- B.A. - Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Texas
- Th.M. - New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
- Ph.D. - New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Patterson started preaching while still in his teens. He held several Pastorates before becoming president of the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies (now the Criswell College) in Dallas, Texas. Patterson formed a strong connection with Dr W.A. Criswell of the First Baptist Church of Dallas while in this position. After 17 years he became president of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina (1992-2003). Patterson was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in both 1998 and 1999. He has lectured and preached extensively and authored and edited many books and journals. In 2003, he became the 8th president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He currently serves on the board of trustees of Cedarville University.
Proponent of Expository Preaching
Patterson began preaching as a teenager, and continues to preach in churches and seminaries around the world. He is a strong proponent of expository preaching, once saying, "There is no genuinely good preaching except exposition." He defines expository preaching as “helping people read the Word of God.”
He has written on the topic of preaching, including the introduction to the 2010 publication Text-Driven Preaching: God’s Word at the Heart of Every Sermon. As a seminary president, he is known for preaching expository sermon series during spring chapel meetings. He also speaks regularly at Southwestern Seminary’s annual Expository Preaching Workshop.
Advocate for Global Missions & Evangelism
Influenced as a child by a biography on American missionary Adoniram Judson, Patterson believes Christians should be involved in worldwide missions and evangelism. As a preacher, evangelist, and educator, he has traveled to more than 125 countries to encourage Christians and preach the gospel.
Role in the SBC Conservative Resurgence
Patterson is best known for his prominent role in the Southern Baptist Convention conservative resurgence starting in 1979 with the election of Adrian Rogers as Convention President. Believing SBC seminaries and other SBC institutions had drifted away from their conservative Biblical roots, Patterson joined with Judge Paul Pressler of Houston, TX to carry out a plan that included exposing the liberal theology taught and practiced by the leadership in SBC institutions. The most important issue was the nature of scripture, particularly, whether or not it is inerrant. Patterson, Pressler, and a host of pastors and laymen began to spread the word that the teaching of SBC leadership was not reflective of their constituents who were paying their salaries.
Patterson and the conservatives won the support of hundreds of like-minded churches, and as many as 40,000 messengers (church members willing to travel to the annual Southern Baptist Convention to vote). Patterson's influence has been felt at all levels of Southern Baptist life. The seminaries have for the most part returned to their conservative moorings. Local churches are hiring pastors educated at schools led by conservatives. Missionaries are being influenced by Patterson's leadership. By the time Patterson was appointed president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, the conservative leadership required that all faculty sign documents stating their allegiance to Southern Baptist doctrine, most notably, the Baptist Faith and Message.
Stance on women in ministry
Patterson has attracted interest because of his stance on the role of women in churches and related areas such as the academic training of ministers. According to Patterson, the "highest and noblest calling of God" for women is that of "mother and grandmother." Additionally, Patterson's interpretation of the Bible includes "an assignment from God, in this case that a woman not be involved in a teaching or ruling capacity over men".
Paige Patterson's wife, Dorothy, is one of two female faculty members listed among the School of Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the other being Candi Finch.
Patterson explains a wife’s submission to her husband as voluntary rather than coerced: ““It means voluntarily to line up in the right order that God has given, and the husband is loving his wife sacrificially as much as Jesus Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, so that all the husband can think of is, ‘Honey, what can I do for you? What can I do to serve you? How can I make your life better?’ And all the time she is submitting herself to her husband and saying, ‘You just lead and, honey, I’ll follow.’” He has also compared female submissiveness to an encounter with a police officer. Although the officer and Patterson would be equal before God, "He is above me,” Patterson said. “God gave him an assignment that affects me and made him a minister of God to correct my evil ways.".
Dr. Patterson has also become known for participating in African hunting expeditions. He has taken animals, such as giraffe, lion, leopards, and buffalo, and shares images of his trophies on his official web site and at Christian hunters' banquets.
- "Expository preaching best, Patterson says". Baptist Standard. 2001-04-16. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
- Patterson, Paige. "Q&A on Expository Preaching". Retrieved 2013-03-25.
- Akin, Daniel L., ed. (2010). Text-Driven Preaching. B&H Publishing. pp. 11–36. ISBN 978-0-8054-4960-0.
- "Spring Sermon Series". Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "Expository Preaching Workshop".
- Duesing, Jason G., ed. (2012). Adoniram Judson: A Bicentennial Appreciation of the Pioneer American Baptist. B&H Publishing. pp. 1–8. ISBN 978-1-4336-7765-6.
- The War for Thee University, page 191. Texas Monthly Magazine. Nov 1991. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
- Patterson: Women are treasured by God, have high calling
- www.swbts.edu Faculty/School of Theology
- Official web site
-  Chronicle of Higher Education article on the Klouda event and Patterson's role therein
- Interview with Dorothy Patterson