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Decatur Baptist College, established in 1898 and the forerunner of Dallas Baptist University, had the distinction of being the first two-year institution of higher education in Texas. The Baptist General Convention of Texas had purchased land in 1897 from Northwest Texas Baptist College. The school enjoyed a rich, full history in Decatur until 1965 when it moved to Dallas, at the invitation of the Dallas Baptist Association.

Dallas Baptist University was established in Dallas, in 1965 as Dallas Baptist College. The initial 100 acres of land for the campus, overlooking Mountain Creek Lake in the hill country of southwest Dallas, were donated by John Stemmons, Roland Pelt, and associates. An interested group of businessmen donated an additional 100 acres, and in 1994 a
donation by the Louis Hexter family brought the current size of the DBU campus to 292 acres.

Beginning with the fall semester of 1968, the college moved from junior-college to senior-college status. The junior year of academic work was added that year, the senior year in June of 1969. The first bachelor's degrees were awarded in May 1970. In 1985, the college name officially became Dallas Baptist University, and significant changes were made. The new structure consisted of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Mary C. Crowley College of Christian Faith, the Dorothy M. Bush College of Education, and the College of Business.

In 1988, the College of Adult Education was added, and in 1989 and 1990 three new colleges were added by dividing the College of Arts and Sciences: the College of Fine Arts, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. In 2003, a new academic division was created in the area of leadership studies and was later renamed by the DBU board of trustees the Gary Cook School of Leadership.

Graduate studies began at DBU in 1981 with the initiation of the Master of Business Administration degree program. Since that time, 21 master's degree programs have been added. In addition, DBU began its first doctoral program in the December 2004, Dallas Baptist University was advanced from Level III to a Level V institution by the Commission on Colleges and was authorized to being the Ph.D. in Leadership Studies and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.

Indeed the future is bright at Dallas Baptist University where a commitment to providing quality, Christian higher education through the integration of faith and learning gives direction and purpose to the entire educational enterprise.

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