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About DTS

History of DTS

In the fall of 1924 the first student body of Dallas Theological Seminary met to study under the noted Bible teacher Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer. This class of 13 students was the result of Dr. Chafer’s burden and vision to found a seminary that would emphasize expository preaching and teaching of the Scriptures. In 1935 the seminary pioneered the four-year Master of Theology (ThM) degree, which is a year longer than the three-year Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree offered at most other seminaries. The ThM gives all the essential theological courses offered in a three-year curriculum with additional emphasis in systematic theology, Hebrew and Old Testament exegesis, Greek and New Testament exegesis, and Bible exposition. In 1974 the seminary instituted the two-year Master of Arts (Biblical Studies) (MABS) program for students whose ministries would not require the in-depth language training of the ThM program (name changed to Master of Arts [Christian Studies] MACS in 2015). The Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree began in 1980 to provide further pastoral training for seminary graduates to meet the changing demands of ministry. In 1982 the seminary began the MA in Christian Education (MACE) degree program so that students could receive specialized training for Christian ministries. In 1987 the MA in Cross-cultural Ministries (MACM) program was inaugurated to give specialized training for intercultural ministry. In 1993 the seminary launched a threeyear MA in Biblical Counseling (MABC) degree program and a two-year MA (Biblical Exegesis and Linguistics) (MABEL) degree program. The latter program is offered jointly with the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics located in south Dallas. In 2005 the seminary launched the MA in Media and Communication (MAMC) degree program for those interested in employing the media arts in ministry (name changed to Master of Arts in Media Arts and Worship in 2013). In 2011 the seminary began offering the Master of Arts in Christian Leadership (MACL) degree program. The Master of Biblical and Theological Studies (MBTS) program and the academic Master of Arts degree with majors in Old Testament Studies, New Testament Studies, and Theological Studies began in 2015.


Outstanding leadership and scholarly expertise have characterized the seminary’s presidents:

Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, 1924–1952 Dr. John F. Walvoord, 1952–1986 Dr. Donald K. Campbell, 1986–1994 Dr. Charles R. Swindoll, 1994–2001 Dr. Mark L. Bailey, 2001–present

Throughout the seminary’s history it has steadfastly maintained its allegiance to biblical truth. A doctrinal statement articulates the beliefs of DTS, and each year the faculty and board members reaffirm their agreement with this statement.

Mosher, Turpin, and Miller Libraries

The 58,000-square-foot Dallas campus library is comprised of the Mosher Library building which opened in 1960, named in memory of Dallas businessmen William and Theodore Mosher, and the Turpin Library building which opened in 1988, named in honor of Jack and Sally Turpin. The library includes study space for 550 people, the library collection, conference rooms, small-group study rooms, copiers, lockers, doctoral carrels, a computer lab, an audio suite, and a video suite. Wireless connection to the Internet is available throughout the facility. The Dallas library collection exceeds 500,000 items, including more than 250,000 print volumes, plus DVDs, videos, microforms, and electronic resources. The library licenses access to scores of bibliographic databases, including the ATLA Religion Index, Religious and Theological Abstracts, Old Testament Abstracts, New Testament Abstracts, Christian Periodical Index, ERIC, JSTOR, WorldCat, AcademicSearch, PsycINFO, Philosopher’s Index, and many others. Thousands of books and articles are available online. The general collection is strong in systematic and historical theology, but it especially emphasizes biblical exegesis and interpretation, biblical languages, and the history, culture, and archaeology of the biblical world. Miller Library is located on the Houston campus. Named for Dallas businessman Norm Miller, the library houses a growing collection of over 18,000 items that have been carefully chosen to support the curriculum of Dallas Theological Seminary. The library

Profile for Dallas Theological Seminary

2019-2020 DTS Catalog  

This 2019–2020 catalog contains degree plans, course descriptions, faculty listings, and the doctrinal statement of Dallas Theological Semin...

2019-2020 DTS Catalog  

This 2019–2020 catalog contains degree plans, course descriptions, faculty listings, and the doctrinal statement of Dallas Theological Semin...