Meet Dallas Theological Seminary’s new vice president for academic affairs and academic dean, Dr. Mark Yarbrough. He replaces long-time DTS administrator and professor Dr. John Grassmick, who has retired. Here are five things you should know about Dr. Yarbrough as he assumes his new responsibilities.
1. Dr. Yarbrough has a deep connection to DTS.
The Yarbrough family tree was radically changed when Mark’s great grandmother came to know the Lord through the witness of her dentist, Dr. Eugene Woods. Dr. Woods's granddaughter, Dr. Lucy Mabery-Foster (Woods), would later be the first female faculty member at DTS. When Yarbrough graduated from college, it was the late Dr. Mabery-Foster (Woods) who convinced Mark that DTS was the right choice for seminary.
Yarbrough was born and raised a Texan, and he cut his teeth on books written by DTS professors. He earned his undergraduate degree from Dallas Christian College, where he was named valedictorian and received the Delta Epsilon Chi Award. He earned his ThM at DTS (1996), was named Who’s Who, and was an SCEC scholarship recipient. He earned his PhD from DTS in 2008.
Prior to his current appointment, he oversaw seminary activities related to public representation (such as public relations, web services, creative services, information technology, and advertising). And academically, he oversaw the extension campuses (Houston, Austin, Atlanta, San Antonio, Tampa), extension initiatives (Knoxville and Washington, DC), and online education (English and Chinese). He also served as a professor in the Bible Exposition Department—a responsibility he will continue to fulfill.
2. Dr. Yarbrough has a heart for the world beyond Dallas.
Yarbrough passionately believes in the DTS mission. He is especially energized by the final statement: “building up the body of Christ worldwide.” He believes it is an honor for DTS faculty to engage with the global Christian community in order to understand what the Lord is doing all around the world–not simply at home in the U.S. Yarbrough has participated in international discussions on theological education, even consulting with the Chinese government concerning the growth of Christianity in their country. He has also led numerous tours beyond US borders and has participated in forums and studies in such places as Israel, Jordan, Turkey, China, Great Britain, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines, and Sri Lanka.
3. Dr. Yarbrough is a family man.
More than twenty years ago, Yarbrough married his high school sweetheart, Jennifer. They have four children: Kayla (16), Jacob (14), Kayci (12), and Joseph (10). They are a very active family–at church, at school, and in life. Whenever possible, they travel together for ministry engagements when Mark teaches and speaks at conferences. Their travels have taken them to all parts of the southwest, both coasts, and various places overseas. The Yarbrough family enjoys rooting for the local Dallas sports teams, especially the Dallas Cowboys, Mavericks, and Rangers. A favorite pastime for Mark and Jennifer is watching their kids play sports themselves. You’ll regularly find the family in the bleachers energized as they watch one of the kids play volleyball, basketball, football, and baseball. The Yarbroughs reside east of Dallas in Forney, Texas.
4. Dr. Yarbrough has a pastor’s heart.
Yarbrough’s twin passions for the local church and theological education have worked in tandem for more than twenty years. On staff at a church at the age of sixteen, he has grown up involved in understanding the value of community in a church family. At Centerpoint Church in Mesquite, Texas, he continues to serve on the executive committee on the board of elders, and he is a member of the pastoral preaching team—regularly preaching and teaching in the fall and the spring. He also has a song in his heart and on his lips. He loves to sing. He has coauthored and recorded multiple songs/albums with multiple groups and enjoys leading worship. He believes in the local church and longs to see DTS students plugged into ministry during their time of study, noting that it is “the single greatest way to put wheels on classroom education and ensure that it does not stay theoretical or become sterile.”
5. Dr. Yarbrough loves teaching, in and out of the classroom.
Interacting with students and preparing them for various ministry endeavors is one of Yarbrough’s passions. In addition to interacting with students in the DTS classroom, he presents at conferences such as Horn Creek, Mount Hermon, Word of Life, and the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. He also enjoys writing and has been published in various magazines (Kindred Spirit, Word and Work, and Christianity Today). His recent book, Paul’s Utilization of Preformed Traditions in 1 Timothy, was published through T & T Clark (Continuum), and he currently has a variety of publishing projects in the works. At DTS he continues his work in the Bible Exposition department, teaching such courses as BE101 (Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics), BE106 (Acts and Paul’s Epistles), BE510 (Life of Christ), and BE107 (Ruth, Jonah, Psalms, and Selected Epistles).
Ten Little-known Facts about Dr. Yarbrough
- He loves indulging in his mother’s "killer banana pudding." "It is seriously good."
- Upon graduating from high school he almost went to Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, to major in “Large Ranch Management.”
- He loves the outdoors–loves hunting and fishing with his father and sons. He especially loves a good pheasant hunt in Kansas.
- He has climbed many fourteeners in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in Colorado. He once climbed Horn Peek, a near-fourteener, twice in one day.
- He caught rattlesnakes in south Texas for the Texas Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup and received $10 per snake. He made $1,200 one summer. Do the math.
- He had a U-Haul truck’s engine blow up on him, a fiasco that almost landed him in jail. If you ever meet him at a conference or on campus, ask him about it.
- He taught Bible in an “adult completion college program” when he was twenty-four years old. Students had to be over twenty-five to get into the program. He said, “It was odd.”
- He hates crooked pictures.
- At every conference at which he has spoken for the past ten years, someone has told him that looks like Nicholas Cage. He is not sure if that is a compliment.
- His wife has cut his hair for the past twenty-five years.