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Dallas Baptist University
Established 1898 as Decatur Baptist College
Type Private
Endowment US$36.389 million[1]
President Dr. Gary Cook
Provost Dr. Gail Linam
Faculty 112 (full-time)
Students 5,297
Undergraduates 3500
Postgraduates 1600
Location Dallas, Texas, USA
Campus 292 acres (1.18 km2) main campus
Colors Red, White, Blue               
Mascot Patriot
Athletics NCAA Division I, Division II
Affiliations Heartland Conference, Baptist General Convention of Texas

Dallas Baptist University (DBU), formerly known as Dallas Baptist College, is a Christian liberal arts university located in Dallas, Texas. The main campus is located approximately fifteen miles southwest of downtown Dallas overlooking Mountain Creek Lake. Founded in 1898 as Decatur Baptist College, Dallas Baptist University currently operates campuses in Dallas, Frisco, Hurst, and Mansfield. The university is known for its commitment to a Christ-centered education, focusing on integrating Biblical faith and learning. [2]



Decatur Baptist College, established in 1898 and the forerunner of Dallas Baptist University, had the distinction of being the first two-year institution of higher education in Texas. The Baptist General Convention of Texas purchased the land in 1897 from Northwest Texas Baptist College. The school enjoyed a rich, full history in Decatur until 1965 when it moved to Dallas, at the invitation of the Dallas Baptist Association. [2]

Dallas Baptist University was established in Dallas in 1965 as Dallas Baptist College. The initial 100 acres of land for the campus, overlooking Mountain Creek Lake in the hill country of southwest Dallas, were donated by John Stemmons, Roland Pelt, and associates[3]. An interested group of businessmen donated an additional 100 acres, and in 1994 a donation by the Louis Hexter family brought the current size of the DBU campus to 292 acres.[4]

Beginning with the fall semester of 1968, significant changes were made. The college moved from junior-college to senior-college status, adding the junior year of academic work that year, followed by the senior year in June 1969. The first bachelor's degrees were awarded in May 1970. In 1985, the college name officially became Dallas Baptist University. The new structure consisted of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Mary C. Crowley College of Christian Faith, the Dorothy M. Bush College of Education, and the College of Business.[4]

Growth and expansion

With a record 2008 fall enrollment of 5,297 students,[5] DBU’s enrollment nearly tripled with over 3,500 undergraduate students with more than 60 majors. The university also has 1,600 graduate students in 18 master’s degree programs, six dual master's programs, and two doctoral programs enrolling 119 students.[6] On-campus student population has grown to over 1,300 students living in dorms, apartments, and townhomes. DBU enrollment continues to rise in record numbers with an increase of 182% since 1988.[6]

In 1992, The John G. Mahler Student Center, the first new building on the DBU campus in more than 20 years was dedicated.[6]

Five apartment buildings were dedicated in honor of D. Harold Byrd, Jr., J. Blair Blackburn, and Sheila Cook, the late Noble and Jane Hurley, and the late Fred and Mary Lou White. The Ebby Halliday Center was created to provide a central clubhouse for residents of the Colonial Village Apartment Complex.[6]

In 2006, construction began on the new 1,400-seat, 80,000-square-foot Patty and Bo Pilgrim Chapel, with a 200-foot steeple and facilities for various events such as campus chapel services, as well as office space for the Gary Cook Graduate School of Leadership.[6] After breaking ground on the chapel, construction began on Henry Blackaby Hall, a 19,000-square-foot building housing the DBU Founders Bookstore, in addition to campus offices and classrooms. [6]

Williamsburg Village Townhomes were constructed on campus with eight townhomes, housing nearly 200 students. The Harold and Mildred Sadler Patriot Baseball Clubhouse provides first-class locker facilities as well as study areas, lounges, coaches’ offices, and training rooms for the DBU Patriot Baseball team. [6]

Over the last several years, DBU has established satellite campuses around the DFW metroplex. DBU-North regional academic center was established in 2001, serving students in North Dallas and Collin County. [6]

