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Faculty | M.A. in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care

As a Talbot School of Theology student, you’ll study under top-notch scholars who aren’t just widely published and highly respected in the academic community — they’re also actively engaged in passionate, heartfelt ministry. In addition to the following faculty members who will teach many of your concentration-specific courses, you will also have the opportunity to take courses with a wide range of Talbot professors from other areas of specialization.

John Coe

  • Director, Institute for Spiritual Formation
  • Professor of Spiritual Theology

  • Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
  • M.A., University of California, Irvine
  • M.A., Western Kentucky University
  • M.A., Talbot School of Theology
  • B.A., Biola University

Coe is a specialist in the philosophical and theological foundation of the integration of faith and learning. His research focuses on understanding the nature of spiritual and psychological health, the history of spirituality, the work of the Holy Spirit in personal change and the interface between psychology, spirituality and philosophy. A particular interest is in exploring approaches to...

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Betsy Barber

  • Associate Director of the Institute for Spiritual Formation
  • Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation and Psychology

  • Psy.D., Biola University
  • M.A., University of Texas
  • M.A., Biola University
  • B.A., Trinity College

Dr. Barber has a clinical practice with specialization in the soul care and mental health of christian workers. She teaches courses in spiritual formation, soul care, missions, maturity, and marital relationships. She has particular interest in spiritual formation and supervision of students in spiritual direction and mentoring. She has worked with her husband as a missionary in Bible...

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Kyle Strobel

  • Associate Professor of Spiritual Theology

  • Ph.D., University of Aberdeen
  • M.A., Talbot School of Theology (N.T.)
  • M.A., Talbot School of Theology (Philosophy)
  • B.A., Judson University

Kyle Strobel (Ph.D. University of Aberdeen) is a systematic theologian who teaches spiritual theology for Talbot’s Institute for Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Formation Focus programs. His areas of interest include systematic theology, Jonathan Edwards, spiritual formation and prayer. He writes both popular and academic books and articles, and is on the preaching team at Redeemer Church, La...

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Judy TenElshof

  • Director, Spiritual Formation Core Program
  • Professor of Spiritual Formation and Marriage and Family

  • Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary
  • M.A., Fuller Theological Seminary
  • M.A., Talbot School of Theology
  • B.A., California State University, Fullerton

Professor of Spirituality and Marriage and Family, Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership, director of Talbot’s spiritual formation program, spiritual director, associate director of the Center for Spiritual Renewal, founder of Hilltop Renewal Center, B.A., California State University, Fullerton, M.A., Talbot School of Theology, M.A. in Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Ph.D. in...

Research Interests

  • Women in Christian ministry
  • Spiritual Formation, Marriage and Family and Spiritual Renewal

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David Merrill

  • Asst Professor, MFT/ISF/CTI

  • Ph.D., Durham University, U.K.
  • Th.M., Talbot School of Theology
  • M.Div. Talbot School of Theology
  • B.A., Trinity International University

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...


  • Introduction to Spiritual Theology and Formation
  • Personal Foundations for Spiritual Formation
  • Spiritual Formation, Vocation, and the Disciplines

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