Jack Dale Burke was born on February 6, 1929 in Weiser, Idaho to his parents Earl and Almia Burke. He had five siblings, Marthlyn, Ed, Bob, Norman and Harry. At an early age, Jack received Jesus Christ as his Savior, and devoted his life to serve the Lord.
Jack D. Burke received his B.A. degree from University of Oregon. Desiring to prepare for service in missions, he studied at Fuller Theological Seminary receiving the Master of Divinity Degree. During his second year of seminary, he and D’Ann were married. She shared his vision for ministry to international students, and for the rest of his life, ministry to international students was a team effort.
To prepare himself for working in higher education administration with international students, he obtained a Master of Science degree followed by a one year Foreign Student Advisor Internship, and his PhD, both from University of Southern California.
Jack held positions as Director of International Services at University of Pennsylvania and Director of International Students and Scholar Services at University of Houston; he retired in 1994, a university career spanning 30 years. Beyond his university service, his volunteer work to help international student ministry organizations and individuals spanned more than 30 years.
Desiring to illustrate the strategic importance of ministry to internationals in the U.S., Jack wrote the book Paradigm Shift: Why International Students are so Strategic to Global Missions. He also authored chapters for books (one being for University of Pennsylvania Press on international students) and articles for Christian and secular organizations on ministry/services to international students. In 2012, Jack and D’Ann established the International Student Ministries Assistance, Inc., that offers funding to International Student Ministries for events that disciple and train Christian international students to return to their home countries as ambassadors for Christ.
Excelling as a leader and mentor, Jack received numerous accolades throughout his career. He was awarded the top graduate fellowship at University of Southern California’s School of Education for two consecutive years; At Jack’s retirement, the University of Houston set up the “Jack and D’Ann Burke International Scholarship,” an annual award to help foreign students.
Other awards included “Outstanding Advisor of the Year;” honors and awards from University of Houston System Chancellor, UH President and Vice President for Student Affairs ; Jack was the only Houston international educator to receive an award from Houston’s Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) District Director at their Immigration & Naturalization Service ceremony on July 1976 celebrating the 200th birthday of our country.
The City of Houston also recognized Jack’s outstanding achievements and contributions to international education by proclaiming “Jack D. Burke Day” by Mayor Fred Hofheinz in 1976.
The National Association for Foreign Student Affairs: Association of International Educators (NAFSA) presented Jack with two awards from the Christian Specific Interest Group, one for “Founder and First Coordinator” and NAFSA’s top annual national Hugh Jenkins Award “for excellence in Community Programming.”
Jack and D’Ann Burke received two top national awards from International Students Inc. and one from Bridges International. Bridges award (2012) is presented in perpetuity to a non-Bridges volunteer for “leadership and passion” at Bridges’ biennial staff training conferences; award from North American Mission Board (Southern Baptists) presented Dr. Jack Burke at 25th anniversary of Association of Christians Ministering among Internationals (ACMI) for his part in giving birth to ACMI.
Jack was a Deacon Emeritus at Houston’s First Baptist Church. Throughout his lifetime he was a leader and visionary inspiring generations of internationals and professionals. Through his passion and vision for ministry, he opened doors for many to serve internationals. His desire was illustrated in Isaiah 12:4 “…make known among the nations what He has done…”
Jack is survived by his wife D’Ann, daughter Linda, son-in-law Kevin, son David, daughter-in-law Anne, three grandchildren Jewel, Aidan and Justice, and close family friend Anita Gaines.