In 2001, DBU-North opened with classes for 148 students, and by the fall of 2007, 495 students were enrolled in 100 classes. DBU-North was relocated to Frisco, Texas and expanded to over 13,500 square feet. Two undergraduate and five graduate degrees are available for students at the DBU-North campus including: the M.A. in Counseling, MBA, M.A. in Management, Master of Education, and M.Ed. in School Counseling.[6]

DBU also opened DBU-Hurst-Colleyville at Hurst in the Summer of 2005,[7] and it’s newest satellite campus DBU-Mansfield at Mansfield in Fall 2008.[8]

Academic profile

Academic programs

DBU offers 57 undergraduate majors, 22 graduate programs , and 2 doctoral programs encompassing eight colleges:[9]

  • College of Business
  • Mary C. Crowley College of Christian Faith
  • Dorothy M. Bush College of Education
  • College of Fine Arts
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • College of Adult Education
  • Gary Cook Graduate School of Leadership

The Gary Cook Graduate School of Leadership offers Doctoral degrees in Leadership Studies and Educational Leadership, and Master's degrees in:

  • Childhood Ministry
  • Christian Education
  • Christain Ministry
  • Global Leadership
  • Higher Education
  • Student Ministry
  • Theological Studies
  • Worship Leadership

Advanced Certificates, Accelerated Bachelors and Master's Degrees, and Dual Master's Degrees are also available. [5] Over the last 20 years, enrollment in the DBU Graduate School has increased by 821% from 187 in the fall of 1987 to 1,673 in the fall of 2007.[6]

University Honors Program

In 2006, DBU introduced the University Honors Program to help its brightest and most gifted students discover the extent of their own abilities and callings. The program has an interdisciplinary core that encourages students to make connections across disciplines and engage in a high level of critical thinking. Benefits include study abroad opportunities, smaller faculty-student ratios, and opportunities to attend events sponsored by the Paideia College Society including the Friday Symposium, Fall Study Retreat, and Spring Conference. Admittance is selective. Requirements include enrollment in advanced classes taught on the campus by DBU faculty, attendance at enrichment events, and a Senior Thesis or Project. Successful completion carries with it recognition at graduation and on the student’s transcript which assists in admission to graduate school and future interviews.[10]

Formally Pew College Society, Paideia College Society has steadily grown since its conception in 1997. It is now internally funded by DBU, with Dr. Naugle at its helm. The rather unfamiliar term “Paideia” (pronounced py-dee-a or py-day-a) comes from the Greek word pais or paidos meaning “child.” It refers literally to the training and education of children. In due course, it was used in the classical Greek system of education, and referred specifically to a complete course of study in order to produce a whole, fully educated citizen. The Paideia College Society at DBU is rooted in this venerable tradition, and takes as its purpose the educating of Christian students into their true nature as the image of God. The goal of the society is to unite the themes Pietas, Doctrina, and Humanitas, meaning piety, learning, and humanity, in order to become “fully human under God”.[11]


Dallas Baptist University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools[12](1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097: Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Inquiries to the accreditors should relate only to the accreditation status of the institution.[12]

The teacher, principal and superintendent education programs of the University are accredited by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).[12]

The College of Business is nationally accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) to offer the Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) and the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) business degrees.[12]

The Dallas Baptist University Department of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).[12]

DBU is also affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas.[12]

Notable faculty

Dr. C. Edward Spann began his career at DBU in 1989 and was named Dean in 1994. In addition to fulfilling his teaching duties, he founded and directed DBU’s handbell choir, the University Ringers. He received his undergraduate education at Ouachita Baptist University, earned a Bachelor of Church Music degree and a Master of Religious Education degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and completed his Ph.D. at Florida State University. Before his arrival at DBU, Dr. Spann served as a chaplain’s assistant and band master in the United States Army, the head of the church music department at Shorter College in Georgia, and the missionary-in-residence and music education professor at Houston Baptist University. He is also the author of Presidential Praise: Our Presidents and Their Hymns (Mercer 2008).[13]

