that I appreciate about each of these Deans is their heart for the students. All of them continue to teach every semester and love their time in the classroom with students.

The five of us look forward to working together to provide visionary leadership for Talbot in the midst of the opportunities and challenges in the months and years ahead.

Clinton E. Arnold (M.Div., Talbot; Ph.D., Aberdeen) is Professor and Chair, Department of New Testament Language and Literature. Clint, his wife Barbara, and their three boys are vitally involved in their local church in Whittier.

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639