A Distinguished Life: Dr. David K. Naugle, 1952-2021


Dr. David (Davey) Naugle, DBU’s Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, passed away on Friday, June 11. A devoted family man to wife Deemie and daughter, Courtney, Naugle was a beloved professor who established, chaired, and taught in DBU’s philosophy department for nearly three decades. He was a foremost scholar and cared deeply about his students. He truly embodied DBU’s mission statement to integrate faith into every calling and human endeavor to the glory of God.     

The impact that Naugle had on DBU’s intellectual culture continues today in profound ways, most notably in the weekly Friday Symposium lectureships hosted by the Honors Society, which occur throughout the semester and engage a wide range of visiting scholars through discussions on issues of faith and culture.

Naugle also contributed to stimulating DBU’s academic life by establishing and directing the campus chapter of the Paideia College Society (formerly Pew College Society), an academic organization for aspiring student scholars; as well as for DBU faculty in forming the Summer Institute for Christian Scholarship and Outrageous Christian Scholars Society.

Naugle was the author of the award-winning book Worldview: The History of a Concept (Christianity Today’s 2003 “Book of the Year” in Theology and Ethics), which was translated into several languages, as well as Reordered Love, Reordered Lives: Learning the Deep Meaning of Happiness and the volume Philosophy: A Student’s Guide.

Along with his remarkable career at DBU, Dr. Naugle served as a Colson Fellow with Prison Fellowship and was a member of the advisory board of the International Institute of Christian Studies (IICS); the Advisory Board of the Bryan Institute, Bryan College;  the Creative Council for Art House Dallas; and served on the editorial boards of Imaginatio et Ratio: A Journal of Theology and the Arts and Integrite.

Naugle earned his Th.D. in Systematic Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of Texas at Arlington where he also served as an adjunct professor of religion and a campus minister. He provided leadership at two Texas area churches and at Young Life as well. 

Naugle was an avid golfer, gardener, guitarist and drummer. He met his wife, Deemie, at DBU where she currently serves as Associate Provost, and their daughter Courtney is a DBU alumna.

The Good, the True, the Beautiful, a recently published book written in honor of Dr. Naugle by former students, colleagues, friends, is a testimony to the legacy of lives touched by his commitment to Jesus Christ and cultivating the life of the mind.   

“Davey Naugle was adored by DBU students, faculty, and staff alike,” said Dr. Adam C. Wright, DBU President. “His contributions to the scholarly and spiritual life of this University have been immeasurable, as is the impact he has had on the lives of so many students who have passed through University Hill. He leaves a great example of how Christians are to love God with their mind by engaging the ‘Great Conversation’ of faith and culture. He was not only my teacher, but he was a friend that allowed me to do life with him. Whether it was co-teaching with him in Israel, talking through the latest books, or dreaming about the future, Davey inspired me to be a better person for the glory of God alone.”

A service in honor of Naugle’s life will be held in Pilgrim Chapel on Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Donations can be made to the David Naugle Endowed Scholarship Fund at Dallas Baptist University to honor and continue his legacy devoted to raising up future generations of Christian scholars.  


Written by Dr. Michael Whiting

Dr. Michael Whiting is the Director of Written Content in University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.