Dr. David K. Naugle is chair and professor of Philosophy at Dallas Baptist University where he has worked for seventeen years in both administrative and academic capacities.[14] He earned a Th.D. in Systematic Theology, and a Ph.D. in Humanities with concentrations in Philosophy and English Literature.[14] Dr. Naugle serves as a “Fellow” for the Wilberforce Forum[1], the Christian worldview think tank sponsored by Prison Fellowship near Washington, D. C. .[14] He is also on the advisory board of the International Institute of Christian Studies [2].[14] Dr. Naugle is the author of Worldview: The History of a Concept (Eerdmans 2002).[14] which was selected by Christianity Today magazine as the 2003 book of the year in the theology and ethics category.[14] His most recent book, Reordered Lives, Reordered Loves (Eerdmans 2008) was released in November 2008.[14]

Dr. Michael Williams began his career at DBU in 1991 as a professor and was named Dean in 1996. In 2005, he helped lay the foundation for the University Honors Program, acting as its director. He received his undergraduate education at Troy University and later earned a Master’s degree in History at Auburn University. He also holds a Master of Divinity degree and Ph.D. in Church History and Christian Ethics from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.[13] He has authored 5 books: Presidential Praise: Our Presidents and Their Hymns--Mercer University Press, 2008, co-authored with Ed Spann; Turning Points in Baptist History--Mercer University Press, 2008, co-edited with Walter B. Shurden; Isaac Taylor Tichenor: The Creation of the Baptist New South--University of Alabama Press, 2005; To God Be the Glory: The Centennial History of Dallas Baptist University, 1898-1998; and Victory through Faith: A History of the Rosen Heights Baptist Church, 1906-1996.

Notable alumni

Many graduates of DBU have gone on to play baseball in the major leagues.[16][17][18] They include:

Student life

The mission of the Student Life Office is to provide activities, events, and services that help build and strengthen the DBU community and enhance the spiritual, social, and physical development of the students, faculty, and staff.[19] Spiritual growth is emphasized through development of a maturing Christian faith that expresses itself in active commitment to Christ and His church.[19] Social growth is emphasized through improved self-awareness and personal development and the interpersonal skills needed to function as responsible persons in a constantly changing society.[19] Physical growth is emphasized through developing interest and skills in physical and recreational activities conducive to good health and physical fitness. [19] DBU emphasizes Servant Leadership and offers unique opportunities to serve and minister in their chosen field of study.


Dallas Baptist University's mascot is the Patriot, which symbolizes the love and enthusiastic support the students, faculty, staff, and alumni have for the University. Continuing the patriotic theme are the colors of red, white, and blue. The Official DBU Cross Ring serves as a symbol of the Christ-centered education students experience at DBU. Students purchase the Official DBU Cross Ring during a Ring Commissioning Ceremony just prior to fall and spring commencement services.

Mr. Big Chief

DBU's longest running tradition, the Mr. Big Chief pageant, allows male students to show off their skills, humor, and creativity. The show, a mock beauty pageant, begins with an opening number performed by all the contestants and is followed by four categories: talent, beachwear, formalwear, and an interview—all before a panel of judges. Magic tricks, lip-syncing, and musical interpretations are just some of the ways contestants have attempted to gain points in the past. The contestant with the most points at the end wins the coveted title.[19]

All-University Carnival

Student life holds an annual All-University Carnival every spring to give students a chance to enjoy the warm weather and take a much-deserved study break. Several inflatable games, including a velcro wall, bungee run, and a giant slide, entertain the young at heart. Student Life and DBU organizations set up booths, including a cakewalk, dunking booth, pie toss, and many more. Musical entertainment is provided by the Battle of the Bands, a showcase of local talent.[20]

Family events

Family Weekend and Grandparents Day allow students to invite their families into their lives on campus. Notable events include the Family Softball Game, Movie on the Quad, and Art Show as well as a family service project. Families are invited to fellowship with their students as well as the University faculty and staff through community activities and other fun events.[20] DBU believes grandparents often have a profound and lasting impact on their grandchildren, therefore has a separate occasion to honor them.[20]

Other notable events

Friday Symposium is a weekly, interdisciplinary lecture series on campus sponsored by the DBU philosophy department. It meets almost every Friday at noon at which time it features academic presentations by DBU faculty, staff, students, and guest speakers. Many people bring their lunch and feed both their mind and body simultaneously.[21]

DBU also hosts the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, Singled Out, DBU’s Valentine’s themed event, All-Night Party, movie nights, monthly Coke Break, and other engaging events to prevent burnout. DBU also participates in mission-oriented events including Spiritual Rush and numerous opportunities to travel and minister in foreign countries.


