Jan. 20, 2021
David Merrill and his wife first joined the Biola community in 2006 when Merrill began as a Master of Divinity student and his wife took on an administration role at Talbot’s Institute for Spiritual Formation. During his time as a student, Merrill immersed himself in the academic and communal life of the campus taking on roles varying from adjunct faculty, staff spiritual director, and resident coordinator. Merrill earned his Master of Divinity in Spiritual Formation in 2010 and Master of Theology in 2012. In 2017, he completed his doctorate in theology at Durham University, in England. He still misses those beautiful crisp morning English countryside walks to his office every day. Merrill’s thesis dealt with the spiritual theology of Thomas Traherne; exploring how beauty and desire function as central components in his theological convictions and pastoral impulse. For the past two years he has been teaching spiritual formation courses for Talbot’s core curriculum. Most recently, Merrill has helped pastor a church in Paradise, California – Paradise Evangelical Free Church – as it navigates the aftermath of the recent devastating fires there and the ongoing call of God for that city.
Erik Thoennes is committed to teaching biblical and systematic theology so that he and his students love God and people more fully. He strives to make the necessary connections between the study of theology, obedience to Jesus and fulfilling the Great Commission. He has taught theology and evangelism at the college and seminary levels for several years and is a frequent guest speaker at churches, conferences and retreats, in addition to co-pastoring a local church. Thoennes has received the University award for faculty excellence and professor of the year. His research interests include godly jealousy, the atonement, the exclusivity of Christ and theology of culture.