Dr. L. Thomas (Tommy) Smith Jr. is the seventh president of Johnson University, beginning his tenure on July 1, 2018. He is a native of Carter County, Tennessee, and a graduate of Johnson Bible College (B.A., 1978), Emmanuel School of Religion (M.A.R., 1986), and the University of Tennessee (Ph.D., 1990). He has served as professor of history and theology at Johnson University (since 1989), dean of the School of Arts and Sciences (2012-2014), and vice president for academic affairs/provost (2014-17). Dr. Smith was a Pressnell Fellow (Class of 2017) of the Executive Leadership Institute of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA). Tommy has also held associate, youth, and worship ministries in Knoxville and Valley Forge, Tennessee, and preaching ministries in Jonesborough, Kingston, Embreeville, Knoxville, and Farragut, Tennessee.
Dr. Smith is the author of Above Every Other Desire: A Centennial History of Johnson Bible College (1992) and Above Every Other Desire: A History of Johnson University, 1893-2018 (2018), and has contributed essays, articles, and book reviews to various publications. He served on the Editorial Board of the Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement (Eerdmans 2004). In addition to his administrative and teaching responsibilities, Tommy keeps an active speaking schedule including revivals, workshops, retreats, and seminars, and has conducted short-term mission trips to Haiti, Honduras, China, and Ukraine. He has also engaged in several interim preaching ministries, seeking to assist churches during important transitional periods. Tommy and his wife Debbie have two married sons and six grandchildren: Jacob and Taylor, Anola and Ella; Joshua and Jennifer, Aedan, Silas, J.D. and Josie.