Faculty/Staff Directory

close up of dan payne, academic dean

Don J. Payne, PhD

Vice President of Academic Affairs, Academic Dean, Professor of Theology

Dr. Don J. Payne was named the VP of Academic Affairs, Academic Dean in 2021. He joined the Seminary in 1998 as director of the suburban and rural training centers in the Training and Mentoring department. In 2001, he was appointed as associate dean and provided overall leadership for the Training and Mentoring program until 2013. In 2004, he was appointed as assistant professor of theology and ministry, then in 2013 as associate professor of Theology and Christian Formation.

Dr. Payne earned a PhD in systematic theology from the University of Manchester, England, an MDiv from Denver Seminary, and a BA from Tennessee Temple University. Prior to coming to Denver Seminary, he pastored for eight years, first as a church-planting pastor in Chattanooga, Tennessee, then as an associate pastor at Southern Gables Evangelical Free Church in Littleton, Colorado. Most recently, he has served as an interim pastor at Castle Oaks Covenant Church in Castle Rock, Colorado. He has taught courses for Colorado Christian University, Colorado State University, and Moody Bible Institute’s extension school. Since 2000, he has served occasionally as a consultant and trainer for public and private-sector organizations seeking to develop effective mentoring programs. He hosts Denver Seminary’s podcast, Engage360, available here.

His publications include Already Sanctified (Baker Academic), Surviving the Unthinkable (Resource), The Theology of the Christian Life in J. I. Packer’s Thought (Paternoster/Wipf & Stock), chapters in J.I. Packer and the Evangelical Future (Baker), A Case for Historic Premillennialism (Baker), and Preparing for Ministry (Kregel), as well as articles and book reviews in The 1995 Seminary & Graduate School Handbook, Themelios, Teaching Theology and Religion Review, Compass, and Focal Point. He has co-authored Discipleship with a Capital “D”: What the Bible Teaches About Mentoring and Launching and Sustaining Mentoring in Your Ministry Setting.

The relationship of theology and ministry, the Trinity, Christology, and sanctification.

Books Authored and Chapters Contributed

  • “The Personhood and Humanity of God,” in Divine Suffering: Theology, History, and Church Mission, ed. Andrew J. Schmutzer. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2022.
  • James I. Packer in British Evangelical Theologians, ed. Thomas A. Noble. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2022.
  • “J.I. Packer,” in British Evangelical Theologians of the Twentieth Century: An Enduring Legacy. Ed. T.A. Noble and Jason S. Sexton. Inter-Varsity, 2022.
  • The Personhood and Humanity of God in Divine Suffering, ed. Andrew Schmutzer, Wipf and Stock, 2021.
  • Already Sanctified: A Theology of the Christian Life in Light of God’s Completed Work. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2020.
  • Surviving the Unthinkable: Choosing to Live After Someone You Love Chooses to Die. Eugene, OR: Resource/Wipf & Stock Publications, 2015.
  • Launching and Sustaining Mentoring in Your Ministry Setting. With G. Brian Jones. Grass Valley, CA: Faith-Mentoring and More, 2010.
  • Discipleship with a Capital “D”: What The Bible Teaches About Mentoring. With Sharon J.S. Heron and G. Brian Jones. Grass Valley, CA: Faith-Mentoring and More, 2010.
  • “J.I. Packer’s Theological Method,” in J.I. Packer and the Evangelical Future: The Impact of His Life and Thought, ed. Timothy F. George. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009.
  • “The Theological Method of Premillennialism,” in A Case for Historic Premillennialism: An Alternative  to “Left Behind” Eschatology, ed. Craig L. Blomberg and Sung Wook Chung. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009.
  • “Field Education and Theological Reflection in an Evangelical Context,” in Preparing for Ministry: A Practical Guide to Theological Field Education, ed. George M. Hillman, Jr. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2008.
  • The Theology of the Christian Life in J.I. Packer’s Thought: Theological Anthropology, Theological Method, and the Doctrine of Sanctification. Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2006.

Magazine and Journal Articles

  • “The Holy Spirit and Sanctification” for Participatio: The Journal of the T.F. Torrance Theological Fellowship, 2022.
  • “The Explicit and Implicit Theological Method of J.I. Packer,” for Themelios, 2022.
  • “Suffering as the Texture of Grace: How Divine Grace Upholds Un in Suffering,” The Table (November 27, 2017): https://cct.biola.edu/suffering-texture-grace/.
  • “Ecclesiological Highs and Lows: Thomas F. Torrance’s Ecclesiological Influence on Ray S. Anderson,” Participatio: The Journal of the T.F. Torrance Theological Fellowship 6 (2016): 89-111.
  • “Absolute Power: What Does It Mean When We Say God Is All Powerful?” Engage (Spring 2014): 12-14.
  • “Prerequisites for Charitable Orthodoxy,” Denver Seminary Magazine 7:2 (Summer 2011): 9.
  • “The Ingredients of Faithful Living,” Denver Seminary Magazine 5:1 (Spring 2009): 5-6.
  • “Mentoring: Cutting to the Chase,” Denver Seminary Magazine 2:1 (Spring 2006): 5-7.
  • “Beyond the Status Quo,” Focal Point 27:3 (Fall 2004): 14.
  • “A Changing World: What’s a Mentor to Do?” Focal Point 27:1 (Spring 2004): 8.
  •  “Mentoring in a World of Change,” Focal Point 27:3 (Fall 2004): 8.
  • “Mentoring Toward Cultural Fitness.” Focal Point 25:5 (Fall 2003): 8.
  • “Mentoring Toward the Finish Line.” Compass 8:1 (April 2003): 4-6.
  • “Taking the Long Way: Life Lessons from a Seminarian Who Didn’t Do It By the Book.” The 1995 Seminary & Graduate School Handbook. Evanston, IL: Berry Publishing, 1995.


  • Friendship: The Heart of Being Human, by Victor Lee Austin, in First Things 321 (2022): 62.