Meet Founding Dean Dr. Diana R. Garland
We Are Called
A Tribute to Dr. Garland
Diana Garland earned her undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees, all from the University of Louisville in Kentucky. For 17 years, she served as professor of Christian family ministry and social work at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. She also served as dean of the Carver School of Church Social Work and director of the Center for Family Ministries. Prior to teaching, she was administrative director of a pastoral counseling center.
Together, Diana Garland with husband, David joined the Baylor faculty in 1997. In 1998, Diana Garland was named director of the university’s then-new Center for Family and Community Ministries. She became chair of the social work department in 2001 and, in 2005, was named inaugural dean of the School of Social Work. During the following decade, she championed the School’s rise to national and international recognition, while maintaining its steadfast mission to prepare social workers in a Christian context for worldwide service and leadership.
Social work professor Preston Dyer hired Garland to help Baylor move the undergraduate social work program to a full-service and nationally recognized School of Social Work, which admitted its first Ph.D. cohort in 2013.
Garland was author, co-author or editor of 21 books and more than 100 academic articles. Some of her literary works included "Flawed Families of the Bible: How God’s Grace Works through Imperfect Relationships," "Inside Out Families: Living the Faith Together," "Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide" and her latest book, "Why I Am a Social Worker: 25 Christians Tell Their Life Stories." She had served as editor of the Journal of Family and Community Ministries since 1993.
Garland also gave significant service to national social work organizations. She served as a Board Member of the National Association of Deans and Directors of Social Work from 2009 to 2014 and Councilor for the Council on Social Work Education from 2003 to 2013. She served multiple terms as president of the North American Association of Christians in Social Work.
She also was first lady of Baylor University when David Garland, then dean of Truett Seminary, was named interim president in 2008. She served in that additional capacity until 2010.
Garland is survived by her husband, David; daughter, Sarah, and her husband, Matthew; son, John, and his wife, Abby; three granddaughters, Aurora Grace, Azalea Faith and Tess Moran; and grandson, Matthew Edward.
- Baylor names School of Social Work after founding dean
- Baylor mourns the passing of social work dean
- Good shepherds
"How blessed we were to have known her and be known by her. We will keep the vision alive.
I read the posts of our graduates and realize anew that the ripples of Diana’s influence spread around the globe. The depth of her influence informs wisdom of social workers and practitioners in agencies and congregations and in all the places where hurting people turn for help.
The loss of Diana was both personal and professional. That is about who she was...personal friend and professional mentor...to all who knew her. I want to say to her one more time, we are committed to continuing the good work we started together."
Dr. Helen Harris, associate professor