The Reverend Dr. L. David Beckman was born in Denver, Colorado on August 21, 1926. He graduated from Wheat Ridge High School in Wheat Ridge, Colorado in 1944, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Wheaton College, Illinois in 1947.
Following graduation from Wheaton, he ministered to international students in Denver and helped to start mission Sunday Schools in Idaho Springs and Georgetown. The mission in Idaho Springs has now developed into a Conservative Baptist church.
From 1947 to 1948, Dr. Beckman studied Anthropology in The Graduate Faculties at Columbia University in New York City. In 1952, he was awarded his Master of Theology degree in New Testament Literature from Dallas Theological Seminary. During his seminary days, he taught Sunday School, led a Young Life Club, and assisted in other ministries. He taught at Dallas Bible Institute from 1952 to 1955.
Dr. Beckman then served as Instructor in Bible and, subsequently, Director of the Evening School at the London Bible Institute and Theological Seminary in Ontario, Canada, from 1955 to 1961. While working at the seminary in London, Dr. Beckman also served as Interim Pastor in several churches. Additionally, he served on the Board of Directors of Crusade Evangelism and founded the Canadian arm of Youth Gospel Crusade, an evangelistic organization directed toward children’s ministry. In 1956, he received his Doctorate of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.
From 1961 to 1963, Dr. Beckman served as the Director of the Department of Biblical Studies at the King’s College in Briarcliff Manor, New York. He also served on several faculty committees. While at King’s College, he earned his Master of Arts degree in Administration of Higher Education from Teachers College in Columbia University, in 1962.
During the summer of 1964, Dr. Beckman was awarded a scholarship to participate in New York University’s Professorial Workshop in the Land of the Bible as sponsored by the Hebrew Institute. He studied under leading professors in Israel from Hebrew University, Bar Ilan University, and Tel Aviv University, as well as government officials (including David BenGurion, former Prime Minister and one of the founders of the State of Israel).
Dr. Beckman first came to Rockmont College to serve as President in 1963 and remained in that position until 1982. As President of Rockmont College, he accomplished many objectives, including an enrollment increase from 42 to 350 students, North Central Association accreditation, and the development of a new campus with several adequate buildings in Lakewood, Colorado. He also brought the institution’s net worth from zero to over several million dollars, and developed the budget from $52,000 to over $2 million. Dr. Beckman served on the Board of Trustees during nearly every year from 1963 through 1997.
While leading Rockmont College, Dr. Beckman taught at least one course during nearly every quarter. He also served as Interim Pastor or provided extended pulpit supply at several churches in Colorado.
From 1982 to 1984, “Dr. B.” served as President Emeritus of Rockmont College. In 1984, he resumed the presidency until he took over the Chancellor position in 1985, when Rockmont College merged with Western Bible College in Morrison, Colorado, creating Colorado Christian College. In 1987, he resumed the title of President Emeritus. In 1989, the college merged with Colorado Baptist University (Denver), and the new institution was named Colorado Christian University. At the commencement ceremony in 1989, Dr. Beckman received an honorary Doctorate in Divinity degree from the University. In May 1991, Dr. Beckman was asked to serve as Interim President of Colorado Christian University.
For several years beginning in 1984, Dr. Beckman served as the Pastor of Windsor Gardens Community Church in Denver, Colorado. He served on the Board of Directors of Swedish Medical Center, Sunny Acres Retirement Center, the Denver Association of Evangelicals, and the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges. During the summer of 1983, he served as the Chaplain at the American Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem. Dr. Beckman was appointed an Honorary Alumnus of London College of Bible and Missions in 1961; and in 1974, he was made an Honorary Trustee of Swedish Medical Center. In 1976, he received the Distinguished Service Award by the Metropolitan (Denver) YMCA.
Dr. Beckman was an official contributor to Baker’s Encyclopedia of the Bible. Throughout his career, he was in demand as a speaker in churches and service clubs around the nation. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Education, and Who’s Who in the West. In 1990, the Board of Trustees of Colorado Christian University named the central building on the Lakewood Campus the “L. David Beckman Academic Center.” In 1996, he was made an honorary member of Kappa Delta Pi, an education society.
In June 1997, he officially retired from the University and resigned from the Board of Trustees. The University now has an enrollment of more than 5,000 students in its various programs.
Dr. Beckman married Beverly Anderson in 1954. They have three daughters and four grandsons.
In 2005, Colorado Christian University gave a “Tribute Dinner” to honor the Beckmans for their many years of service to the University. It was also a fund-raiser for the Beckman Scholarship Fund.
In May 2005, the Colorado Legislature passed a Resolution honoring Dr. Beckman for his contribution to the State of Colorado.