Johnson University Information

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Johnson University
JU TN-Logo.jpg
MottoFaith, Prayer, Work
Type Private
PresidentDr. Tommy Smith
Academic staff
Location, ,
35°56′10″N 83°45′01″W / 35.9362°N 83.7504°W / 35.9362; -83.7504
JOHNSON UNIVERSITY Latitude and Longitude:

35°56′10″N 83°45′01″W / 35.9362°N 83.7504°W / 35.9362; -83.7504
CampusRural 175 acres (0.71 km2)
ColorsBlue & White          
Affiliations Restoration Movement

Johnson University is a private, Christian university with its main campus in Kimberlin Heights, Tennessee.

University system

The University system consists of two physical campuses, an online campus, and extend education programs in various cities across the United States.

The Tennessee campus is located in the upper Tennessee River valley on the banks of the French Broad River just upstream from where the French Broad and Holston Rivers form the Tennessee. The Online Campus is also located at the Tennessee Campus.

The Florida Campus, Johnson University Florida, is located at the site of the former Florida Christian College, in Kissimmee, Florida, just minutes south of Orlando, Florida.

The ExtendEd campus offers two unique opportunities. ExtendEd Adult offers the opportunity for adults seeking a faith-based bachelor's degree by taking classes at a local church in cities across the US. ExtendEd Residency offers Full-time programs integrating classroom learning with hands-on experience at a local church. ExtendEd Adult locations are in Indianapolis, Knoxville, and Louisville. ExtendEd Residency locations are in Indianapolis, Orlando, and Phoenix.


The original name of the school was The School of the Evangelists. The school was renamed Johnson Bible College in 1909 after Ashley Johnson agreed to have the school named after him. This name was used for 102 years until the college became Johnson University on July 1, 2011. [1] [2]

The idea for a new school was first introduced in a sermon by Ashley S. Johnson at the Bearden Christian Church in 1892 when Johnson proposed the idea of a college level school for the gospels. In May 1893, guests boarded a steamboat in Knoxville to go up to the college for the laying of the cornerstone of the Main Building. The Main Building, with "its five-story square tower that offered a sweeping view of the French Broad, was completed in 1895." The original Main Building served the school until Dec 1, 1904, when a fire broke out from a chimney and completely destroyed the building. Following the fire a new building was constructed of brick and the dedication was held 1905.

Johnson served the school until his death in 1925. Upon his death, his wife Emma Elizabeth Johnson served as the college president until her death in 1927. Alva Ross Brown was chosen as the third president from that year until his 1941 death. Expansion occurred under the following president, Robert M. Bell, who died in office in 1968. David L. Eubanks assumed the presidency in 1969 and served until retiring in 2007, overseeing the expansion of academic offerings and the construction of buildings at the base of the hill upon which the college was founded. Following his retirement, Gary E. Weedman became the president; during his tenure, the college assumed the style of a university.

Johnson University is the second oldest continuing Bible college in the United States and the oldest Bible college affiliated with the Christian churches and churches of Christ.


The college has only had seven Presidents in its 125-year history. After the death of Ashley Johnson, Emma Elizabeth Johnson became president. She was one of the first women to be elected and serve as president of any college in the United States. Alva Ross Brown become president in 1927 and at the age of 21 was one of the youngest college presidents in US Higher Education History. Alva Ross Brown was followed in 1941 by professor and trustee Robert M. Bell as the 4th president of the college. The fifth, Dr. David L. Eubanks was the first President to retire from office but remains one of the longest serving college presidents in the US and later served as the Chief Operating Officer of Johnson University Florida. Across from the Old Main Building is located "Shiloh on the Heights", the final resting place of all the past presidents of the University and a Columbarium.

In 1896, during his tenure as the college's president, Ashley Johnson wrote the Condensed Biblical Encyclopedia. [3]

President Term
Ashley S. Johnson (Founder) 1893−1925
Emma E. Johnson (Founder) 1925−1927
Alva Ross Brown 1927−1941
Robert M. Bell, Ph.D. 1941−1968
David L. Eubanks, Ph.D. 1969−2007
Gary E. Weedman, Ph.D. 2007−2018
L. Thomas Smith, Ph.D. 2018−present


Johnson University is accredited to award associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Arranged into 8 different schools, Johnson is able to offer over 70 different programs. [4]

  • School of Arts & Sciences
  • School of Bible & Theology
  • School of Business & Public Leadership
  • School of Communication & Creative Arts
  • School of Congregational Ministry
  • Templar School of Education
  • School of Intercultural Studies
  • School of Social & Behavioral Sciences


Johnson University is accredited both regionally and nationally. [5] Johnson first received regional accreditation in 1979 from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. [6] Programs in the School of Bible & Theology and the School of Congregational Ministry are both nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. [7] The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs has granted accreditation to the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the concentrations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.A.) and School Counseling (M.A.). The Teacher Education Program is approved by the Tennessee State Board of Education.

