I was thrilled to learn some weeks ago that following the retirement of Dr. Dennis Dirks, who served as Dean of Talbot School of Theology for an impressive 20 years, Talbot has named as Dirks’ replacement the school’s own Clint Arnold, a Professor of NT. As one of Dr. Arnold’s former students, I believe he is eminently qualified for the position. Not only has he spent the vast majority of his adult life at Biola/Talbot (Biola, B.A., ’80; Talbot, M.Div. ’83; on faculty since ’87), but he possesses the enthusiasm for and experience in both the church and academy to direct Talbot into the next chapter of the school’s ministry. So, congrats to Dr. Arnold!

I thought it also interesting that Talbot’s choice for the position is a NT scholar. I normally don’t pay much attention to administrative decisions like this, but several NT scholars have been appointed to seminary dean positions in recent years. In addition to Arnold at Talbot, Richard Hays at Duke Divinity School and Margaret Mitchell at the University of Chicago Divinity School were also appointed to the dean of their respective institutions in the past two years. NT scholar Harold Attridge has served as Dean of Yale Divnity School for some years, and according to the YDS website, NT scholar Gregory Stirling, current Dean of Notre Dame Graduate School, will be appointed as the new YDS dean in October. So what does all of this mean? Is there something about being a NT scholar that translates well into administration? Maybe…

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