December In-Person Commencement Services - December 17 and 18

Register to Attend Graduate/Student Health Check Visitor Health Check

We are happy to announce that we will be able to host our Winter Commencement inside Pilgrim Chapel on Thursday, December 17, and Friday, December 18. We have been diligently working through schedules, procedures, protocols, and other safety measures while monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic in order to provide an in-person, indoor Commencement Service. 

As you can imagine, there are many details to address, and our goal is to provide an in-person service that also allows for the graduates to invite family and friends in a responsible and safe manner.  

Normally, we hold two services for Winter Commencement. This year, however, we will hold four services in an effort to minimize the number of graduates at each service so that each graduate may have guests present during the service. 

These services will be held on Thursday, December 17 at 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and on Friday, December 18 at 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. 

If you are planning to attend the service, please fill out this form so that we can plan accordingly. Also, all graduates and guests will be required to complete a DBU Health Check on the day of the service. The Health Check for graduates and students can be found here and the Visitor Health Check can be found here.

In order to abide by safety protocols, we will allow a limited number of people inside the sanctuary, and everyone will be required to wear masks at all times and maintain social distancing, by sitting one seat apart. 

With this in mind, every graduate will be able to invite up to five (5) guests to attend the service inside the sanctuary. 

If more than five of your guests wish to come to campus, they will need to watch the service in our overflow room, where we will provide a live broadcast of the Commencement Service. Your guests can join you outside once the service is completed. In addition, we will also be broadcasting the service on the DBU website (, so guests who are unable to attend in-person will be able to join us on this special day. 

Again, we are limiting the number of guests in the sanctuary to a maximum of 5 per graduate in order to ensure that every graduate will be able to have guests present. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding of this policy. 

We are unfortunately not able to provide those students who graduated in May 2020 or August 2020 with an opportunity to participate in the Winter Commencement services. As previously stated, it is our promise to provide these students with an opportunity to walk during an indoor ceremony. It is our sincere hope that these students can participate in the May 2021 Commencement services. 

Also, any December 2020 graduate who is uncomfortable attending an in-person ceremony is welcomed to participate in a future service when we can also honor the graduates from May 2020 and August 2020. 

Students who are graduating this December can receive more details at Grad Finale, which will be held Saturday, November 7 and Monday, November 9. Please be sure to attend this event so that you can get everything you need for Commencement. If you are unable to attend, please contact the Dean of Students at 214-333-5394. 

Again, we are so excited about the chance to see you walk the stage in Pilgrim Chapel!

Cap and Gown Ordering Information

Students may place orders for graduation regalia directly through the bookstore by calling 214-333-5443.

  • Bachelor Unit (Cap, Gown, and Tassel): $39.00
  • Master Unit (Cap, Gown, Tassel, and Hood): $90.00

Commencement Rehearsal and Services Information

Information for Graduates

Rehearsal is in the Pilgrim Chapel Sanctuary and begins at 8:30 a.m. for 10:00 a.m. services and 1:30 p.m. for 3:00 p.m. services. Rehearsal is required for all students planning to participate in Commencement. Graduates must be on time for rehearsal. Students who do not attend rehearsal will not be allowed to walk in the Commencement Service. Attendance at rehearsal will be checked.

Ladies, for security reasons, leave purses and other valuables locked in a vehicle when coming to rehearsal. We are not able to secure them during the ceremony. Undergraduate students graduating with honors will receive medals during rehearsal.

Robing and Processional

Immediately following the rehearsal, graduates will follow the assigned faculty marshal to a designated room for line up. The faculty marshal will assist in lining up alphabetically. At the appropriate time, the processional will proceed to the Pilgrim Chapel Sanctuary. Upon arrival at the designated seat, please remain standing until told to be seated. Men remove their caps for prayer.

Graduates may purchase regalia at Grad Finale. Graduates who are unable to attend Grad Finale are required to purchase regalia through Barnes & Noble at DBU at least two weeks before the commencement day. Gowns look best when they have been on a hanger for several days before wearing; carefully touching up with an iron is also helpful.

FACE COVERINGS REQUIRED - All participants and guests for the services will be required to keep face coverings on at all times. DBU masks will be provided for graduating students and it is encouraged that you wear these as a part of your regalia.

Clothing Requirements


Wear a white or light-colored shirt with a tie under the robe, long dark trousers, and dark shoes and socks. No sandals, flip flops, or athletic shoes.


Wear slacks, a dress or a skirt. If the garment is visible below the hem of the gown, a dark color must be worn. Dark-colored shoes including open toe dress sandals are acceptable. No shoes of bright colors, no casual sandals, flip flops, western boots, or athletic shoes.

