Dallas Baptist University

Dallas Baptist University
Type Private, (Protestant) Baptist University
Established 1898
Endowment $31.637 million[1]
Chancellor Gary Cook
President Adam Wright
Provost Denny Dowd
Academic staff
124 (full-time)
Students 5,445
Undergraduates 3,457
Postgraduates 1,988
Location Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Campus 292 acres (1.18 km2) main campus
Colors Red, White, Blue
Athletics NCAA Division I,
           Division II
Nickname Patriots
Affiliations 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 12 miles (19 km) 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 900 students.[4] 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

A view of the University

The school has a current fall 2014 enrollment of 5,445 students. The university offers 70 undergraduate majors, 26 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]

Nation Hall (foreground) and 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]

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[10] 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.[11] DBU also opened DBU-Hurst-Colleyville at Hurst in the Summer of 2005.[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 houses the Office of Student Affairs, as well as offices for the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM), Global Missions Initiative, and the Master of Arts in Global Leadership.

In 2015, Jim and Sally Nation Hall opened its doors. A near replica of Monticello, the building is the home of the Gary Cook School of Leadership, as well as other administrative offices. The building also houses several classrooms as well as a special event space situated in the dome of the building.[13]

Other new campus buildings include the Henry Blackaby Hall, the William B. Dean Learning Center, Moon International Center, the Tom and Alicia Landry Welcome Center, and the Ebby Halliday Center. New residences include Spence Hall, 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 Williamsburg Village Townhomes and Brownstones. Athletic facilities include Horner Ballpark, the Sadler Clubhouse, the Tabor Guesthouse, and the Sedwick Soccer Fieldhouse.


Academic divisions

The university is divided into seven colleges: the Mary C. Crowley College of Christian Faith, the Dorothy M. Bush College of Education, the College of Business, the College of Fine Arts, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the College of Professional Studies.[14] The university also houses two schools: the Graduate School of Ministry, as well as the Gary Cook School of Leadership.[15] The University offers the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and the Ph.D. in Leadership Studies through the Cook School of Leadership[16] and the Ed.D in Educational Leadership K-12 through the Bush College of Education.

In 2014, the National Council on Teacher Quality recognized DBU as number one in the nation for primary teacher preparation.[17][18]

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.[19]

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".[20]


Dallas Baptist University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[21]

The teacher, principal and superintendent education programs of the University are accredited by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).[22]

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.[23]

The Dallas Baptist University Department of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).[24]

DBU is also affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas.[25]

Life on campus

Residence & apartment life

Williamsburg Village Townhomes and Brownstones

DBU has four dormitories for underclassmen, and several living arrangements for upperclassmen known as the Colonial Village Apartments, the Williamsburg Village Townhomes, and Brownstones. The apartments have two bedrooms and two bathrooms and are located on the east side of campus. Townhomes and brownstones have three bedrooms and three bathrooms and are located on the north side of campus.[26]

Student Life

DBU currently has over 50 student organizations, including the Christ-centered Greek Life program established in 2009. The University currently has six local sororities (Alpha Delta Kappa, Alpha Epsilon Chi, Delta Theta, Kappa Gamma, Sigma Chi Eta, and Zeta Chi) and four fraternities (Beta Beta, Pi Theta Tau, Psi Omega Phi, and Tau Alpha Phi). The Student Government Association is DBU's oldest active student organization, having been established in 1958. The current Student Body President is Cassy Thompson.


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.

Cross Ring

The Official DBU Cross Ring serves as a symbol of the Christ-centered education students experience at DBU. The ring features many university symbols, including the Mahler Student Center, the Fishers of Men statue, as well as the university seal.[27]

Mr. Big Chief

One of DBU's longest running tradition, stemming from when DBU's mascot was the Indians, is the Mr. Big Chief pageant. This anticipated event 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, and has rights to wear the headdress on display in the Mahler Student Center.[28]

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.[29]

Baseball Honoring Fallen Veterans

A more recent tradition has been added to underscore loyalty to the DBU Patriot mascot. Since completion of the Dallas–Fort Worth National Cemetery in 2000, DBU baseball has honored the fallen each home game by pausing the game at 7:00PM as "Taps" is played. The adjacent proximity of the cemetery to Horner Field provides a stirring tribute with the evening bugle call clearly audible.


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 Missouri Valley Conference, which they joined in the 2014 season. 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.[30] 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.

Horner Ballpark

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,[31] Northern England,[32] Peru,[33] and South Korea.[34]


A member of the Heartland Conference, Dallas Baptist University sponsors eight men's and seven women's teams in NCAA sanctioned sports:[35]

Club Programs

Notable alumni

Photo gallery


  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 Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  4. 1 2 Williams, Michael Sr (1998), To God Be the Glory: the Centennial History of Dallas Baptist University, Arlington: The Summit Publishing Group, p. 117
  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 North - Dallas Baptist University". dbu.edu.
  11. "DBU Moving North Campus to Plano". Dallas Business Journal. April 11, 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  12. "Around the State: DBU Opens New Center". Baptist Standard. January 8, 2009.
  13. http://www4.dbu.edu/leadership/highlights
  14. "Undergraduate Degree Programs Online : Dbu.edu". dbu.edu.
  15. "Academics Programs, Online Education, DBU.edu". dbu.edu.
  16. "Dallas Baptist University - Gary Cook School of Leadership - Home". dbu.edu.
  17. "NCTQ Teacher Prep Rankings - US News Education". usnews.com.
  18. "Texas does well in teacher training rankings". K-12 Zone.
  19. DBU Honors Society, retrieved 6 Feb 2009
  20. Paideia College Society, retrieved 6 Feb 2009
  21. "Institution Details". Southern Association of Colleges and Schools: Commission on Colleges. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  22. "Dallas Baptist University: Approved Certification Areas". Texas Education Agency. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  23. "Current ACBSP Educational Institution Members". Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011.
  24. "Accredited Members". National Association of Schools of Music. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  25. Teaching Them: A Sesquicentennial Celebration of Texas Baptist Education. Dallas: Baptist General Convention of Texas. 1996. p. 62.
  26. "Living on Campus". dbu.edu.
  27. "Cross Ring". dbu.edu.
  28. Williams, Michael (1998). To God Be The Glory: A Centennial History of Dallas Baptist University. Summit Publishing. p. 171.
  29. DBU Family Weekend
  30. "WAC Adds DBU, CSUB in 2012-13". NCAA. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  31. Henson, George. "DBU team hits home run with Guatemalan children". Baptist Standard.
  32. "DBU tennis teams share gospel in England". Baptist Standard. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  33. "DBU women's teams bring joy to orphans in Peru". Baptist Standard.
  34. "DBU students share basketball, cheerleading and the gospel in Korea". Baptist Standard.
  35. "The Official Site of Dallas Baptist University Patriots Athletics". dbupatriots.com.
  36. Rogers, Jesse; Olney, Buster; Marchand, Andrew; Bowden, Jim; The Associated Press (9 December 2015). "Cubs, Ben Zobrist agree to terms on 4-year deal worth $56M". ESPN. ESPN. Retrieved 10 December 2015.

External links

Coordinates: 32°42′36″N 96°56′53″W / 32.710°N 96.948°W / 32.710; -96.948

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