Dallas Baptist University

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Dallas Baptist University
University Hill, Dallas Baptist University.jpg
Established 1898 as Decatur Baptist College
Type Private, (Protestant) Baptist University
Endowment US$31.637 million[1]
President Gary Cook
Provost Denny Dowd
Academic staff 124 (full-time)
Students 5,422
Undergraduates 3,435
Postgraduates 1,987
Location Dallas, Texas, USA
Campus 292 acres (1.18 km2) main campus
Colors Red, White, Blue               
Athletics NCAA Division I, Division II
Mascot Patriot (Formerly Indians)
Affiliations Western Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley Conference, Heartland Conference, Baptist General Convention of Texas
Website www.dbu.edu

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 twelve miles southwest of downtown Dallas overlooking Mountain Creek Lake. Founded in 1898 as Decatur Baptist College, Dallas Baptist University currently operates campuses in Dallas, Plano, and Hurst.


Decatur Baptist College, the forerunner of Dallas Baptist University, opened its doors in 1898 as 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]

The school's historic Administration Building in Decatur, built in 1893, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[3]

In October 1965, Dallas Baptist College began offering classes for a first class of over 500 students. The initial piece 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.[4] An interested group of businessmen donated additional acreage, and in 1994 a donation by the Louis Hexter family brought the current size of the DBU campus, known as University Hill, to 292 acres (1.18 km2).[5]

In 1968, the college moved from junior-college to senior-college status, offering its first four-year bachelor's degrees 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.[6]

Growth and expansion[edit]

John G. Mahler Student Center

The school has a current fall 2013 enrollment of 5,422 students. The university offers 68 undergraduate majors, 24 master’s degree programs, over 40 dual master's programs, and two doctoral programs. While in its early years, the school had the reputation of being a commuter college, today's DBU has well over 1,700 students living on campus.

In 1992, the John G. Mahler Student Center, the first new building on the DBU campus in more than 20 years was dedicated. The building is a close replica of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and it was the first of many new buildings in the Georgian architectural style on the campus.[7]

Patty and Bo Pilgrim Chapel

In 2009, the Patty and Bo Pilgrim Chapel was dedicated. The structure is used for various events such as chapel services and concerts, and houses office space for the Graduate School of Ministry along with classrooms and a large multipurpose room. The inspiration for the exterior of the building came from the First Baptist Church in America, located in Providence, Rhode Island.[8]

Other new campus buildings include: Henry Blackaby Hall, the Brownstones Apartment Complex, the Colonial Village Apartment Complex (D. Harold Byrd, Jr. Hall; J. Blair Blackburn Hall, Sheila Cook Hall, Noble and Jane Hurley Hall, Fred and Mary Lou White Hall, and the Ebby Halliday Center), the International Center, the Tom and Alicia Landry Welcome Center, Harold and Mildred Sadler Patriot Baseball Clubhouse, and the Williamsburg Village Townhomes.

Joan and Andy Horner Hall

In the fall of 2011, the university opened the Joan and Andy Horner Hall. Named after the founders of Premier Designs, Horner Hall houses the DBU communication department, the offices for the College of Fine Arts, a multipurpose classroom and video recording studio, a design lab, and a music business recording studio, designed by the Russ Berger Design Group. The exterior of the structure is modeled after Congress Hall located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[9]

In 2001, DBU-North opened in Carrollton, Texas as DBU's first regional academic center, serving North Dallas and Collin County. For several years, DBU-North was located in Frisco, Texas, and in 2011, moved to Plano, Texas.[10]

DBU also opened DBU-Hurst-Colleyville at Hurst in the Summer of 2005,[11] and DBU-Mansfield at Mansfield in Fall 2008.[12]

Sadler Global Missions Center

In January 2013, the Jeannette and Cletys Sadler Global Missions Center was completed. Apart from housing two classrooms and a large multipurpose room, this building will house the BSM and Global Missions offices, as well as the office for the Master of Arts in Global Leadership.

Student life[edit]

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.[13] Spiritual growth is emphasized through development of a maturing Christian faith that expresses itself in active commitment to Christ and his church.[13] 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.[13] Physical growth is emphasized through developing interest and skills in physical and recreational activities conducive to good health and physical fitness.[13] DBU emphasizes Servant Leadership and offers unique opportunities to serve and minister in their chosen field of study.


In its early years, Dallas Baptist University's mascot was the Indians, but in the late 1980s, it was changed to the Patriot, and the school colors were changed from black and gold to the more patriotic theme 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[edit]

One of 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.[14]

Family events[edit]

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.[15]

Other notable events[edit]

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.[16]

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.


