Clinton E. Arnold Announced Dean of Talbot School of Theology

May. 11, 2012 By Jenna Bartlo

Clinton E. Arnold has been named the sixth dean of Biola’s Talbot School of Theology, following an extensive nationwide search and interview process. On Friday, the Biola Board of Trustees officially affirmed Arnold to assume the role when current Dean Dennis Dirks steps down after 20 years of service in June 2012.

Arnold, a well-known New Testament scholar, currently serves at Talbot as professor of New Testament Language and Literature and chair of the New Testament department. He is a widely published author with extensive leadership experience, including a term as president of the Evangelical Theological Society in 2011, where he continues to serve on the board.

"After going through a thorough and far-reaching search for the next dean of Biola University's Talbot School of Theology, I am deeply pleased to announce our very own Dr. Clint Arnold as dean,” said President Barry H. Corey. “He is far more than a renowned scholar and proven leader, more than an experienced professor who understands the wonderful character of the Talbot community. Dr. Arnold has an unwavering commitment to the convictions of who we are as a theological school within a university, a resolve to work with a team on where we need to go in the coming decade, and a spirit of kindness and humility that we value as fundamental to leadership at Biola University."

Arnold graduated from Biola in 1980 and went on to receive a Master of Divinity degree from Talbot School of Theology in 1983. He received his doctorate in 1986 from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He met his wife, Barbara, at Biola. They have three sons — Jeffrey (’09), Dustin (’11) and Brandon, a current Biola student.

A respected scholar, Arnold has served as the general editor of the “Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament,” for which he has written the volume on Ephesians, and general editor of the “Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary.” He has also authored many books, such as “How We Got the Bible,” “Ephesians: Power and Magic Powers of Darkness” and “Principalities and Powers in Paul's Letters.”

“I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to serve the Biola community as the next dean of Talbot School of Theology,” Arnold said. “In the 25 years I have served on the faculty, I have developed an increasing sense of gratitude for the incredible work that God has done in and through Talbot. The thought of investing even more in the future of Talbot brings me great delight.”

“Two of the greatest joys of being a part of this community are the faculty and students,” Arnold said. “The Lord has assembled here a very gifted group of faculty colleagues who are excellent in their respective fields but also possess tender hearts. I look forward to continuing my partnership with these friends in pursuing the mission that God has given to Talbot.”

Dirks, who has led Talbot as dean since 1992 and will continue to serve Talbot in other capacities, said he is thrilled will the selection of Arnold.

“Decades of experience with the school, first as a student and then as a member of the faculty, have nurtured within Clint a rich, nuanced understanding of Biola’s ethos, its ways of accomplishing mission, and its biblical commitments,” Dirks said. “He and his wife, Barbara, have imparted a wealth of knowledge and understanding in and out of the classroom for many years. Clint is a highly respected author and editor, holding a reputation in theological education that is national and worldwide. With strong relational skills, he possesses qualities essential for leading and navigating the complexities of higher education.”


Biola University, named one of 17 “up and coming” national universities by U.S. News & World Report in 2011, is a private Christian university located in Southern California. For more than 100 years, Biola has remained committed to its mission of biblically centered education, integrating biblical principles with every academic program. With a current record-high enrollment of 6,250 students, the university’s six schools offer 145 academic programs, ranging from the B.A. to the Ph.D. For more information, visit

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