Johnson University is pleased to announce that Dr. Daniel Overdorf will serve as the eighth president of Johnson University beginning July 1, 2024.

Since 1893, Johnson University has equipped students who carry the grace and truth of Jesus to the world. I am humbled to serve as the University’s eighth president, and honored to serve alongside the Johnson family as we further our rich legacy and extend our global mission into the next generation. With God’s empowerment, we will carry the torch as faithfully as we can.

About President Overdorf

Dr. Overdorf is a 1995 graduate of Johnson University (B.A. in Preaching); 2001 graduate of Lincoln Christian University (M.Div. in Leadership Ministry); and a 2005 graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min. in Preaching). He is the author of five books on preaching and ministry as well as the novel A Death Well Lived, a 2020 Illumination Books Award Winner. His most recent book, Preaching: A Simple Approach to the Sacred Task, earned an honorable mention for book of the year in Preaching Magazine.​

Dr. Overdorf has a range of leadership experience in both the local church and the academy. Since 2005, he has served Johnson University in roles including Professor of Ministry Leadership, Dean of the School of Congregational Ministry, and Director of Preaching Programs. He has presented papers at a number of academic conferences including the Christian Scholars Conference, ABHE Annual Conference, and Appalachian College Association Summit.

Dr. Overdorf joined the staff at Second Church of Christ in Danville, Illinois, as associate minister in 1995 and then moved to Fayetteville Christian Church in Fayetteville, Georgia, where he served as senior minister from 1998 to 2005. He has served on the boards of Church Partners of the Smokies and the Three Rivers Collaborative and on the management oversight teams of church plants in Knoxville, Tennessee, Boone, North Carolina, and Manchester, New Hampshire. He and his wife Carrie have two sons and one daughter.

“As an institution whose degrees are designed to extend the kingdom of God among all nations, the president of Johnson University must above all else demonstrate a commitment to that mission through his or her own educational pursuits, career choices, and personal conduct,” said Dr. Rick Woods, chairman of the Johnson University Board of Trustees. “Dr. Daniel Overdorf has done that in a life devoted to ‘telling the story,’ as he likes to put it, ‘with pen and pulpit.’ The trustees of Johnson University have the utmost confidence in his ability to lead the 130-year-old school as its eighth distinguished president.”

“Since 1893, Johnson University has equipped students who have carried the truth and grace of Jesus Christ around the world,” said Overdorf. “I am humbled to serve as the University’s eighth president, and honored to serve alongside the Johnson community as we further our rich legacy and extend our global mission into the next generation.”

Schedule of Events

Presidential Inauguration

September 20, 2024
3:00 p.m.
The Phillips-Welshimer Auduitorium
Please RSVP for the inauguration by September 1st by using the form below.

Presidential Reception

After the Inauguration ceremony, a reception will be held at the White House patio.

Locations and Accomodations

Each of the hotels listed below offers a “Johnson rate” for JU guests. (Discounts only apply if you book directly with the local hotel and make your request at the time of booking.)

Comfort Suites

7230 Region Ln.
Knoxville, TN 37924

Red Roof Inn & Suites Knoxville East

7525 Crosswood Blvd.
Knoxville, TN. 37924

Best Western Strawberry Inn & Suites

7260 Saddlerack St.
Knoxville, TN 37914

Hampton Inn

7445 Sawyer Ln.
Knoxville, TN 37924

Holiday Inn Express

730 Rufus Graham Rd.
Knoxville, TN 37924

Fairfield Inn

1551 Cracker Barrel Ln.
Knoxville, TN 37914

Contact Us

For more information about the Presidential Inauguration, please contact us at [email protected].