Dallas Baptist University's Patriot Athletic Department sponsors 15 intercollegiate athletics teams that compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). DBU also sponsors cheerleading and beginning in the fall of 2010, ice hockey at the club levels. All teams compete at the NCAA Division II level and compete in the Heartland Conference, with the exception of the baseball team, which is a member of the Division I. Although the baseball team played as an independent for several years, they accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference for the 2013 season.[17] Beginning in the 2014 season, the Patriot Baseball team is now a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. DBU also sponsors six intercollegiate club sports. The Diamond Belles are also an active part of the Patriot Athletic Department, serving as an auxiliary group of the Athletic Department.

The Athletic Department also features a Christ-centered Patriot Discipleship program, entitled "Champions for Christ," as well as the Athletic Department's Global Missions Initiative with athletic mission trips to Guatemala,[18] Northern England,[19] Peru,[20] and South Korea.[21]


Dallas Baptist University sponsors eight men's and seven women's teams in NCAA sanctioned sports:[22]

Club Programs

  • Men’s and Women's Swimming
  • Ice Hockey
  • Cheerleading
  • Drill/Dance
  • Bass Fishing


University Honors Program[edit]

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.[23][third-party source needed]

Formerly Pew College Society, Paideia College Society has steadily grown since its conception in 1997. It is now internally funded by DBU, with Dr. David 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".[24][third-party source needed]


Dallas Baptist University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[25]

The teacher, principal and superintendent education programs of the University are accredited by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).[26]

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.[27]

The Dallas Baptist University Department of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).[28]

DBU is also affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas.[29]

Notable alumni[edit]

Graduates of DBU have played baseball in the major leagues.[32][33][34] They include:

Photo gallery[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. News and World Report, Best Colleges, Accessed 1/24/14
  2. ^ "Best Colleges 2009", U.S. News and World Report, 2009, retrieved 2009-02-04 
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  4. ^ Williams, Michael Sr (1998), To God Be the Glory: the Centennial History of Dallas Baptist University, Arlington: The Summit Publishing Group, pp. 111–121 
  5. ^ Williams, Michael Sr (1998). To God Be the Glory: the Centennial History of Dallas Baptist University. Arlington: The Summit Publishing Group. p. 183. 
  6. ^ Texas Baptist Annual. Baptist General Convention of Texas. 2005. p. 110. 
  7. ^ Teaching Them: A Sesquicentennial Celebration of Texas Baptist Education. Dallas, Texas: Baptist General Convention of Texas. 1996. pp. 65–66. 
  8. ^ "Dallas Baptist University Dedicates Pilgrim Chapel". Baptist Standard. October 30, 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  9. ^ http://www.baptiststandard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12808&Itemid=53
  10. ^ "DBU Moving North Campus to Plano". Dallas Business Journal. April 11, 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Around the State: DBU Opens New Center". Baptist Standard. January 8, 2009. 
  12. ^ "College Opens Campus in Mansfield". Mansfield News Mirror. October 31, 2008. 
  13. ^ a b c d Student Life, retrieved 2009-02-04 
  14. ^ Williams, Michael (1998). To God Be The Glory: A Centennial History of Dallas Baptist University. Summit Publishing. p. 171. 
  15. ^ DBU Activities, retrieved 2009-02-04 
  16. ^ Friday Symposium, retrieved 6 Feb 2009 
  17. ^ "WAC Adds DBU, CSUB in 2012-13". NCAA. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  18. ^ Henson, George. "DBU team hits home run with Guatemalan children". Baptist Standard. 
  19. ^ "DBU tennis teams share gospel in England". Baptist Standard. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "DBU women’s teams bring joy to orphans in Peru". Baptist Standard. 
  21. ^ "DBU students share basketball, cheerleading and the gospel in Korea". Baptist Standard. 
  22. ^ http://dbupatriots.com
  23. ^ DBU Honors Society, retrieved 6 Feb 2009 
  24. ^ Paideia College Society, retrieved 6 Feb 2009 
  25. ^ "Institution Details". Southern Association of Colleges and Schools: Commission on Colleges. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  26. ^ "Dallas Baptist University: Approved Certification Areas". Texas Education Agency. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  27. ^ "Current ACBSP Edcuational Institution Members". Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. 
  28. ^ "Accredited Members". National Association of Schools of Music. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  29. ^ Teaching Them: A Sesquicentennial Celebration of Texas Baptist Education. Dallas: Baptist General Convention of Texas. 1996. p. 62. 
  30. ^ Kari Jobe, retrieved 6 Feb 2009 
  31. ^ "Ron Simmons' Biography". votesmart.com. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  32. ^ Baseball Reference, retrieved 22 Feb 2009 
  33. ^ NCAA Baseball Database, retrieved 22 Feb 2009 
  34. ^ Baseball Almanac, retrieved 22 Feb 2009 

External links[edit]