Professional Background

M.S. in marriage and family therapy (1985) and Ph.D. in Family Social Science (1988). Professor of family life from 1989 until present.

Spent all of adult life (over 30 years) working with men and young men helping them to live happy productive lives using a variety of methods including: coaching, counseling, consulting, teaching, training, mentoring, research, and writing.

Given hundreds of workshops for groups of adults and youth, men and women.

Spent thousands of hours counseling with men and women helping them grow in various aspects of their lives including courtship, marriage, parenting, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual development.

Edited or co-edited three books on marriage and family life and one on fathering.

Developed the FatherWork web site, an award-winning web site to help men develop as fathers.

Interviewed hundreds of fathers, mothers, and youth from dozens of faith communities about their experiences in linking faith and family life.

Taught thousands of men and women principles of successful family life, spiritual development, and linking faith and family life.

Been interviewed by dozens of reporters for TV, radio, and print media stories on many aspects of marriage, family life, parenting, and spiritual development.

Visiting scholar at University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Dominican University of California, University of Baroda (India), and Stanford University.

Personal Background

I grew up in Fairfax, CA. My mom, Elizabeth Stenen, was a single parent who moved from New Jersey to Marin County, CA (across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Fran) to start a new life. When my dad-to-be, Mel Dollahite, was called to active duty as a photographer in the Navy, my mom was hired to take his place at the photo studio where he worked. When he returned they began dating and they married in 1957. I was born 11 months later and baptized into the Episcopal Church by Father Ewald. My godfather was my father's younger brother, Gene, who became an Episcopal Priest and my godmother was my mother's lifelong best friend, Ann, who was Jewish.

I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church at age 9 and served as an altar boy for 3 years from age 9-12. As a kid I played CYO basketball with my Catholic friends and Little League baseball. In high school I played varsity tennis for four years and two years of basketball (including one year on the varsity). After joining the LDS Church at age 19 I served a two-year LDS mission in New England and loved meeting and working closely so many wonderful people and families of all faiths (and no faith). I decided I wanted to work with couples and families and so returned to BYU and changed my major from theater and film to family life (with minors in psychology and sociology). The day after graduating with a B.A. in family life I married Mary Kimball (who had also just graduated with a degree in English).

I began my M.S. in marriage and family therapy and Mary began her law degree (both at BYU). After completing my master's degree we went to the University of Minnesota where I completed a doctorate in family studies and Mary finished the third year of her law degree at U. of M.

I then accepted a position as a professor of family studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I also completed 1,200 hours of couple and family therapy while a professor there. While there, I co-founded the Tar Heel Tellers (a storytelling group). I told stories in libraries, schools, and storytelling festivals while there.

In 1993 I accepted a position at BYU in the School of Family Life. My main focus in teaching, research, advising, and writing since coming to BYU has been fathering, faith, and family life (how spiritual beliefs and religious practices influence marriage and parenting). In the nearly 20 years I have been a professor I have published over 100 articles and book chapters and edited several books about fathering, marriage, and family life (four scholarly books and one collection of short stories on family life).

A list of those books is provided here with links to Amazon for more information on each of them.


<< Back to About Dave Main Page