The Board of Incorporate Members of Dallas Theological Seminary has named current vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Mark M. Yarbrough, as the sixth president in the institution’s ninety-five-year history.
Dr. Yarbrough, who will assume the presidency on July 1, 2020, will succeed Dr. Mark L. Bailey who announced his retirement this past year and will have served 19 years as president and 35 years at the seminary. Dr. Bailey will finish his tenure as president on June 30, 2020 and will continue with the seminary in the role of chancellor.
In response to this new call to ministry, Mark Yarbrough commented on how “God’s faithfulness to this institution has abounded through the tireless service of men and women since its inception.” As a result, “It has been an honor to be a part of this community, and I am humbled by the invitation to serve in this new role.”
One year ago, the Board of Incorporate Members established an eight-person presidential search committee tasked with finding the ideal candidate to lead DTS through its centennial celebration and beyond. As part of this process DTS selected one of the nation’s leading executive recruiting firms, The Dingman Company, to help manage an extensive national and global presidential search. Robert Murchison, chairman of the Board of Incorporate Members, announced that, “While the presidential search committee did a thorough and outstanding job identifying potential candidates and narrowing it down to a few finalists, the board has unanimously and enthusiastically selected Mark M. Yarbrough to lead DTS into the future.” Murchison continued, “The board is thrilled that Mark Yarbrough will be the next president of Dallas Theological Seminary. Once again, the Lord has displayed His faithfulness through the provision of outstanding leadership to advance the mission of the seminary to equip godly servant-leaders for the proclamation of His Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide.”
According to David Stevens, board member and chair of the presidential search committee, “God has prepared Mark to be a uniquely qualified leader. The combination of his passion for the Lord, proven organizational leadership, scholarly excellence, and informed cultural engagement will serve him well as the president of DTS. The board is excited to serve with him and see what the Lord will continue do through DTS.”
Dr. Yarbrough has a long history with DTS, first as a student, having earned both his ThM (1996) and PhD (2008) degrees in Bible Exposition at the seminary; and later as a member of the faculty and administration. For the past seven years, he has served as the vice president for academic affairs and academic dean at DTS. Prior to that he was the vice president for communications. In addition to his role as a senior administrator with the seminary, Dr. Yarbrough continues to teach hundreds of students per year as a professor in the Bible Exposition department, where he has been on faculty since 2003. Before coming to DTS in 2001, he served as a vice president and professor of Bible at Dallas Christian College, his undergraduate alma mater.
During his tenure at DTS, Dr. Yarbrough oversaw the creation and execution of the seminary’s online education program, which has become a standard in the market of Christian higher education. He has been instrumental in academic innovation and coordinating partnerships with like-minded ministries and churches like North Point Ministries and Passion City Church in the greater Atlanta area, Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth, and Fellowship Bible Church in Northwest Arkansas. These partnerships, along with the creation of new degrees and other educational opportunities, have resulted in record enrollment for nearly every semester since 2012. Yet, far more than simply gaining additional students, Dr. Yarbrough is motivated by offering solid biblical-theological training and practical skills necessary to succeed in ministry to as many as possible.
“I have watched God develop the character and competence of a leader in Mark Yarbrough, and I know of no one better qualified to steward the sacred trust of leadership at DTS” said current DTS president Mark Bailey, “I am thrilled to pass the baton to him this coming year.”
Dr. Yarbrough’s twin passions for the local church and theological education have worked in tandem for over twenty-five years. At Centerpoint Church in Mesquite, TX, he serves as an elder and pastoral team member. He has also coauthored and recorded multiple songs/albums and enjoys leading worship. In regard to theological education, he loves the classroom and interacting with students preparing for various ministry endeavors. Dr. Yarbrough has written numerous scholarly and ministry-focused works, including Paul’s Utilization of Preformed Traditions and How to Read the Bible Like a Seminary Professor. In addition to his ministry roles, Dr. Yarbrough is active in the community as well. He currently serves on the board for six different organizations, and is a sought-after conference speaker. Dr. Yarbrough is married to Jennifer and together they have four children. You can learn more about him at markyarbrough.org.
As mentioned, Dr. Yarbrough will begin his role as president on July 1, 2020. The presidential inauguration and celebration are scheduled for April 10th, 2021, with more information forthcoming. You can learn more at dts.edu/presidentialtransition.
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 14 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.