Sundoulos - Fall 2012

Introducing Dr. Clinton E. Arnold As Dean

by Michael J. Wilkins

It is my privilege to introduce our readers to Dr. Clinton E. Arnold as the new Dean of Talbot School of Theology. Dr. Arnold becomes the sixth Dean in the history of Talbot, following Dr. Dennis Dirks, whom God used for the last twenty years to rebuild and revitalize Talbot to be one of the healthiest and most influential schools in the country.

These are historic times at Talbot and Biola University, and the faculty, staff and students believe that Clint Arnold is the best choice that we could have made to be our next Dean. But beyond our choice, we firmly believe that Clint is God’s choice to lead the way in the next phase of Talbot’s future.

Our confidence in large part is because Clint exemplifies as leader the three core values of a Biola professor as a scholar, teacher, and servant.


Much like Talbot’s first Dean, Dr. Charles Feinberg, Clint is a scholar’s scholar, with impeccable training. He not only graduated from Biola (B.A. 1980) and Talbot (M.Div. 1983), but also was mentored in his doctoral program at the University of Aberdeen (Ph.D. 1986) by Professor I. Howard Marshall, and was guided in his post-doctoral studies at the University of Tübingen by Professors Peter Stuhlmacher and Martin Hengel.

As a widely and highly respected New Testament scholar, Clint has published monographs and commentaries on Ephesians (Cambridge University Press 1989), Colossians (Mohr Siebeck 1995), Philippians and Acts (Zondervan 2007), and has addressed issues as diverse as Powers of Darkness (InterVarsity 1992) and How We Got the Bible (Zondervan, 2008). He was general editor of the Gold Medallion winning Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and is currently the general editor of the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary series.

Clint is an elected member of the prestigious Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas and holds active membership in the Evangelical Theological Society (where he was elected President), Tyndale Fellowship, Institute for Biblical Research, and the Society of Biblical Research.


But Clint is a scholar not just for scholarship’s sake—his scholarship better equips him to be an outstanding teacher. He has been one of the most gifted and popular faculty members at Talbot for over twenty-five years as a professor of New Testament Language and Literature. And for over ten years he was the chair of the department. As Dean, Clint will continue the legacy of hiring and training faculty who are excellent teachers. He knows how to teach, and he will provide an example to the other faculty, younger and older, of what it means to consistently teach our students with excellence.


In addition to being an impeccable New Testament scholar and outstanding teacher, Clint is at his core a humble servant of God. Like Dennis Dirks before him, Clint has not become Dean simply to advance his own career and reputation. Throughout the more than twenty-five years that I have known him, Clint has consistently given himself in service to others. He has quietly served laypeople in the local church, whether that was in an assimilation ministry designed to help new believers, or serving on his church’s Board of Overseers. He was a regular columnist for Discipleship Journal (NavPress), where he wrote on major topics in theology to draw out for laypeople their significance for daily life.

God's Gift

As a scholar, teacher, and servant, Clint Arnold will be a Dean who is committed to carry on the legacy of Talbot and Biola as a school committed to doctrinal faithfulness, personal growth in Christlikeness, and deep love of our community for each other, God, and the lost.

And standing beside Clint will be his family. He met his beloved wife Barbara while they were both students at Biola. Their three sons, Jeffrey, Dustin, and Brandon, are all either Biola graduates or current Biola students. The Arnolds are a Biola family, and their desire is to preserve and extend the blessing of their Biola experiences to future generations.

As we face the future, the faculty and staff have the utmost confidence that God is in control, and that he has chosen Clint to be his gift to us as the next Dean of Talbot School of Theology.

So it is my great pleasure to introduce to our readers my close friend and trusted colleague of over 25 years, Dr. Clint Arnold, as the sixth dean of Talbot School of Theology. And please join us in praying for him in this exciting, yet humbling role of leadership.

Michael J. Wilkins (MDiv, Talbot; PhD, Fuller Seminary) is Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Dean of the Faculty at Talbot. Mike is the author of a number of scholarly and popular books and articles, including an award-winning commentary on Matthew in the NIV Application Commentary series (Zondervan, 2004). Mike and his wife Lynne live in San Clemente, where Mike tries to surf responsibly.

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