Dr. John F. Walvoord, long-time president and chancellor emeritus at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and one of the most prominent evangelical scholars of the 20th century, died Saturday at the age of 92, following after a brief illness.
Dr. Mark Bailey, DTS president said Dr. Walvoord was known not only for his achievements, but for his character as well. "The evangelical world owes a huge debt of gratitude to Dr. Walvoord for being a man of conviction and compassion, and a true giant in the faith," he continued. "He walked with God for nearly a century—65 years of which were spent on the DTS campus mentoring young men and women in Christian ministry."
Dr. Walvoord was a pioneering theological educator and was one of the world's leading scholars of Bible prophecy. He was an icon in the religious and education communities, serving as a church pastor, widely read author, renowned theologian, and religious broadcaster, in addition to his roles at Dallas Theological Seminary.
"Dr. Walvoord was a spiritual statesman who had a profound influence on conservative evangelical theology," said Dr. Charles Swindoll, chancellor of DTS. "During his long tenure at Dallas Seminary, he trained thousands of pastors, missionaries, and seminary and Bible institute professors who have served in ministry around the world."
"Few American theologians in the past century have had such a deep and lasting impact on the teaching and publication of biblical truth," said Dr. Donald K. Campbell, president emeritus of DTS, who, like Dr. Swindoll succeeded Dr. Walvoord in leadership of the seminary.
Born May 10, 1910, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Walvoord attended Wheaton College in Illinois during the Great Depression and spent his summers doing rural and small-town missionary work in Nebraska and South Dakota. In June 1931, at the height of the depression, he was graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton.
That fall Walvoord entered graduate school at the then fledgling Dallas Seminary, where he earned his Bachelor and Master of Theology degrees in 1934 and Doctor of Theology (Th.D) in 1936. He went on to receive a Master of Arts from Texas Christian University in 1945. Later, he was awarded honorary doctorates from Liberty Baptist University and Wheaton College—where he was named alumnus of the year in 1981.
Dr. Walvoord authored 30 books, including The Holy Spirit, The Millennial Kingdom, and Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis (which sold two million copies in 16 languages). He also contributed to 27 other books on biblical theology and the Christian faith.
Beginning in 1953, Dr. Walvoord served as DTS president for 34 years until he transitioned to the role of chancellor in April 1986. During that time Seminary enrollment increased from 250 to 1,700 students, and the campus tripled in size. Under his guidance, Dallas Seminary became known worldwide as the outstanding institution in evangelical, dispensational, and pre-millennial theology.
In May 2001, at the age of 91, Dr. Walvoord was appointed chancellor emeritus of Dallas Seminary. He continued to teach courses, speak at conferences, and write articles until becoming ill several weeks before his passing.
Survivors include Geraldine Walvoord, his wife of 63 years. The family will attend a private interment. Plans for a public memorial service are being finalized. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the John F. Walvoord Student Aid Fund at Dallas Theological Seminary.
—Adapted from Dallas Theological Seminary news release via PR Newswire.
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