University joins in Sevier County relief effort Reply

KNOXVILLE — Recent devastation from wildfires in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area resulted in widespread relief efforts for victims who lost their homes and property.

Johnson University has joined in the effort to provide relief and continues to offer students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to get involved.

Monetary donations are being accepted at the receptionist’s desk in the PW building for two Johnson graduate students, Jeannie Renfro and Christen Salter, who lost everything in the fire.

Dave Wheeler, Associate Dean of Students, has asked that checks be made out to “Johnson University” with “Church on a Hill” written in the memo line.

Julee Schultz, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, is accepting clothes, pillows, towels, and blankets in her office in the EAC.

The donations will be brought to LIVE-IT Ministries in Seymour and distributed in shelters across Sevier County to victims of this tragedy.

Schultz explained that she wanted to spearhead this collection because she has family in the Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg areas.

“They’re fine, but being from that area it’s near and dear to my heart so I want to help in any way I can,” she said.

Schultz also encouraged students, faculty, and staff to think about donating small appliances and household items which will help victims longterm.

“It’s not just now, it’s not just through Christmas, its ongoing. People are going to need to rebuild their houses and they’re going to need help.”

Schultz said she does not have a deadline on the collection but mentioned that people can also donate to the Red Cross by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation or by visiting here to donate a different amount.

Dean of Students, Dave Legg, has offered Clark Hall as a  Red Cross Shelter although it is not clear yet whether it will be used.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency reported in their latest update that approximately 1,100 people are currently seeking refuge at three Red Cross shelters across the affected area and over 14,000 people have been forced to evacuate Gatlinburg.

See more ways you can help by visiting the Sevierville Community Center Facebook page here or WVLT’s Gatlinburg relief effort list here.

Girl’s soccer season ends on good note Reply

KNOXVILLE — Through the ups and the downs of this season, the girls soccer team was able to go to the championship, which gave the team a great way to end the season.

“One of the most historic seasons we’ve had, which was not expected, we won the most amount of games in one season,” said girls soccer team coach Mason McNally.


This season the team reached the championship after defeating their rivals, KCU.

After losing their first game against them, the team was ecstatic to beat them with a score of 2-1 during the championship.

Both player Brooke Fowler and McNally said this was a highlight of the season.

There were also individual highlights that came out of this season.

Abby Barron, a freshman at Johnson University, was ranked in second place nationally for the most goals scored and third place for the most points per game.

“Even going through a severe case of shin splints… Abby, along with Laurie Morgan and Emily Robist, were given the all-regional award, which was a huge honor.”


Fowler and McNally agreed that one of the best highlights was the unity of the team. Their theme this season was “One team, one goal, one God. ”

“All of us made a commitment to do our best for each other, to edify each other, to be a family,” Fowler said.

McNally was please with the culture of this year’s team.

“My goal is to build a culture that athletes want to be a part of, and this season had that culture,” she said.

McNally reported there will be a Spring camp for those interested in joining the soccer team in March.

Pre-season training starts a week before move-in for Fall Semester in 2017.

If interested, contact McNally at




JU Royals, Suns take on ICOM 2016 Reply

Lexington — This weekend students from Johnson University Tennessee and Florida attended the International Conference On Missions in Lexington,Ky. This year’s theme was “Mobilize: Disciples Making Disciples”


Each year, participants from all over the world join together at ICOM to engage in the world of missions and learn what it means to spread the Gospel throughout the world.

The conference was based around the idea that the church should become disciples that mobilize and produce more disciples. ICOM challenges the church to engage in missions and assists in training, equipping, and mobilizing disciples through the power of the Gospel.

Along with JU students, many members of the faculty and staff traveled to ICOM.

“I’ve traveled to 48 different countries,” JU President Gary  Weedman said. “I’ve been to many of the countries represented here and I enjoy getting  to see people I’ve met abroad.”

Main session speakers included: Mike and Karolyn Schrage, Andrew Jit, Oscar Muriu, Frank Preston,Kyle Idleman and Lee Bridges.

Testimony speakers included: Yvette Mujawayuhi,Traci Harrod, Dennis Okoth, Duane Jenks,Timothy P, Yassir E and Scott Young. There were also skit performances by Chad Brown.

“It was super cool,” JUFL student, Lexie Goodman said. “I got to go out to eat with missionaries and we talked about long term in the field.

“I got a better insight of what my future could be,” she said.

Each day consisted of a morning session, worship, a time of offering, three workshops throughout the day,and concluded with an evening session.

While some students were attending ICOM for the first time, others attend ICOM every year.

“I keep coming back because it is my way of getting connected to the different mission groups here and seeing my old friends,” said JUTN student Ashley Curtis.

JUFL Student Body President, Seth McManus also attended ICOM and mentioned the unity between the two Johnson campuses present at ICOM.

“I love ICOM — We send more people each year and just seeing how they respond is great,” he said. “I got to meet with Kaleb Mullins (JUTN Student Body President) and just seeing the unity of the two campuses is super cool—  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

All of the 2016 testimonies and sessions can be viewed on the ICOM 2016 Livestream. Next year’s theme is “Together” and ICOM will be held in Peoria, IL Nov. 16-19 2017.

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Faculty and staff gather for Hanging of the Greens Reply

KNOXVILLE — Each year as students leave campus for Thanksgiving Break Johnson’s faculty and staff join together to help uphold a tradition.

