Dr. Holly  Allen

Dr. Holly Allen

Director, Child and Family Studies Program

Professor of Biblical Studies

Ph.D., Talbot School of Theology

M.A., University of Iowa

B.A., Harding University


Dr. Allen directs the Child and Family Studies major. She works with 25-30 Child and Family Studies majors who have a passion for nurturing children and families in Christian settings as well as helping those in tough settings such as children in poverty, former child soldiers, and children in foster care and orphanages. The favorite part of her job is the relationship she has with her majors; she finds it very rewarding to encourage students academically, professionally, and spiritually.

Dr. Allen currently holds the J. Vernon McGee  Endowed Chair in the Biblical Studies Division. She spends much of her time researching, writing, and speaking at academic conferences and in faith settings. Her current research focus is spiritual development in children, and she is writing a book tentatively titled Ten Powerful Ways to Nurture Children’s Spiritual Formation. Dr. Allen is frequently sought by parents, the educational establishment, social workers, and churches to speak on children’s spirituality. In September 2013, she traveled to Nicaragua where she and one of her students taught and ministered to the children, parents, and teachers in an impoverished inner-city school in the city of Chinandega.

Dr. Allen’s most recent book (with Christine Ross) is entitled Intergenerational Christian Formation: Bringing the Whole Church Together in Ministry, Community and Worship. It was released in October 2012 by InterVarsity Press, and is being used as a course text in over a dozen universities and seminaries. Her previous book, the edited volume Nurturing Children’s Spirituality: Christian Perspectives and Best Practices, was released in 2008 by Wipf & Stock.

To relax, Dr. Allen plays racquetball, lifts weights, and hikes in the Ozarks with her husband. She treasures a few life-long friendships, leads a spiritual direction group with several women, and stays in the Word.

Fun facts:

Dr. Allen pumps iron three days a week.

Each October, Dr. Allen and her husband harvest the apples on the Granny Smith apple tree in their back yard and make dozens are jars of  homemade (family recipe) apple butter to give to friends and family.

Dr. Allen loves being a grandmother, but finds it disconcerting to be married to a man who is old enough to be a grandfather.




Holly Allen Vita Spring 2014


Nurturing Spiritual Development in Children (CMN3453) Spring 2014 Syllabus


Upcoming Speaking Engagement