Academic organizations

  • Accounting Society
  • Alpha Sigma Omega
  • American Association of Christian Counselor
  • Christians in the Visual Arts
  • The History Society
  • Mu Delta Alpha
  • Mu Sigma Chi
  • Paideia College Society (formerly Pew College Society)
  • Psychology Club
  • Sigma Tau Delta
  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • Student Education Association[22]

Service organizations

Social organizations

  • Black Student Union
  • Chinese Student Association
  • Commuter Student Association
  • Diamond Belles
  • Fishing Club
  • International Student Club
  • South Asian Student Association
  • Japanese Student Society
  • Kinesiology Club
  • Korean Student Association
  • Mu Kappa Alpha (Missionary Kids' Alliance)
  • Organization of Latin American Students[22]

Religious organizations

  • Baptist Student Ministry
  • Chinese Student Fellowship
  • Ministry Fellowship[22]

Areas of Ministry

  • Bible Studies
  • Fine Arts Groups
  • Summer Missions
  • Worship[22]

Honor organizations

Other organizations


Most of Dallas Baptist University's athletic programs are in the Heartland Conference, which is NCAA Division II. However, the baseball program is in Division I and plays an independent schedule. In 2008, the Patriots made the NCAA baseball tournament for the first time.

At Dallas Baptist University, the Patriot Athletic Department offers varsity athletic programs including: a NCAA Division I men’s baseball team and NCAA Division II men's basketball, men’s and women’s cross-country/track, cheerleading, golf and tennis, and women’s soccer and volleyball teams, which compete in the Heartland Conference. The men's and women's cross-country/track program is under the direction of head coach Jacob Phillips and holds four of the school's conference championship wins. All intercollegiate athletic teams also hold membership in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).

In addition to all these programs, a hockey club team is currently in development and is looking to play their first season in Fall, 2010.

Theme scripture

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11


  1. ^ U.S. News and World Report, Best Colleges, Accessed 8/23/09
  2. ^ a b "Best Colleges 2009", U.S. News and World Report, 2009,, retrieved 2009-02-04 
  3. ^ Williams, Michael Sr (1998). To God Be the Glory: the Centennial History of Dallas Baptist University. Arlington: The Summit Publishing Group. pp. 111–121. 
  4. ^ a b History of DBU,, retrieved 2009-02-04 
  5. ^ a b DBU Quick Facts, 2008,, retrieved 2009-02-04 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j DBU (June/July 2008). "DBU Report". Press release. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  7. ^ DBU- Hurst- Colleyville,, retrieved 2009-02-04 
  8. ^ DBU Mansfield,, retrieved 2009-02-04 
  9. ^ DBU Academics,, retrieved 2009-02-04 
  10. ^ DBU Honors Society,, retrieved 6 Feb. 2009 
  11. ^ Paideia College Society,, retrieved 6 Feb. 2009 
  12. ^ a b c d e f Accreditation,, retrieved 6 Feb. 2009 
  13. ^ a b Hodges, Sam (November 15, 2008). "DBU Professors Write Book on Presidents' Favorite Hymns". Religion Blog. Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 4 Feb. 2009. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g "DBU-David Naugle". Retrieved 4 Feb 2009. 
  15. ^ Kari Jobe,, retrieved 6 Feb. 2009 
  16. ^ Baseball Reference,, retrieved 22 Feb. 2009 
  17. ^ NCAA Baseball Database,, retrieved 22 Feb. 2009 
  18. ^ Baseball Almanac,, retrieved 22 Feb. 2009 
  19. ^ a b c d e Student Life,, retrieved 2009-02-04 
  20. ^ a b c DBU Activities,, retrieved 2009-02-04 
  21. ^ Friday Symposium,, retrieved 6 Feb. 2009 
  22. ^ a b c d e f DBU Organizations,, retrieved 2009-02-04 

External links

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