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Center Directors

Philip Collins

Department Chair; Professor of Christian Ministries; Director, Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement

  • PhD, Educational Psychology, Purdue University 
  • MA, Christian Education, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School 
  • BA, Bible Literature and Christian Education, Taylor University 
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Executive Director, Director of Training and Content Development

“Engaging with Scripture, ever since I was a boy, has been the most powerful and consistent catalyst for spiritual growth that I’ve experienced. It is as I meet and know God in his Word that I’m inspired to participate fully in his Kingdom.”

Dr. Phil Collins holds his BA in Bible Literature and Christian Education from Taylor University, an MA in Christian Education from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a PhD in Educational Psychology from Purdue University. He also did graduate studies in the Old Testament at the Institute of Holy Land Studies, now Jerusalem University College. Dr. Collins served 6 years in youth ministry with Youth for Christ as well as 10 years of ministry as Youth Pastor in a church setting. He was ordained in 1994. Dr. Collins teaches in the Christian Ministries program where he has been a full-time professor since 1999. He was awarded the Taylor University Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award in 2009, and was listed twice in Who’s Who among America’s Teachers and once in Who’s Who in America. Phil is married to Terri; together they have two adult children, Luke and Katelyn.

Steven Bird

Professor of Sociology

  • PhD, Sociology, Purdue University
  • MA, University of Washington
  • BS, Boise State University

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Executive Director, Director of Research

“In a confusing and difficult world, scripture engagement, which is much more than just a devotional reading or an analytical study, provides a way to engage with God. Our research is finding the keys to a rich and robust scripture engagement that helps people relate to God and develop lives of meaning and purpose.”

Dr. Steven Bird received his PhD from Purdue University in 1993 and his Master’s degree in sociology in 1990 from the University of Washington. He is a professor of Sociology at Taylor University where he has served as department chair and received the campus wide Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership award in 2006. He has been active in numerous applied research projects for local agencies, churches, and Taylor University including research on students’ spiritual lives and their identities as students. This research includes data collection on faith development conducted on 9 university campuses, and research on how students’ religious perspectives influence their understandings of social justice. He has been involved for nearly a decade in Taylor University’s assessment efforts including data collection from alumni, administration of national bench-marked tools, data collection concerning athletics, guiding the university departments in the development of quality improvement plans and serving for a time as the university’s Associate Dean in charge of assessment. He currently heads the Christian Life Survey research which focuses on Christians’ scripture engagement, spiritual formation, and spiritual lifestyles and the Framework of Living research focused on the bases and processes of ethical decision making. The Framework of Living research is done within the auspices of the Taylor University Ethics Center and the Christian Life Survey research is done under the auspices of the Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement. Steven is married to Barb; together they have two adult children, Seth and Rachel.

Academic Presentations and Publications

Dr. Steve Bird


  • Bird, Steven. (2013). Scripture Engagement and Living Life as a Message. In P. Hoggarth, F Macdonald, B Mitchell, & K. Jorgensen (ed.s), Bible in Mission. (238-246). Oxford: Regnum Press.


  • Spiritual Metrics Conference—Pennsylvania
  • “The Scripture Engagement of Students at Christian Colleges,” The Bible in America Conference (by The Center for the Study of Religions and American Culture, Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis, Indiana, August 2014—Steve Bird
  • “Scripture Engagement Research: What We’ve Learned and How Doing Some Research Might Help You.” Dr. Steve Bird, Eurasia Media and Distribution Consultation, Netherlands, April 2015

Dr. Phil Collins


  • Spiritual Metrics Conference—Pennsylvania
  • Forum of Bible Agencies International, Malacca, Malaysia
  • North American Professors of Christian Education, Seattle, Washington
  • Scripture Engagement and Young Adults: The Taylor University Findings, Forum of Bible Agencies International in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, April 2013, Phil Collins
  • “The Scripture Engagement Practice of ‘Speaking Scripture’: The Most Impactful Means of Spiritual Growth?” Dr. Phil Collins, Eurasia Media and Distribution Consultation, Netherlands, April 2015.
  • “Scripture Engagement Emerging Assumptions: Correlation of Research Studies.” Dr. Phil Collins, Forum of Bible Agencies International, Ft. Worth, Texas, April 2015.
  • Video Training Sessions: A series of video training sessions have started to be developed which are being posted on Bible Gateway. Videos at this point include Timelining and Storying.

Dr. Steve Bird & Dr. Phil Collins


  • Association of Christian Student Development, workshop and presentation to 23 University Vice Presidents
  • Forum of Bible Agencies International, Scotland
  • Forum of Bible Agencies North America, Orlando, Florida
  • “Scripture Engagement and Focus on God at 13 Christian Universities,” Association of Youth Ministry Educators, Chicago, Illinois, Steve Bird and Phil Collins
  • “Spiritual Life at Thirteen Christian Colleges: Results of the 2013 Christian Life Survey,” Association of Christian Student Development, Steve Bird and Phil Collins, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2014
  • Host of the Symposium on Scripture Engagement and Faith Formation: A Preliminary Consultation for Ministry Leaders, Phil Collins, Fergus Macdonald and Steve Bird, Taylor University, October 2015