Making Men Moral: Who Is David Dockery?

moral23I mentioned previously that I had a challenge locating a Union University bio for Dr. Dockery.  That may well have been my own fault in web-searching.  I have been given a full biography which I want to share with you.  I will register once more my deep respect and appreciation for Dr. Dockery and will urge you to read his books, pray for his ministry, and emulate him as a leader of charity, conviction, grace, theological insight, and acuity.

The following is Dr. Dockery’s full biography.  (Also, congratulations to the Dockerys on the birth of their first grandchild, Abigail, daughter of Ben and Julie Dockery!)

David S. Dockery was elected the 15th president of Union University on December 8, 1995. Since that time the dockeryuniversity has seen an increase in student enrollment from 1975 in the Fall of 1996 to over 3,800 in 2008. The number of donors to the university has increased from around 2000 to nearly 8,000. The significant increase in giving to the university during this period has included sixteen of the largest gifts in Union’s long history. Dockery has provided leadership for three major five year strategic plans. Prior to coming to Union, Dockery served as Chief Academic Officer of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

During his tenure the university has seen a strong increase in commitment to excellence in teaching and scholarship. Union has been listed among the top tier institutions in the South each of the past eleven years by U.S. News and World Report. Union has also been recognized during this time by Peterson’s Competitive College Guide, the Time/Princeton Review, and Templeton’s Colleges that Encourage Character Development. Union has on three occasions received the President’s Higher Education Community Service Award. Union has been listed among America’s Colleges of Distinction and also as one of America’s Top 100 College Buys. This past year Union was listed among USNWR Up and Coming 70 universities in the country to watch. 

The university has added several new degree programs including undergraduate majors in digital media studies, engineering, physics, sports medicine, political science, and ethics, among others, and graduate programs in business, intercultural studies, Christian studies, nursing, social work, education, including the doctor of education program, and the doctor of pharmacy. Faculty development programs have been greatly enhanced and the breadth of student services has been visibly increased. A new campus master plan has seen the addition of several new residence halls, the Miller Tower, Jennings Hall, Hammons Hall, the Fesmire baseball/softball complex, Fesmire Athletic Fieldhouse, a soccer complex, White Hall, and the Grant Events Center. A branch campus was established in Germantown, TN in 1997, which offers programs in education, business, nursing, and Christian studies.  A similar program has been launched in Hendersonville, TN. 

Dockery is the author or editor of thirty books including Renewing Minds, Southern Baptist Consensus and Renewal, Biblical Interpretation Then and Now, Theologians of the Baptist Tradition, and the Holman Bible Handbook. In addition he has contributed to over thirty other volumes. He is the author of numerous articles, chapters, and book reviews. A much sought after speaker on issues of higher education and cultural issues, Dockery has been invited to present lectures at numerous colleges, universities, and seminaries across the country. He has been quoted in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, Christian Post, The Dallas Morning News, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Washington Times, The Tennessean, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis), The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Birmingham News, The Courier-Journal (Louisville), The Baltimore Sun, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Religion News Service,,,, and several denominational publications, among others. His articles have been published in Touchstone, Books & Culture, Christianity Today, and a number of other publications. 

He has been interviewed on several national networks: CNN, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, FOX, and numerous local/regional television channels; along with national radio interviews on ABC, FOX, NPR, Moody, Salem, AFR, and others.  

In 2002 Dockery was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was named Jackson’s Man of the Year for 2008 by the Jackson Exchange Club.  He serves on the board of directors of several civic groups and local foundations. Dockery has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, as well as the Council for Global Education. He serves on the Board of Reference of Prison Fellowship and has served on the board of Christianity Today where he also serves as a consulting editor. 

Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1952, Dockery holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and masters degrees from Grace Theological Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Texas Christian University. He holds the Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of Texas system. Dockery and his wife, Lanese, have three sons: Jonathan (who is married to the former Sarah Phillips), Benjamin (who is married to the former Julie Holzer), and Timothy (who is married to the former Andrea Signaigo). 


Major Lectureships: 

    • Spell Lectures, Mississippi College
    • Page Lectures, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
    • Day-Higginbotham Lectures, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
    • Founders’ Day Lecture, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
    • Convocation Address, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
    • Keynote Address, Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society
    • Keynote Address, The International Mission Board Communications Symposium
    • Hester Lectures, The Association of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools
    • Powell Lectures, Florida Baptist College
    • Dimension Lectures, Gardner-Webb University
    • Hobbs Lectures, Oklahoma Baptist University
    • Keynote Address, Consortium for Global Education
    • Theological Fellowship Lecture, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
    • Torrey Lectures, Biola University  (prepared but unable to deliver in person)
    • Alabama Baptist Leadership Summit Keynote Address
    • TACL Conference Keynote Address
    • Convocation, Houston Baptist University
    • Convocation, Beeson Divinity School  

Major Conference/Special Event Speaker: 

