With sadness, the DTS family announces the passing of Dr. Aubrey Malphurs (ThM, 1978; PhD, 1981) on December 6, 2022. He taught in the Educational Ministries and Leadership and Pastoral Ministries departments at Dallas Theological Seminary. But looking back at the many roles through which Dr. Malphurs influenced and inspired those around him paints a picture of a man who consistently, and with delight, accepted the opportunities God gave him. Soon after he accepted Christ for his salvation, Dr. Malphurs said, “I knew I had to go into some aspect of Christian service. There was nothing else I wanted to do!”

By following his passion for service to the kingdom of God, Dr. Malphurs may be remembered as any number of these roles: high school teacher, scholar, professor, mentor, author, assistant director of Field Education (DTS), director of admissions (DTS), church elder, pastor, church planter, leadership consultant, innovator, strategic thinker, colleague, husband, father, grandfather, friend.

Teaching and Writing

Dr. Malphurs taught at DTS for thirty-eight years, retiring in 2019 at age seventy-five. In the classroom and on campus, he invested in students and colleagues, always eager to develop the next generation of leaders to steward God’s resources and the church. In addition to his teaching, Dr. Malphurs also wrote more than twenty books on leadership development, strategic planning, and church health. His books, seminars, and consulting—including work with The Malphurs Group, a nonprofit organization he founded in the 1990s—extended his influence far beyond the campus of DTS. “I feel like Aubrey is one of those people who is more respected ‘out in the field’ sometimes rather than here on the campus,” says Dr. George Hillman. Dr. Dipa Hart remembers Dr. Malphurs as “a pioneer in addressing issues of leadership from a biblical perspective. . . . His books have guided millions of churches and people he will only meet in heaven.”


Dr. Malphurs lived the commitment to Christ that he taught—as exemplified in his fifty-nine years of marriage to his wife, Susan, and the four children he and Susan raised. His family admires him for his example of hard work and loving care. “My father is an extremely hard worker who taught me to have a strong work ethic and the value of taking care of my family,” Dr. Malphurs’s son David says, “which is probably the most important thing he showed me.” Dr. Malphurs is survived by his wife, four children, and eight grandchildren.


For more about Dr. Malphurs, see this profile from DTS Magazine (2020): https://voice.dts.edu/article/building-leaders-profile-of-aubrey-malphurs-thm-1978-phd-1981/

And this tribute by The Malphurs Group: https://malphursgroup.com/remembering-dr-malphurs-and-continuing-his-legacy/

To get to know Dr. Malphurs’s legacy through some of his writings and discussions at DTS, look at the following:


Dr. Malphurs on his wedding day enjoying cake with his wife
Dr. Malphurs smiling and looking at a camera
Dr. Malphurs shaking hands while receiving his degree from DTS
Dr. Malphurs in conversation with a man

About the Contributors

Neil R. Coulter

Neil R. Coulter

Neil R. Coulter completed degrees in music performance and ethnomusicology from Wheaton College and Kent State University. He and his family lived in Papua New Guinea for twelve years, where Neil served as an ethnomusicology and arts consultant for Wycliffe Bible Translators. In 2015, he helped design and launch the PhD in World Arts at Dallas International University. He teaches doctoral courses in theory and ethnography at DIU’s Center for Excellence in World Arts. At DTS, he teaches about art, literature, film, and theology, and he is senior writer and editor of DTS Magazine. Neil is married to Joyce, and they have three sons.