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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). 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.
He 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. 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 interim preaching ministries, seeking to assist churches during important transitional periods. Tommy and his wife Deborah have two married sons, Jacob and Joshua, and six grandchildren.
Marvin L. Elliott is a native of Elizabethton, Tennessee, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible from Milligan College; an M.A. in Christian Leadership from Kentucky Christian University; an Ed.S. in Higher Education Administration from Appalachian State University; and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Western Carolina University. In addition, Dr. Elliott engaged in graduate studies in communication at North Dakota State University.
Before coming to Johnson, Dr. Elliott served as executive vice president and chief academic officer of Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, Kentucky. Prior to joining the team at KCU, he served as a faculty member, associate dean, and dean at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, North Carolina. He previously served Christian churches in Tennessee, California, and North Carolina in various capacities including associate ministries in music, education, and administration, as well as preaching and church planting ministries.
Dr. Elliott and his wife, Debbie, live near the Johnson University Florida campus. Dr. and Mrs. Elliott’s family includes three married sons and ten grandchildren who live in North Carolina, Georgia, and Hawaii.