The mortarboard (cap) should rest flat on top of the head with the point well down on the forehead (not on the back of the head or tilted to either side). No signs, symbols, or other decorations are to be placed on your mortarboard.

No stoles, clerical, or society insignia may be worn on the robe or around your neck. Only DBU honor medals (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, cum laude, and university honors scholar) may be worn.

At the time of conferring degrees, graduates will be asked to stand. The person calling the names will make an introductory statement. Following that statement, the first row of candidates will move into the assigned position. Other rows remain seated until it is their turn. Faculty marshals will direct graduates when it is time to stand and move into position. Graduates will first form a line for photos and then move to a designated stopping point. As names are called, the representative from the Registrar’s Office will indicate when graduates are to walk toward the president to receive their diploma. Graduates should wait until their name is called before proceeding across the stage. After receiving the diploma, graduates return to assigned seats.

Information for Commencement Guests

Every graduate will only be allowed to have up to five (5) guests attend the in-person service in Pilgrim Chapel. Any guests above that limit will be able to watch a live broadcast of the service in a designated overflow room.

Due to county and state regulations, Pilgrim Chapel will be kept at 50% capacity with social distance and face covering requirements.

All guests and participants in the service will be required to keep face coverings on at all times.

Seats will be blocked off to provide a one-seat separation for every guest. Please abide by this separation even if you are sitting in a group together.

All seating will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Please plan to arrive at Pilgrim Chapel approximately 45 minutes prior to the beginning of the commencement service.

Since seating is on a first-come/first-served basis, guests may reserve seats for others not yet present only until 10 minutes prior to the beginning of the commencement service.

We may ask guests to move to the middle of the sections as they are seated so as to make room for other incoming guests.

To ensure safety for all in attendance, guests are not permitted to stand in the aisles, entrances, exits, and passageways of the Pilgrim Chapel Sanctuary.

Handicap Seating

Handicap seating is available in the Pilgrim Chapel Sanctuary. Handicapped guests can be driven to the front of Pilgrim Chapel for access to the sanctuary. DBU security officers will be stationed throughout the campus grounds on the day of Commencement. Upon campus arrival, guests should notify a DBU security officer that they need to proceed to the handicap entrance. If you have any questions regarding handicap seating, please call 214-333-6823.

Some colleges and universities have both a baccalaureate religious service and a commencement ceremony for graduating students. At Dallas Baptist University, both programs are merged together into one event. DBU considers the graduation ceremony to be a worship experience, as well as an opportunity to recognize our graduates for their achievements.

The commencement service at DBU is designed to be a spiritual and reverent ceremony. Cheering and yelling during the reading of the graduates’ names are not permitted. Thus, the University requests that the audience hold all applause until the end of the service after all the graduates in each degree area have been presented their diplomas. Please be sure to share this information with family and friends so that they are not embarrassed during the ceremony.

To ensure a respectful and non-disruptive environment for the graduates and their guests, DBU prohibits noisemakers of any kind. The University asks all guests to refrain from cheering, yelling, or creating loud outbursts during the degree presentations. Balloons, posters/signs, horns, whistles, and other noise devices are not permitted in the sanctuary.

Commencement services typically run between 90 and 120 minutes in length. Small children are rarely able to remain quiet for this extended period, and very often are uncomfortable trying to do so. Children under the age of five may not attend commencement services. While children do not intend to be disruptive, talking, crying, and similar behaviors are not uncommon for children of this age. Should children be brought to the service and become disruptive, parents may be asked to take the child outside of the sanctuary.

Accommodations for children and their parents are available in the lower level of the Pilgrim Chapel, Room LL05, where the remote broadcast of the service may be viewed.


Following the closing prayer, the platform party will exit the Pilgrim Chapel Sanctuary first, followed by the faculty and then the graduates. Faculty marshals will direct the recessional out of the Pilgrim Chapel Sanctuary and to the reception. Guests will be asked to remain in their seats until all graduates have exited the building. Graduates will have the opportunity to greet family and friends following commencement services.

Reception Honoring Graduates

Graduates will exit the Pilgrim Chapel Sanctuary at the conclusion of the service and make their way to the commencement reception. As the graduates exit, guests are asked to remain seated, and not fill the aisles. Guests are invited to join their graduates at the reception. Graduates will not return to the Pilgrim Chapel Sanctuary after exiting.

Receptions for commencement services are held in the Hillcrest Great Hall in the John G. Mahler Student Center.

A room will be available for a remote broadcast of the commencement service in the lower level of the Pilgrim Chapel, Room LL05. This room will accommodate children and parents as needed. The room will be supplied with coloring books and crayons.

In addition, the commencement service will be broadcast on this page the day of the service.