Jan. 16, 2021
On January 29, 2013, the Biola community joined Talbot School of Theology to celebrate the installation of Dr. Clinton E. Arnold as its sixth Dean. Biola’s President, Dr. Barry H. Corey, and Provost and Senior Vice President, Dr. David Nystrom, led the Talbot faculty in a formal processional into Sutherland Auditorium. The worshipful dedication ceremony began with a welcome address by Associate Dean, Professor Douglas Geringer, followed by the opening hymn, “And Can it Be?” The hymn was designated as the theme hymn of Talbot by its first dean, Dr. Charles Feinberg. Dean Emeritus, Dr. Dennis Dirks (fifth Dean of Talbot), gave the invocation, followed by the Scripture reading of Titus 3:4-6 by Dr. Joanne Jung, Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies.
“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, who he poured out richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.” (Titus 3:4-6 ESV)
The installation address was given by Dr. Michael Wilkins, Talbot’s Dean of Faculty and close personal friend of Dr. Arnold. President Corey gave an official charge to Talbot School of Theology, imploring them to remain faithful to the school’s “classically biblical core” amidst a world that is watching. Dr. Nystrom then addressed the Dean, charging Dr. Arnold to not only study God’s Word, but to be renewed by it.
Dr. Arnold responded with his long connection and deep commitment to Biola and Talbot, sharing about a Bible he inherited from his late-grandmother. The Bible is a special “La Mirada Edition”, printed in 1959 to commemorate Biola’s transition from downtown Los Angeles to La Mirada. Dr. Arnold affirmed his commitment to Talbot’s mission, as written in the Bible’s inscription by Dr. Sam Sutherland and Dr. Louis Talbot,
“There is a sense in which, after fifty years of Christian service in a downtown Los Angeles location, this is a “beginning” for the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, Inc. – the commencement of a new phase in its history, in a new location and with a new environment. Yet in another sense this is but the continuation of what the school has ever been and what it has always stood for. All the essentials that have characterized it from its inception are unchanged. The same purpose and the same vision of training men and women for Christian service around the world remain. But, most important of all, the foundation of the work has not altered in the least for its foundation has been, and ever shall be, the Word of God which shall not pass away.”
President Corey and Reverend Robert Bishop, Dr. Arnold’s pastor, commissioned him, praying for God’s glory to be evident in his leadership and Talbot’s future. In response, Dr. Micheal Boersma and Dr. Barry Liesch led in the singing of Dr. Arnold’s favorite hymn, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.” Mr. Stan Jantz, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Biola University, closed the service with a benediction.
Guests were invited to fellowship at a brief reception at Giuamarra Courtyard immediately following the installation service. A celebratory luncheon was hosted in Talbot East’s Andrews Banquet Room for honored guests. During the luncheon, Dr. Douglas Huffman, Associate Dean of Talbot School of Theology, presented Dr. Arnold with three gifts, each one symbolizing the different realms of his ministry:
Symbolizing Scholarship: A Leather Bound Hebrew-Greek Bible
At Biola University, the scholarly work of Talbot School of Theology is all about the study and application of the Word of God. The Hebrew-Greek Bible symbolizes the realm of scholarship and is a reminder of Dr. Arnold’s desire to “correctly handle the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Symbolizing Teaching: A Desktop Globe
At Biola University, the ministry of teaching for Talbot School of Theology is all about getting the truths of God’s Word into the lives of men and women who will impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ. The globe symbolizes the realm of teaching and is a reminder of Dr. Arnold’s leadership to Talbot to be witnesses for Jesus Christ “in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Symbolizing Service: A Boxed Compass
At Biola University, the service of Talbot School of Theology is all about serving our Lord by serving the work of His Church. The compass symbolizes the realm of services and is a reminder of Dr. Arnold’s call to stay true to the course and to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).
Talbot School of Theology’s desire is that these symbols would be tangible reminders of Dr. Arnold’s ministry areas and of the school’s support as he endeavors to faithfully carry out the duties of his office.
The day of celebration concluded with a special dinner for the Dean and the Talbot faculty and staff. (Click here to see footage of the installation.)
Dr. Clinton E. Arnold, a Talbot alumnus, marks the sixth Dean in Talbot’s illustrious 60 year history. The fully accredited theological seminary was established by Louis Talbot in 1952 during his last year as Biola’s president. The school’s name changed from “Talbot Theological Seminary” to “Talbot School of Theology” in 1981 as Biola moved from college to university status. Today, Talbot School of Theology is one of the nation’s leading evangelical seminaries and continues to grow with the needs of Christian leaders. Talbot has more than 1,100 students, 70 full-time faculty and 50 part-time faculty, and offers multiple degree programs, including six master’s degrees and three doctoral degrees.
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