DTS Magazine

Donald K. Campbell (1926–2018)

On the afternoon of Sunday, January 14, 2018, Donald K. Campbell, graduate, professor, and the third president of Dallas Theological Seminary (1986–1994), devoted husband, father of four, grandfather of ten, and mentor to many, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Memorial Service

Note: A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 27, at 2:00 PM at Northwest Bible Church.

Memories of Dr. Campbell

Upon hearing of his passing, Dr. Mark L. Bailey, current president of DTS, wrote of Dr. Campbell:

I have always called Dr. Campbell “Chief” because of my respect for him and his long-term faithfulness to the Lord through his ministry at DTS. He has been one of my best encouragers and has been a consummate model of humility and devotion. In the history of Dallas Theological Seminary, no one has served in as many strategic positions of leadership throughout its history as he did. Dr. Campbell has left a very long-shadowed legacy of faithful love with a servant’s heart across all of our lives here on the DTS campus.

Dr. Charles Swindoll, chancellor and former president of DTS, wrote:

My respect for Dr. Donald Campbell runs deep. When we first met in the summer of 1959, he served as the registrar at DTS. I had my first interview with him when I applied for acceptance into the student body. He graciously granted me the privilege of beginning as a first-year student that fall. I have appreciated his leadership and admired his faithfulness through almost sixty years of friendship. His eternal rewards will be many.

The Life and Ministry of Dr. Campbell

In 2016, DTS Magazine chronicled Dr. Campbell’s life and work in a profile called “Home Before Dark.” In it, Steve Smith writes that it was Howard Hendricks who originally urged Dr. Campbell to move to Dallas to attend DTS after they met at Wheaton College.

During his time at DTS, Dr. Campbell served not only as the unofficial “Mayor of Trailerville” (after the trailers used for student housing) but also as a groundskeeper of the campus before assuming more academic roles. In addition to his many functions at the seminary, he oversaw two key changes at the seminary. Smith writes:

As academic dean, Campbell participated in two great firsts: the admission of Tony Evans as one of the first African American students at the seminary, and the admission of women. His second decision—to admit women in the 1980s—made some students and faculty irate. Campbell stood his ground. “I felt that the Seminary needed to diversify gender-wise,” he said later. “I felt the student body certainly should be open to women as well as men. This was on my tenure. I had some scars. I think they’ve healed now. But the faculty was pretty divided.” (read more)

Teaching and Legacy

Before Dr. Dwight Pentecost passed away, Dr. Campbell and Dr. Pentecost reflected on their tenure at the seminary during a chapel with President Mark Bailey. After his time as president, Dr. Campbell, on occasion, spoke in chapel several times. Below are some of his chapel messages:

Memories of Dr. Campbell

Please use the comments section below to share your stories of Dr. Campbell.

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