Brian Howard (M.A. ’07) has over 20 years of leadership experience as a leadership coach, nonprofit executive, church planter, lead pastor and business owner. He has been married for 26 years and has four children. Brian currently serves as the president of the Acts 29 association. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Talbot in the Christian ministry and leadership department.
Q: Share briefly about your upbringing, family and place you grew up.
I was blessed to grow up in an amazing Christian home with two godly parents and two siblings. I spent most of my growing-up years in Tucson, Arizona, where my dad was a pastor, and my mom was a public middle school principal. My parents were first-generation Christians saved in Los Angeles in the ’60s. They have now been married for 56 years and live one mile away from us in Orange County!
Q: How did you hear about Talbot/Biola? What led you to come to the school?
After graduating from college and spending a few years as a youth pastor, I became convinced that I needed further theological education to thrive over a lifetime in vocational ministry. I considered several seminaries, but based on the recommendation from several Biola and Talbot alums that I knew, I decided to come to Talbot.
Q: Share some of your favorite memories from Talbot. What did you gain the most from your time at Talbot?
I loved my time at Talbot! My favorite memories include being on campus, making several lifelong friends, and losing badly every year in the Talbot table tennis tournament. Academically, I loved every class I took with Dr. Bob Saucy (especially Roman Catholic Theology). I also learned to read the Bible in a way that still impacts me today in my Hermeneutics class with Dr. Ben Shin. Lastly, my preaching classes were amazingly helpful. Thank you, Dr. Sunukjian!
Q: What are you doing now in the ministry? How did Talbot prepare you for this?
Today, I serve as the President of Acts 29, which plants churches in over 40 countries. We have planted over 1,000 churches and are starting dozens of new churches every year. My time at Talbot was essential for my 20 years in pastoral ministry and my role today. What I learned about Scripture, theology, preaching and church ministry impacts what I do daily. I preach and teach regularly and work with churches and church planters. Talbot prepared me for all of this.
Q: What advice would you give to current Talbot students?
First, soak up and learn everything that you can during your time! You have an extraordinary opportunity to learn during your Talbot years. Because I came to Talbot after being in vocational ministry for a few years, I was ready to give it all I had. I am really thankful that I did. Second, get to know your fellow students and professors. I am still friends today with several students and professors that I got to know during my time at Talbot. I could have shown up and left, but because I hung around and got to know my professors and other students, these relationships are still a blessing today.
– Interview by Ben Shin