William (’94 MA) Kidwell, the senior minister of Blair’s church, brought him to Johnson’s Tennessee campus during Blair’s senior year of high school. “It was a beautiful campus, and it had a good reputation for training preachers,” Blair says. ” The campus tour was one of the key factors that inspired Blair to make Johnson the destination for his undergraduate journey.

As a student at Johnson, Blair majored in preaching. His favorite classes were the Bible classes, especially those taught by Jerry Mattingly and David Reece. He enjoyed the professors who made him work hard and challenged him academically. He always planned to be a preacher, but as he approached graduation he questioned what church would want to hire such a young minister. Therefore, he decided to “deepen the well” by enrolling at Lincoln Christian Seminary and studying church history.

While there, Blair “got the itch” to be a teacher himself. He then pursued a second master’s degree in Old Testament and went on to doctoral studies at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, focused on Old Testament. He has been at Hope International University since 2011.

Learn more about JU alumni at the Sojournal podcast.