A key figure and a contributing voice in the Answers in Genesis ministry for many years has been Dr. Donald B. DeYoung, who retired in May of 2018 from serving on the science faculty of Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, the past 46 years.
Dr. DeYoung joined the Grace faculty in 1972 and over the years taught 40 different courses in the areas of science, physics, astronomy, and math. In addition to teaching thousands of students and all the related work of advising and chairing the department, DeYoung found time to write 21 books. He is frequently published in both popular and scholarly peer-reviewed journals, and he maintains a vigorous speaking schedule as he articulates the principles and biblical support for creation.
Dr. DeYoung earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from Michigan Tech University, and his PhD in physics from Iowa State University. Later he supplemented his scientific knowledge with theological studies, earning a master of divinity degree from Grace Theological Seminary.
DeYoung has an impressive track record in academic leadership. His research interests include lunar tide interactions and biomimicry. He is an internationally known leader in the biblical creationist movement and is currently president of the Creation Research Society which has 1,700 members worldwide. The Society funds research, publishes a technical journal, and operates a laboratory in Arizona. On his sabbatical leaves, Dr. DeYoung has done scholarly research and writing in California, Europe, and the South Pacific.
But Dr. DeYoung is not the stereotypical scientist with a white lab coat and an elite vocabulary. His lifetime labor has been to popularize science, and he particularly enjoys speaking to elementary school children. He demonstrates for them the wonders of science with artifacts like boiled eggs, feathers, and rocks. He served for 30 years on the board of the Warsaw (Ind.) Christian School before retiring from that position. Many of his books on Bible-science projects are written in language and formats children find attractive.
Dr. DeYoung and his wife, Sally, have three married daughters, and the DeYoungs have long been active in Winona Lake (Ind.) Grace Brethren Church, where DeYoung has taught an adult Bible fellowship, led a small group, and served on the board of overseers.
Initially attracted to Grace because of the Bible teaching and creationist work of Dr. John Whitcomb, Dr. DeYoung today continues his research and promotion of the biblical creationist viewpoint, including working with Answers in Genesis and other organizations.
Dr. DeYoung says that one of the highlights of his career was teaching for 25 years in the prisons of Michigan City and Kokomo, Indiana. “That was good for me,” he says, “it got me out of my comfort zone.” Prisoners still talk about one of his most popular astronomy courses entitled “Stars Behind Bars.”
On the Grace campus, he has for years met once a month with a Creation Society campus group that meets for lunch, conversation, and updates on creation research. He is delighted with former students who have gone on to careers and further study, including one currently earning his doctorate in geology.
Dr. DeYoung’s interest in geology has led him to the hobby of hiking, and, in particular, he is drawn to the Grand Canyon. He has rafted the Colorado River six times, has done the 50-mile rim-to-rim hiking and camping trip, and has led “Stars and Rocks” tours in the canyon, studying both geology and astronomy. Currently, he writes a column for the “Creation Matters” newsletter and he is coauthoring a backpacker’s manual and devotional guide.
Dr. DeYoung has received honors and awards from the Indiana Academy of Science, the Au Sable Environmental Institute, the Creation Research Society, the Institute for Creation Research, and more.
Upon DeYoung’s retirement from the Grace College faculty, the president of Grace, Dr. William Katip, said,
I want to express my personal appreciation for Dr. DeYoung’s commitment to excellence, for his persistent application of a biblical worldview to the scientific world, and for his years of devotion to teaching Grace students. If you know Don DeYoung, you know him to be a kind, gentle, godly man, firm in his convictions, but demonstrating the love of Christ in how he treats people and serves others with modesty and humility.
Grace College recently enlarged its science facility with an $8 million renovation and expansion project, and an innovative Creation Cove will be a student lounge area on the third floor of the new Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex. Creation Cove is being built to honor Dr. Don DeYoung's extensive contributions to Grace College and the greater creationist movement. The cove will include artifacts from Dr. DeYoung's digs, copies of the many books he has authored, and art to recognize the impact of his work.
Funds for Creation Cove were provided by a personal friend of Dr. DeYoung’s who is a long-time supporter of Grace College and of Answers in Genesis. Her hope is that Dr. DeYoung's research, writing, and teaching will be long remembered and honored. Creation Cove is expected to be completed this fall.
Dr. DeYoung continues to speak on Bible-science topics to groups of all ages. You can reach Dr. DeYoung through Grace College using their Contact Us page.