Center Directors


Phil Collins – Executive Director 

Director of Training and Content Development

View Dr. Collins’ Curriculum Vitae
Taylor University’s Christian Educational Ministries Department Page

“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 B.A. in Bible Literature and Christian Education from Taylor University, an M.A. in Christian Education from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Ph.D.  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.  Currently, Dr. Collins serves as Director of Taylor University’s Christian Educational 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 (married to Hilary) and Katelyn.

Steven Bird – Executive Director,  Director of Research

View Dr. Bird’s Curriculum Vitae
Taylor University’s Sociology Department Page

“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 Ph.D. 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.

Fergus Macdonald Headshot

Fergus Macdonald – International Director

View Dr. Macdonald’s Curriculum Vitae

“I am convinced that engaging Scripture is key to equipping Christians for effective personal witness to Jesus.  I think it also provides a powerful stimulus to loving God more.”

The Reverend Dr. Fergus Macdonald, who makes his home in Edinburgh, Scotland, holds his M.A., B.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh. He has pastored a number of churches including Cumbernauld Free Church and Drumchapel Free Church in Scotland as well as Iglesia Presbiteriana San Andres in Lima, Peru. He also served as a lecturer at Lima Evangelical Seminary and at the Bible Training Institute in Glasgow, Scotland.  Dr. Macdonald has served for a total of over twenty years in the Bible Society movement, as General Secretary, first of the Scottish Bible Society and then of the United Bible Societies.  He is an Honorary Chairperson of Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and holds the position of Chair Emeritus of the Forum of Bible Agencies International. He has been twice elected Moderator of the General Assembly of his denomination (Free Church of Scotland) and was a member of an ecumenical group that planned the celebration of the centenary of the Edinburgh Missionary Conference of 1910.  He is Chair of the Scottish Evangelical Theological Society, and completed his Ph.D. thesis on the Psalms and contemporary spirituality.  Additionally, Dr. Macdonald serves as a Fellow for Taylor University’s Spencer Center for Global Engagement.  Fergus is married to Dolina: together they have five children and six grandchildren.