In the fall of 1924, the first students at what would later be called Dallas Theological Seminary met to study under Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer. Dr. Chafer’s burden and vision to emphasize expository preaching and teaching of the Scriptures led to this inaugural class of thirteen men.
1920s & ’30s
In those early years DTS’s prayer and financial supporters helped educate people such as J. Vernon McGee, who launched his Thru the Bible radio program, which is still produced in more than one hundred languages and broadcast daily to every continent. Those supporters also helped make possible the education of Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, who went on to teach more than 10,000 DTS students over fifty-eight years.
Investments in DTS helped educate Howard Hendricks, who taught at DTS for sixty years, directly or indirectly touching the lives of millions and shaping many of the leading ministries in our world today. He taught multitudes how to study the Bible for themselves.
Those who gave to DTS during the 1960s supported the training of Chancellor Chuck Swindoll, whose Insight for Living (IFL) radio broadcasts air worldwide more than 2,000 times each day. In addition to English, listeners hear IFL broadcasts in six languages. David Jeremiah also graduated in the 1960s, and his Turning Point ministry is now heard on 2,500 radio stations and seen on TV in a potential 2.5 billion homes worldwide.
Supporters of DTS in the 1970s helped the Seminary educate people such as author Tony Evans, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in south Dallas and president of The Urban Alternative (TUA). TUA seeks, by God’s grace, to transform inner-city neighborhoods nationwide, and its radio outreach extends to nearly 1,000 outlets in the U.S. and to more than 100 countries worldwide.
1980s-era friends helped equip Babu Pimplekar, who returned to Central India. A second generation of DTS grads—his daughter, Rani, and son-in-law, Jayesh Yangad—minister in Aurangabad. Their works include church planting, evangelism, counseling, pastoral training, and hosting medical camps. Supporters also aided in educating pastor and author Andy Stanley, founder of North Point Ministries, which equips leaders to create churches that unchurched people love to attend.
People who prayed and gave to the Seminary during the 1990s invested in God’s work through people such as Moscow pastor Gennadi Sergienko; second-generation DTS grad Priscilla Shirer, co-founder of Going Beyond Ministries; Imad Shahadeh, president of Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary; Elizabeth Inrig, who led women’s ministries for the Evangelical Free Church of America; and current DTS president Mark Bailey.
Those who more recently invested in DTS have helped to equip graduates such as Brad Hopkins, who directs the Central Wyoming Rescue Mission; Célestin Musekura, who founded ALARM, an African-led organization that equips leaders to transform their communities; and hundreds of others who have reached millions around the globe through books and articles.
Anyone who supported DTS in the past three decades has had a part in seeing more than six hundred international students trained. In the past ten years alone, more than three hundred men and women have crossed borders to serve in 104 countries. Many of these servants are doing ministry in countries closed to the gospel.
More than 15,000 alumni have stepped through doors of opportunity after leaving DTS. Only eternity will reveal the number of lives these grads have touched and will touch—and the eternal dividends reaped by those who have prayed, encouraged, and given to support the Lord’s work at Dallas Theological Seminary.