Dave Arnold was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and reared in Iowa, attending kindergarten through twelfth grade at Center Point Consolidated Schools. Upon graduation he attended Bethany Nazarene College (now Southern Nazarene University) for bachelor's and master's degrees. He taught in Oklahoma and California and also served as a youth pastor. He received a doctorate from the University of LaVerne and has taught at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and IWU.
- A.B., 1971, Southern Nazarene University
- M.A., 1973, Southern Nazarene University
- Ed.D., 1999, University of La Verne