Professors connect at major conference

Faculty from the Talbot school of theology will speak at the Evangelical Theological Society Conference.


Darian Lockett (top right), Dave Talley (top right), Scott Rae (bottom right), and Erik Theonnes (bottom left). | Katie Evensen, Kalli Thommen, Courtesy Erik Thoennes | The Chimes

Jenna Kubiak, Writer

Approximately 35 faculty from the Talbot school of theology will travel to San Diego to speak at the Evangelical Theological Society conference this weekend. They will also use this time to scope for prospective faculty, according to David Talley, professor of biblical studies and ETS member.

With this year´s theme “Ecclesiology,” the doctrine of the church, the conference includes a multitude of speakers from other schools in North America, Europe and Australia from Nov. 19-21. The Evangelical Society is a group of around 2,500 evangelical scholars in biblical studies, theology, philosophy and ethics that meet annually and present papers during plenary and breakout sessions, according to Scott Rae, professor of Christian ethics, program chair and president elect of ETS.

“The papers will touch on the nature and the calling of the church and biblical ideals. There will be more scholarly presentations on the idea of the church from angles that you wouldn’t think possible,” Rae said.


The conference gives a primary meeting of scholars a chance to share their work, Rae said. The conference sessions sharpen Biola faculty –– the effects of which trickle down to students in classes.

Rae hopes the conference will remind attendees how the academic world ultimately serves the church. The annual meeting creates a time for various evangelical scholars to interact.

“It’s the one chance the lionshare of evangelical scholars get together once a year,” Rae said. “It’s a great time to get together with lots of kindred spirits and like-minded folks.”

The conference helps build relationships and provides an opportunity to hire new professors for Biola, Talley said. Biola hired Talley as a professor as a result of his attending a previous ETS conference.

“It’s highly relational. It’s a bunch of people teaching from different schools who get together each year that collaborate and care for each other,” Talley said.

Erik Thoennes, professor of biblical and theological studies and pastor at Grace Evangelical Free Church of La Mirada will sit on the panel entitled Death and Hope in the Writings of C.S. Lewis, with professor of philosophy Doug Geivett. The panel will include a discussion of pain and suffering in death and Thoennes’ reflections on the death of his good friend and Torrey Honors Institute professor Christopher Mitchell.

“I hope in the Lewis session people understand an eternal perspective on suffering in death. I appreciate how beautifully my friend, Chris, understood that,” Thoennes said.


The conference benefits professors said Analicia Davis, Talbot student and Evangelical Theological Society scholarship recipient.

“They’ll be listening, learning, absorbing all of that and bringing it back to all of us to include in the classrooms, but also in their daily lives, ” Davis said.

The conference brings networking opportunities for Talbot faculty, said Jon Garcia, another Evangelical Theological Society scholarship recipient and Talbot student.

“They’ll get to network and meet people from other schools. It’s a great time to get to know what type of ministry people are doing and the backgrounds they come from,” Garcia said.

Talbot student Jamie Hausherr discussed how the conference brings together a community of different people.

“To be able to bring everyone together in one place is a great way encourage the camaraderie between all the academics, theologians, and pastors and bring everyone together in one place and talk about things that are important for their church and Christians,” Hausherr said.

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