Dallas Theological Seminary Achieves Record Enrollment for Third Consecutive Year
Sept. 15th, 2020
For the third year in a row, Dallas Theological Seminary set an enrollment record with 2486 students taking classes in the fall semester. Amid a pandemic that temporarily shuttered classrooms this past spring, DTS’s fall enrollment surpassed the previous enrollment record of 2470 as students embraced the proactive measures the seminary implemented to enable both on-campus and online courses this fall.
In response to our record-setting enrollment, Dr. Mark Yarbrough, who started his tenure as DTS’s sixth president in July, shared, “Last year we knew our spring graduating class would be one of our largest classes ever. And with a global pandemic looming, we weren’t sure what this fall would hold. We are incredibly thankful for God’s grace in allowing us to continue to fulfill the DTS mission.”
New students represented one of the largest areas of growth for DTS. Admissions processed an 8 percent increase in applications and welcomed 487 new students – a recent high. Adding to the excitement, this incoming group includes 114 new students in our flagship ThM degree, widely considered the most thorough ministry-preparation degree available.
Much of the growth that DTS is experiencing comes from our commitment to train more people in the Word of God through our regional locations and extension campuses. The Washington, DC campus realized a substantial 10 percent growth, drawing students from a widening geographical range along the East Coast. Among DTS regional locations, the new church partnership with Christ Chapel in Fort Worth, TX, more than doubled in enrollment since last fall, as did our mobile campus initiatives across the country.
John Dyer, dean of enrollment, pointed to the significance of this encouraging news, “Our growth continues to come from diversification, distance education, and partnerships. New languages and teaching locations allow us to serve more people in more contexts, new degrees allow us to meet more needs inside and outside the church, and new partnerships mean we get to combine DTS’s deep theological training with unique, on-the-ground ministry experiences.”
The commitment of DTS to remain on mission throughout this worldwide pandemic accelerated our pace of technological innovation and implementation. Additional online offerings enabled students to continue their studies no matter their location. Consequently, online enrollment figures for coursework in English, Chinese, and Spanish all eclipsed last year’s numbers.
When Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer founded the seminary in 1924, he ensured that knowledge of the Bible and a study of the original biblical languages of Hebrew and Greek would be central to the curriculum. Because of that, DTS has a ninety-six-year history of training students to have a desire and an understanding of what it means to follow Christ based on—as Dr. Chafer often expressed—an “independent exegetical study of the Word of God.” DTS continues to work diligently to remain faithful to the mission and the purpose of the seminary to glorify God by equipping students to reach the world with the truth of God’s Word.
About DTS: Dallas Theological Seminary is a non-denominational evangelical seminary founded in 1924. Located just outside of downtown Dallas, DTS is home to almost 2500 graduate students and offers over 16 different graduate degrees and programs. DTS is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges as well as by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools.
About the Contributors
Ed Herrelko is the former executive director of Marketing and Communications at Dallas Theological Seminary. With over seventeen years of experience working in higher education, Ed has served as a CAO, VP of Academics, and VP of Enrollment/Admissions at numerous private institutions. Additionally, he has worked in the marketing agency world, as well as in corporate America, and runs a consulting firm that works with higher education and EdTech clients. He holds a PhD in Biblical Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, a MDIV and MA from Southern California Seminary and has a BA in Anthropology and Political Science from the University of Michigan. He, his wife Amy, and daughter Alexandria live in Dallas. Ed is a die-hard University of Michigan fan who loves strong coffee and gluten-free donuts.