Sundoulos - Fall 2013

Dean's Column

Thank you, Mike Wilkinds!

by Clinton E. Arnold

After twenty years of service as Dean of Faculty at Talbot, Dr. Michael Wilkins has stepped down from this role and will be returning to the classroom. Dr. Scott Rae, Chair of the Philosophy Department, has been named as the new Dean of Faculty and began his new responsibilities on August 15th. Mike’s change in roles will come as good news to many of our students because it means that he will spend more time teaching. But his leadership and administrative gifts will be missed.

During the twenty years he served as Dean of Faculty, Mike had the lead role in hiring nearly 50 full time faculty members who now serve at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Talbot. He had an enormous hand in shaping what Talbot has become. The entire Talbot community is deeply grateful for the values that Mike and our former Dean, Dr. Dennis Dirks, held so dearly in selecting a new generation of faculty members. As with any other graduate program, Mike was looking for faculty that knew their stuff and could teach well, but these were not the primary considerations. Mike was looking for humble servants of the Lord who would be team players and model the virtues of Christ to our students. Mike was passionate about building a Talbot community that would trust and support each other, not talk behind each other’s backs, and that would be free from the kind of one-upsmanship that is a disease in many academic institutions. Anyone who knows Talbot from the inside recognizes how these values have molded Talbot into a loving, caring, and nurturing community. Thank you, Mike.

Mike’s work did not end with the completion of the hiring process. He became a mentor to these new faculty members and made intentional connections with them as they began their teaching careers. This structured time with all of our faculty—coaching them in developing their teaching skills, guiding them through the promotional process, and helping them as they faced difficulties—will be the parts of his role that Mike will miss the most.

I was the first of Mike’s hires 27 years ago when he had just become Chairman of the New Testament Department at Talbot. I am exceedingly grateful for Mike’s mentoring of me as a young professor. The Mike I knew at that time was a very popular professor. So it thrills me that Mike will now be spending more time in the classroom teaching the classes he loves to teach, including Exegesis in the Gospels, Biblical Discipleship, Exegesis of Matthew, Synoptic Discourses, and others. Those who have had Mike in the classroom will be happy to know that future Talbot students will enjoy benefitting from the “golden words of the Wilk”!

The time away from administrative duties will also give Mike the opportunity to complete some of his writing projects. He has just completed a commentary on Matthew for the one-volume, The Gospels and Acts in the Holman Apologetics Commentary on the Bible (B&H, 2013). He is also working on 1 Peter for the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary series and a Theology of Matthew for Zondervan.

Grandpa Mike will no doubt be glad for more time to spend with Melia Noel (9 years old) and Ava Shea (7 years old)—his two granddaughters. It does not take long being around Mike to sense the deep love he has for his family. Both of his daughters and their husbands live close by.

I want to conclude this brief tribute to Mike by saying thanks to his wife and best friend, Lynne. Thanks for sharing Mike all of these years with us and for your constant support.


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.

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