DepartmentTalbot School of Theology
Biola AffiliationsFaculty

Degrees

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

Biography

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 coordinator. Merrill earned his Master of Divinity in Spiritual Formation in 2010 and Master of Theology in 2012. In 2017, he completed his doctorate in theology at Durham University, in England. He still misses those beautiful crisp morning English countryside walks to his office every day. Merrill’s thesis dealt with the spiritual theology of Thomas Traherne; exploring how beauty and desire function as central components in his theological convictions and pastoral impulse. For the past two years he has been teaching spiritual formation courses for Talbot’s core curriculum. Most recently, Merrill has helped pastor a church in Paradise, California – Paradise Evangelical Free Church – as it navigates the aftermath of the recent devastating fires there and the ongoing call of God for that city.

Affiliations

  • American Association of Religion
  • Evangelical Theological Society
  • St. John’s College, Durham University
  • Thomas Traherne Association

Presentations

  • ETS Annual Meeting. Presented on “Beauty, Beatitude and Desire: a Reflection on the Theological Aesthetics of Thomas Traherne.” November 2018
  • Northumbrian Triangle for Philosophy of Religion, University of Leeds, U.K. Presented on “Created Beauty and Divine Encounter in the Theology of Thomas Traherne,” January 2017.
  • Exploring the Glory of God Conference, St. John’s College, Durham, U.K. “God, Beauty and the Soul: Divine Beauty and the Allurement of Desire in the Theology of Thomas Traherne.” July 2016
  • Thomas Traherne Festival, Herefordshire, U.K. “Traherne’s Alluring God: Divine self-expression and alluring beauty in the theology of Thomas Traherne.” May, 2016

Courses

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