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Although an introvert by nature, Dr. Lin McLaughlin models the value of relationships for students in his courses. Before his classes begin, Dr. McLaughlin memorizes the names of each of his students, and on the first day of class he does his best to call them each by name. And throughout the semester, he strives to be available and accessible, setting aside 2-3 days a week for lunches with students.
“I don’t have any agenda when I meet with students … the main purpose is to listen and get to know them,” he said.
The value of relationships is an integral part of Dr. McLaughlin’s teaching philosophy and ministry philosophy. He recognizes that it is not emphasized enough in the seminary classroom. Having been mentored by men who also valued relationships, Dr. McLaughlin now feels strongly that this is one of the best ways he can serve the church.
“The thing about relationships is that they aren’t convenient. To make them a priority, you’re going to have to put other things on the back burner and make deliberate choices.”
While he’s only been teaching on campus since 1996, Dr. McLaughlin estimates that he has already taught roughly 2100 students.
Dr. McLaughlin’s early years were marked by significant relationships with his mother, who raised him as a single mother after his father left them, and well-loved teachers who explained the gospel to him and inspired him to become a teacher himself.
“I’ve wanted to teach, especially at DTS, since I was a senior in high school.”
He became acquainted with Dallas Seminary through two courses he took in high school—Walk Thru the Bible and a spiritual life class from the Lay Institute (now called the Center for Biblical Studies).
Spurred on by his experiences, he prayed that God would do three things: (1) direct him to the college of His choice, (2) allow him to go to DTS, and (3) allow him to eventually teach at DTS.
In 1974 he graduated from high school and went to Austin College, where he was heavily involved in ministry. After college he went on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for three years, and then came to DTS.
While in seminary he served as pastor of Christian education at Sherman Bible Church, where Dr. John Reed was the head pastor. The church offered Dr. McLaughlin and his family inexpensive housing while he attended seminary. After he graduated, he served for 11 years as pastor of Christian education at Plano Bible Chapel.
In 1996, Dr. McLaughlin began teaching at DTS as associate professor of Christian Education. And just last year, he received his doctorate from the University of North Texas.
He and his wife of 23 years, Marsha, have three children: Bonnie, 13, Patrick, 15, and Kathleen, 18.
The mission of Dallas Theological Seminary is to
glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders
for the proclamation of His Word and the
building up of the body of Christ worldwide.