Dr. Stan Toussaint Retires After 47 Years of Teaching at Dallas Theological Seminary
Photo: Dr. Stan Toussaint with his wife Maxine and the students of his final class at DTS.
A citation from the president of DTS
I have always called him Chief to his face and Mr. Precision behind his back. When I think of the ministry of Dr. Toussaint I believe he epitomizes a pastoral exegete. His exposition is rooted in the judicial handling of the text in its original language and the biblical author’s argument in its literary context. However, he will never allow you the satisfaction of staying there. Dr. Stan Toussaint is known for his crisply worded applications that pull back the curtain of his pastoral love for people – whether they be students, a conference audience, an adult Bible fellowship or the local body of believers that make up the churches he has pastored or addressed lo these many years.
Barby and I came to Dallas under his leadership as Chair of the Bible Exposition department and my first office in Stearns Hall was situated between his and Dr. Pentecost’s. I used to pray for the biblical and theological “ooze” to flow under the walls into my office. For his warm welcome to me, his prayers for me, and his gracious support of me in ministry, I will be forever indebted. One of the measurements of ministry integrity is to see how a spouse looks and listens while his or her counterpart is preaching or teaching. Mrs. Toussaint is the radiant complement to Dr. Toussaint’s ministry every time he speaks. Maxine, thanks you for your faithful support to our beloved colleague.
Coming in early I would often spot him praying before classes started, which, I am sure, was to prepare both his heart and that of the students. Dr. Toussaint, our faculty, staff, board, alumni, and present students will always be grateful for your model of humble ministry and the years of faithful commitment to the Lord you have expressed through your lifetime of ministry at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Dr. Mark Bailey
President of Dallas Theological Seminary
“Teach the Scripture, Love the People”
An older man, temperate, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love and endurance—these words describe the apostle Paul’s ideal shepherd (Titus 2:2). But we could also easily apply them to Dallas Theological Seminary’s beloved elder, Dr. Stanley Toussaint. The senior professor emeritus of Bible Exposition is retiring after nearly five decades of faithful service to the seminary.
Known as one of the world’s leading authorities on the New Testament, Dr. Toussaint is also an editor, author, and conference speaker. A man who loves to fish and travel, he has taught in Christian schools in the Middle East, Australia, and the Far East, and has ministered in pulpits around the world. A pastor-teacher committed to expository preaching, Dr. Toussaint aptly blends scholarship with a heart for God and His people.
Dr. Toussaint is loved by students for his gracious demeanor and his understanding of Scripture. He has a few trademark phrases recognizable by anyone who has attended his lectures: “stone the crows,” “starve the lizards,” and “great honks”—as in “Great honks, what… is he trying to say in this text?" Or a variation on the theme, "That dog won't hunt, that horn won't honk." Dr. T is also known to say "T.A.I." (a Toussaint-ism for “Think About It”).
Growing up in Minnesota
Dr. Toussaint grew up in Hinckley, Minnesota, where—as he likes to say—"the men are men, pansies are flowers, and the women are slightly above average”—his own spin on Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon description.
Dr. Toussaint refers to his home congregation in Hinckley as an “evangelical, altar-calling, Bible-believing, premillennial Presbyterian church.” He heard the message of the gospel from early childhood, but it was at a Bible camp when he was nine years old that he trusted Christ as Savior. By the age of twelve, he had committed himself to full-time Christian ministry.
As a senior in high school, the young Stanley waffled over his decision to enter the ministry until one day God deeply convicted him about his calling. He shared this decision with his father, a hardware-business owner in Hinckley, who hoped his son Stan would someday take over the family business.
“When I told him, I know he was disappointed, but he didn’t say one word about it,” Dr. Toussaint recalled.
Having received his bachelor’s degree from Augsburg College and his Th.M. and Th.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary, Dr. Toussaint went on to teach Greek, Bible, and theology for three years at Northwestern College in Saint Paul. He also taught on the radio five days a week and at Bible conferences.
The legacy of a faithful scholar and Bible expositor
In addition to speaking, Dr. Toussaint has expounded on the Word through writing, having authored, contributed to or edited six books. A sampling of his Bibliotheca Sacra contributions reveals more than twenty-five scholarly articles.
His greatest passion in ministry has been the exposition of the Scriptures, both in the pulpit and the classroom. His only complaint is that he has had to cover the material too fast. “I’d rather go much more slowly.”
One of Dr. Toussaint’s joys is seeing the legacy he has left of alumni whom God is now using all over the world. Among them are Dr. Charles Swindoll, Dr. David Jeremiah, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, and most of the present faculty members who graduated from DTS. But he also loves knowing he has left a legacy of lesser-known students. “Sometimes it’s not some large, prestigious position—I’ll go and preach in one of their little churches and see how God is using them ... I just praise God,” he said.
One thing many people appreciate about Dr. Toussaint is that he pursues and affirms a vision of success that differs from what the world values. Citing 2 Corinthians 5:9, he said, “’I make it my aim to be pleasing to the Lord.’ Please the Lord. That’s my definition of success.”
As the years have passed, Dr. T. says he has evaluated his priorities differently. Several years ago when interviewed for a Kindred Spirit article about aging, he said, “I think much more often of death and anticipate seeing the Lord Jesus.”
What has kept him going, “especially at my age,” he said, is that “I just love what I’m doing. The Lord has blessed me with a measure of strength. Every year my legs are getting weaker from Post-Polio Syndrome. I thank God he has given me the strength to keep ministering the way I am. I just love it.”
Those of us in the DTS family who have been touched by Dr. Toussaint’s ministry are thankful, too.
Dr. Toussaint's chapel archive:
Revelations of God - (09/02/2011)
What Prophecy Produces - (08/26/2010)
Hypocrisy - (01/15/2009)
Immanuel - (12/12/2007)
The Temple of the Holy Church - (09/06/2007)
Differing on the Doubtful - (01/26/2007)
Controlled by God - (01/25/2007)
What is Prayer and What's It For?" - (01/24/2007)
Four Kinds of People - (01/23/2007)
The Rich Man and Lazarus - (03/02/2006)
The Sufficiency of the Lord Jesus - (09/07/2005)
Four Kinds of People - (09/02/2004)
The Filling of the Spirit - (08/28/2003)