Campus facilities

Since its founding, Johnson University has had many different buildings. While many are still in use, some have been refurbished and repurposed while a few have been demolished. [8]

Academic Facilities

  • Myrtle Hall - Built 1951 (School of Social & Behavioral Sciences, former women's dormitory)
  • Glass Memorial Library - Built 1964, enlarged 1989
  • Phillips−Welshimer Building - Built 1975 (Schools of Arts & Sciences, Bible & Theology, Business & Public Leadership, Congregational Ministry, Administrative/Faculty Offices, Auditorium/Gym)
  • Eubanks Activity Center - Built 1989 (Office of President, Student Center, Science Labs, School of Communication & Creative Arts)
  • Richardson Hall - Built 2001 (Templar School of Education, School of Intercultural Studies, School of Business and Public Leadership)
  • Russell Preaching Center - Renovated 2007 (Location of former Dining Hall & kitchen area in Phillips-Welshimer Building)
  • Transitional Building - Built 2018 (Transitional Music Department & Plant Services Complex)

Campus Life Facilities

  • Old Gymnasium and Pool - Built 1949
  • Gally Commons - Built 2007 (Dining Hall, Campus Store and Student Post Office)
  • Bell Hall - Built 1955 (Apartments)
  • Johnson Hall - Built 2000 (Women's Dorm)
  • Brown Hall - Built 2000 (Men's Dorm)
  • River View - Built 2008 (Home of the President of the University, connected to The White House)
  • ARC - Athletic & Recreation Complex - Completion Date 2019

Current Historic Facilities

  • The White House - Built 1890 (Restored home of Dr. and Mrs. Johnson) [9]
  • Old Main Building - Built 1905 (Old Chapel & Archeological Museum)

Closed Facilities

  • Clark Hall - Built 1905 (Men's Dormitory attached to Old Main)
  • Alumni Memorial Chapel - Built 1961 (Chapel & Music Department)

Historic Former Facilities

  • Original Main Building - 1893-1904 (Wooden building located at the current site of the Old Main Building). [10]
  • Industrial Hall "Old Dusty" - 1898-1960 (Wooden building located near the site of Bell Hall, Alumni Memorial Chapel, and the Old Gymnasium & Pool). The Lower level contained the wood shops with Women's dorm rooms on upper floor.
  • Irwin Library - 1912-2000 (Three story brick building located on the hill near the Old Main Building). This was the location of the second college library when it had outgrown the Old Main Building and was also a location of several classrooms. The library was adorned with Pink Tennessee Marble much of which is located in the sidewalk to Richardson Hall.
  • Brown Hall - 1971-2000 (3 story facility, former men's dormatory)
  • Johnson Hall - 1972-2000 (3 story facility with rooms arranged in suites, former women's dormatory)
  • Dairy Barn - 1800s to 1970s (The college's Dairy Barn was located where the Phillips−Welshimer Building Building is today) This was the home to the prized dairy herd; the Dixie Holstein Herd.

Picture gallery

Notable alumni

Notable alumni include:


  1. ^ Megan Boehnke, Johnson Bible College announces new name, Knoxville News Sentinel, April 29, 2011
  2. ^ "A Mission-Driven Name". Johnson University. April 28, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2011.[ permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Condensed Biblical Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2007-10-25.
  4. ^ - Information about Johnson University academics
  5. ^ Accreditation - JU Homepage for Accreditation Information
  6. ^ - Johnson University profile on the SACSCOC page.
  7. ^ - Search Johnson University for Accreditation information.
  8. ^ The Story of Johnson Bible College. by Robert E. Black. Tennessee Valley Printing Co. Kimberlin Heights, TN
  9. ^ [1] Johnson Magazine article updating on the renovations that were occurring on The White House.
  10. ^ The Main Building was destroyed by fire on December 1, 1904.
  11. ^ The Story of Johnson Bible College. by Robert E. Black. Tennessee Valley Printing Co. Kimberlin Heights, TN pg 77

External links