How often do we come across twin alumni? Twins who live and thrive in God’s kingdom have fascinating life stories that reverberate heavenly mysteries. Their success stories are the echo of God’s masterful artistry for human history. In discovering these unique kinds of stories, I imagine this is what Paul meant when he stated, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ …”(2 Cor 2:15). For just as God is pleased when He sees the brilliant works of Christ, so are we.
By God’s providence, Dr. Steven Mason and Mr. Lyle Mason are twin DTS alumni. They are believers in Christ who share a delightful life story that led them to become seminary graduates. They are from San Antonio, TX. Each one is married with beautiful families of their own and have built comprehensive careers in service to the Christian community at large. Earlier this year, Dr. Steven Mason stepped into his newly appointed role as president of LeTourneau University in Longview, TX. We at DTS congratulate him on this rare feat that only a small number of God’s children will ever experience. Mr. Lyle Mason is vice president of Development at Methodist Children’s Home in Waco, TX.
Growing up as twins in a Christian household, Steven and Lyle were heavily influenced by Young Life, a parachurch ministry founded by DTS alum Jim Rayburn. Young Life lit a spark for Christian ministry in their hearts that never fizzled out. Their partnership in following Jesus started in high school, continued through college at Baylor University, and remains in their adult lives and current ministries.
Dr. Steven Mason
Dr. Mason entered Baylor University with his sights set on a career in business administration, and he anticipated bearing witness to Christ in the corporate world. After completing his bachelor’s degree, he moved to Dallas and began working at the Cooper Clinic. He enrolled in DTS part-time because he believed he could later benefit from some seminary training as he advanced in his ministry and career. However, soon after taking Dr. Scott Horrell’s class on Trinitarianism, Steven quickly felt the pull to enroll in DTS full time, while staying open to what the Lord had for him in the future.
It was not long before Dr. Mason knew he wanted to get a PhD and become a college professor. He finished the ThM program and his thesis under the supervision of Dr. Darrell Bock. Dr. Bock inspired him to go to Scotland for his doctorate. And so, he moved to St. Andrews in 2002, where he and his family lived for four years. It was his classes with Dr. Gordon Johnston that led him to pursue his PhD in Old Testament Studies. He finished his PhD in 2006, and T&T Clark eventually published his dissertation, Eternal Covenant in the Pentateuch: The Contours of an Elusive Phrase.
Dr. Mason became a professor at LeTourneau University in 2006 and has been there ever since. After serving as Dean of Faculty and then provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Dr. Mason became President on March 1, 2021. LeTourneau is known as “The Christian Polytechnic University” and offers a comprehensive slate of programs from engineering and aviation to biblical studies and the liberal arts. He enjoys leading a university that is entirely devoted to Jesus Christ and the integration of faith and learning.
Soon after graduating from Baylor University, Lyle began a career in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. Although he enjoyed business success for almost ten years, earning a seminary degree was a goal he wanted to achieve. Like his brother, devotion to the Word and a desire to
transform lives through the gospel was always his focus, no matter the work setting. In 2002, while residing in Waco, TX, and working full-time in sales, he decided to enroll as a part-time student and start driving to Dallas in the evenings to attend class at DTS. A few years later, an eventual work-related move to the Dallas area allowed Lyle to continue his master’s program as a hybrid student, enrolled in both online and in-person courses.
In 2008, a layoff at Lyle’s company required a brief pause in his pursuit of a seminary degree at DTS. However, it was an opportunity to gain theological training outside the classroom. Lyle was hired to fill a one-year, full-time hospital chaplain residency at Baylor University Medical Center in downtown Dallas. By his own testimony, his residency as a chaplain allowed him to experience the power of the Holy Spirit like never before. It was a unique experience that pressed him to engage with God at a deeper level. He is beyond grateful for the experience, even though his commitment only lasted a year. The lessons he acquired during this residency would have a lasting impact in the years to come.
After Lyle’s service as a hospital chaplain, he and his family moved back to Waco. Here is where he completed his Master of Arts in Biblical Studies at DTS online—graduating in 2012—and where his experience in sales and ministry converged as a fundraiser for the Methodist Children’s Home (MCH). This
nationally recognized childcare agency serves thousands in Texas and New Mexico, assisting children and families with residential care, foster care, and other family preservation services.
Lyle found tremendous joy, meaning, and success in this role for six years. However, when long-time close friend, and now world-famous celebrity, Chip Gaines asked for Lyle’s assistance in starting a charitable foundation and leading philanthropic activities, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Lyle couldn’t pass up. In this position, Lyle’s personal theology of generosity and philosophy for giving was formed; his knowledge of the philanthropic sector soared. From 2016-2019, Lyle served as the president of Magnolia Foundation and director of Generosity for Magnolia.com. In 2019, considering all that God had accomplished in those three years, including everything that Lyle learned through his work in philanthropy, it was evident that the Lord was prompting him to return to MCH.
Lyle is currently serving as the vice president for Development at MCH. He views his position as a fundraiser and leader at MCH as a ministry. It is by God’s providence that he can proclaim the name of Jesus and help transform the lives of over 5,000 children and families. It is a joy and privilege he does not take for granted.
Lyle is extremely grateful for DTS and how the theological training and spiritual formation he received during his student experience equipped him to flourish in every aspect of life. He holds Dr. Stephen Bramer, professor of Biblical Exposition, in high esteem and is thankful for the difference his teaching made in his DTS journey. Lyle also appreciates the positive impact Dr. Timothy Warren, senior professor of Pastoral Ministries, made on him as a student; and even more so, while he worked as a hospital chaplain at Baylor University Medical Center. Dr. Warren conducted weekly devotionals for the hospital staff and would join Lyle for lunch on occasion.
Discovering the lives of Steven and Lyle is like looking through a kaleidoscope—the details are charming, colorful little pieces anchored in symmetry. Together, they came into this world, tracked alongside one another as children; God gave them similar gifts of administration and hearts for ministry. They were educated together and had similar career trajectories, but their experiences were their own. What’s next for them remains to be seen; yet, based on their story so far, and what Christianity dictates regarding who we are in Christ, it’s safe to say that they will always have each other.
..Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.(Eccl 4:9)
About the Contributors
As a native of Houston, TX., Rebecca S. Walton began her seminary journey at DTS Houston. She loves people and is passionate about communicating Bible doctrine, current events, and Christian Living stories.