    • Qingdao University, Qingdao, China
    • Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
    • Azusa Pacific University
    • Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
    • Wheaton College
    • Baylor University
    • New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
    • University of Mobile
    • American Academy of Ministry, Princeton University
    • Hannibal LaGrange College
    • Free Will Baptist College
    • Institute for the Study of Protestantism and American Culture
    • Houston Baptist University
    • Dallas Theological Seminary
    • Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
    • Anderson College
    • Oklahoma Chrisitian University
    • Louisian College
    • Grace College and Seminary
    • The Southern Baptist Convention
    • Among others  

Visiting Professor: 

    • Anglican School of Theology/University of Dallas
    • Moscow Theological Institute
    • Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
    • Grace College and Seminary  

Unionite Articles 

    • Spring 2009:  Remembering Feb. 5
    • Fall 2008:  Annual Report:  A Special Year

Books (Authored) 

    • The Doctrine of the Bible (Nashville: Convention Press, 1991; reprint, Nashville: Seminary Extension, 1998).
    • La Doctrina de La Bibla, translated by Miguel A. Mesias (Nashville: Convention, 1992).
    • Biblical Interpretation Then and Now (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992, reprint 2000).
    • Seeking the Kingdom: The Sermon on the Mount Made Practical, co-authored with David E. Garland (Wheaton: Harold Shaw, 1992).
    • Christian Scripture: An Evangelical Perspective on Inspiration, Authority, and Interpretation (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 1995). Also translated into Romanian.
    • Ephesians: One Body in Christ (Nashville: Convention, 1996).
    • Efesios: Un Cuerpo en Cristo (Nashville: Convention, 1996).
    • Our Christian Hope: Bible Answers to Questions About the Future (Nashville: Lifeway Press, 1998)
    • Basic Christian Beliefs (Shepherd’s Notes Series; Nashville: B&H Publishing, 1999).
    • Holman Guide to Interpreting the Bible with George Guthrie (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2004).
    • Renewing Minds: Serving Church and Society Through Christian Higher Education (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2007; second edition 2008)
    • Southern Baptist Consensus and Renewal: A Biblical, Historical and Theological Proposal (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2008)

Books (Edited) 

    • Baptist Theologians, co-editor and contributor with Timothy George (Nashville: Broadman, 1990) chapter on “Millard J. Erickson.”
    • Revell Bible Dictionary, consulting editor (Old Tappan: Fleming H. Revell, 1990).
    • People of God: Essays on the Believers’ Church, co-editor with Paul Basden (Nashville: Broadman, 1991).
    • New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, co-editor and contributor with David Alan Black (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991) chapter on “The History of New Testament Interpretation.”
    • Beyond the Impasse?: Scripture, Interpretation, and Theology in Baptist Life, co-editor with Robison B. James (Nashville: Broadman, 1992) chapter on “A People of the Book: The Crisis of Biblical Authority Today.”
    • Holman Bible Handbook, general editor and contributor (Nashville: Holman, 1992) sections on “Pauline Letters,” “History of Biblical Interpretation,” “Christian Faith and the Christian Community,” and “The Lord’s Supper.”
    • The Concise Bible Dictionary, consulting editor (Old Tappan: Fleming H. Revell, 1992).
    • Holman Book of Biblical Charts, Maps and Reconstructions, contributing editor (Nashville: Holman, 1993).
    • Southern Baptists and American Evangelicals: The Conversation Continues, editor and contributor (Nashville: Broadman, 1993) chapters on “Introduction to Southern Baptists and American Evangelicals” and “Evangelical Responses to Southern Baptists.”
    • Foundations for Biblical Interpretation, co-editor and contributor with Robert B. Sloan and Kenneth A. Mathews (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 1994) chapter on “The Study and Interpretation of the Bible.”
    • The Challenge of Postmodernism: An Evangelical Engagement, editor and contributor (Grand Rapids: Baker/BridgePoint, 1995, revised edition 2001) chapter on “The Challenge of Postmodernism.”
    • The Best of A. T. Robertson, compiler (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 1996).
    • New Dimensions in Evangelical Theology: Essays in Honor of Millard J. Erickson, editor (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1998). Chapter on “Millard J. Erickson.”
    • Holman Concise Bible Commentary, general editor (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 1998). Section on the “Pauline Epistles.” Translated into Spanish.
    • The Integration of Faith and Learning: A Basic Bibliography, editor and compiler (1998).
    • The Future of Christian Higher Education, co-editor with David P. Gushee (B&H Publishing, 1999). Chapters on “The Future of Christian Higher Education: An Introduction,” “The Great Commandment As a Paradigm for Christian Higher Education,” “The Role of Professional Education in Christian Higher Education,” and “The Grandeur of God and Real Education: A Strategy for Integrating Faith in a Post-Christian Culture.”
    • New Testament Interpretation, co-edited with David Alan Black (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2000). Chapter on the History of New Testament Interpretation.
    • Theologians of the Baptist Tradition, co-edited with Timothy George (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2001). Chapters on John A. Broadus, A.T. Robertson, and Hershel Hobbs.
    • John A. Broadus: A Living Legacy, co-edited with Roger Duke (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2008). Chapter on “Mighty in the Scriptures.”
    • Southern Baptist Identity:  An Evangelical Denomination Faces the Future, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2009). Chapter on “Southern Baptists in the 21st Century.”
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