An English department chairman at a private Catholic college-preparatory school in New York City has been tapped to head Malvern Preparatory School as of July 1, the school announced Thursday.

Christian M. Talbot, 36, will succeed James H. Stewart, who will retire in June after 42 years at Malvern, including 22 years in top administrative posts.

Malvern trustees, who selected Talbot after a national search, said he was the unanimous choice to lead the private Catholic school of 625 male students from sixth through 12th grade.

Talbot will arrive in Malvern after 14 years at Regis High School, a boys' prep school in Manhattan. While at Regis, Talbot has taught English and has served as chairman of that department for seven years.

He also is president of the school faculty council and is in his second year of a presidential practicum at Regis. Through the practicum experience, Talbot has shadowed that school's president to observe strategic planning, fund-raising, and budgeting.

"I am extremely excited," Talbot said. "I have spent almost my whole life in Catholic education as a student and as a teacher."

A 1993 Regis alumnus, Talbot earned an undergraduate degree in English and art history at Georgetown University. He earned his master's degree from the New York Graduate School of Psychoanalysis.

Talbot said Regis and Malvern had many similarities. Both boys' schools focus not only on preparing students for college but also for life through service, athletics, and artistic expression. Both schools also are linked to Catholic religious orders: Regis is affiliated with the Jesuits, while Malvern's ties are with the Augustinians.

Talbot said he and his wife, Lisa, and their two young children hoped to move to Malvern in June.

Contact staff writer Martha Woodall at 215-854-2789 or martha.woodall@phillynews.com.