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History and Accreditation


On February 25, 1908, Biola University was founded to equip men and women to be effective ministers of the gospel in a world that was becoming increasingly secular. By the late 1920s, Biola had already graduated many influential Christian leaders such as author and pastor Donald Grey Barnhouse and Charles Fuller, who later founded Fuller Theological Seminary.

But while Biola and other Christian schools were thriving, many of the nation’s leading seminaries were becoming increasingly “liberal” on basic doctrines of the faith. Consequently, Biola added a Bachelor of Theology degree in 1936, and established the Bible Theological Seminary of Los Angeles in 1943.

During this time, Louis T. Talbot was president of Biola and saw the increasing need to offer a three-year seminary degree if they were to effectively bridge the gap left by the liberal seminaries.

In 1952, during his last year as Biola's president, Talbot worked to establish a fully accredited theological seminary. The seminary's first dean was noted Christian scholar Charles L. Feinberg, who, along with his colleagues, unanimously voted to name the seminary "Talbot Theological Seminary." The seminary’s name was changed to Talbot School of Theology when Biola moved from college to university status in 1981.

Today, Talbot is one of the nation’s leading theological schools and continues to grow with the needs of Christian leaders.


Talbot is included within Biola University’s accreditation by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Talbot is also a member of the Association of Theological Schools, the internationally recognized accrediting body of seminaries and schools of divinity in the United States and Canada.

Talbot is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.

  1. The following degree programs are approved:
    • Master of Divinity
    • Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care
    • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership
    • Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
    • Master of Arts
    • Master of Arts – Christian Apologetics
    • Master of Arts – Science and Religion
    • Master of Arts – Classical Theology
    • Doctor of Ministry
    • Doctor of Education in Educational Studies
    • Doctor of Philosophy – Educational Studies

  2. The following extension sites are approved as specified:
    • Kyiv, Ukraine — Approved Degrees: M.A.
    • New York, NY — Approved for more than 50 percent of a degree program but not complete degrees

  3. Talbot School of Theology is approved to offer comprehensive distance education.


Talbot is recognized by the following agencies of the United States Government:

  1. The US Department of Education
  2. The Chaplaincy Branches of the Army, Navy and Air Force
    • Full-time seminary students are eligible to apply for commissions as second lieutenants or ensigns in the chaplaincy branches of the Army, Air Force or Navy, with eight weeks of active duty training optional during the summer vacation.
    • A course in chaplaincy orientation is offered by the department of Christian Ministry and Leadership.
  3. The Veterans Administration
  4. The United States Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service
  5. The MFT program has been evaluated by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. This program meets the MFT licensure requirements, pursuant to California Business and Professions Code (BPC) §4980.36, for students who began graduate studies on or after August 1, 2012.