The Hanging of the Greens, a campus-wide Christmas decorating event, has taken place for as long as its current organizer, and Coordinator for the School of Arts & Sciences and Service Learning, Carrie Overdorf, can remember.

“Thanksgiving weeks provides us the perfect time when students are away to just scurry around and get everything decorated,” she said.

Overdorf described how the Hanging of the Greens acts as a gift to the students from faculty and staff.

“We kind of get out of our offices for a little bit and it is really fun to kind of play elf. Our campus it beautiful when [students] get back,” she said. “It is a really fun for us thinking about that Sunday night before [students] come back from break when everyone is kind of rolling in and all the lights are on.”

One tradition that used to take place over Christmas Break, Finger Food Day, was combined with the Hanging of the Greens to make one big event.

Overdorf said this led to an increase in volunteers which has helped the school accomplish more elaborate decorations.

“We’ve kind of upped our game on the decoration side so we needed more help, so that worked out well last year,” she said.

The volunteers are joined by the grounds crew who can spend up to a day and a half putting up the garland for each lamppost in good weather.

Overdorf described all that goes in to pulling off the decorations each year.

“Inventory has a huge job of getting out all the decorations to their designated locations. [Mike Moore] and Perry Morin always get up the giant wreaths on the ends of the dorms and on Richardson Hall,” she said. “And then Tuesday through Wednesday of the break we put up the trees in the Gally for Miller Scott and for the rest of the season. ”

This year’s decorations will be similar to last year’s as the school makes sure to remain within budget.

“Every few years we’ll add a new piece or replace some of the older garlands or things like that,” she said. “A couple of years ago we added a sleigh and some block trees out front and last year we had new trees in the Gally dining hall. Most everything else stays the same.”

Overdorf encouraged all staff and faculty who will be on campus Monday through Wednesday of next week to participate in the family-friendly event.

“Finger foods are the best, John Ketchen makes a mean candied bacon,” she laughed. “It’s fun too because we have new families each year and new staff, some families even decorate together.”

The Hanging of the Greens will begin on Nov. 21.

Contact Carrie Overdorf at for more information on how to get involved.

Financial Aid holding FASFA workshop Reply

KNOXVILLE — Financial Aid will be holding a free FASFA workshop this Tuesday in RH 245.

In October of this semester Financial Aid announced that FASFA filing would be opened early for the 2017-18 school year. This means that students will be able to apply with their financial information from 2015 and complete the process of filing for aid much more quickly.

This workshop will help walk students through the process of registering early. The workshop begins at 6 p.m. and there will be free food.

Learn more about the new FAFSA process here.

Harvesters raises soup-port for Mirembe Cottage Reply

KNOXVILLE — Tonight Harvesters brought warmth to students, faculty, and staff of Johnson with homemade soups to raise donations for this year’s offering recipient.

Soups were submitted for attendees to pay to taste and vote on, along with hot cider and artisan bread.

p1220654Admission to the event was $3 to try three soups and for one vote towards a favorite. Attendees could also pay an extra $2 for another bowl of soup and $2 to buy more votes.

All of the money raised during the event will be given to Mirembe Cottage of Street Girls.

Macy Dyer, Special Events Coordinator, explained why they chose a soup cook-off for their Fall fundraiser.

“We knew that it would be kinda cool outside and we thought it would be a great way to get everyone together – everybody likes soup.”

Two soups, made by students Sarah Burns and Jordan Randall, were so popular they ran out early in the night.

“Jordan’s loaded potato soup had my vote, it was really good,” Katie Eikenberry, Harvesters Vice President, said.p1220660

Eikenberry explained how events like this are always a team effort for Harvesters.

“Obviously Macy was the head person for this event but everyone pulled their weight filling out forms, sending out media requests, getting it out on our social media, and just helping out with the smaller things,” she said. “So everyone played a large role in it – Macy does a fantastic job delegating.”

Eikenberry spoke on the importance of events like this one to raise support outside of baskets in chapel.

“I’m hoping that tonight we can make a good amount of money so they can continue building the school that they’re working on,” she said. “I know that that would be such a blessing to them.”

“It’s very important to support missionaries and mission organizations because without money they can’t function,” Dyer said.

Fifteen homemade soups were submitted for the event and it was attended by around two hundred students, faculty, and staff.

The final donation count will be announced in Tuesday’s Chapel along with the winning soup.

Harvesters will be holding a Chick-fil-A biscuit fundraiser later this semester, from which all proceeds will also go towards Mirembe Cottage.



JUTN ranks high among financially fit colleges Reply

KNOXVILLE —Johnson University has received an “A” in the 2016 Forbes College Financial Grades, ranking 3rd on the Christian Colleges and Universities Financial Strength list.

Forbes lists Johnson’s financial GPA as being 4.132 on a 4.5 scale.

This scale measures the fiscal soundness of more than 900 four-year, private, not-for-profit schools with at least 500 students.

According to Forbes,the grade measures financial fitness as determined by nine components broken into three categories.

Forbes staff writer, Matt Schifrin, mentioned the nine variables used to determine balance sheet and operational strength:

  1.         Endowment Assets Per FTE (15%) Year-end endowment assets divided by the number of 12 month full-time equivalent students.
  2.         Primary Reserve Ratio (15%)How well a college’s expendable assets cover its annual expenses.
  3.         Viability Ratio (10%)The amount of expendable assets a college has relative to its debt load.
  4.         Core Operating Margin (10%)How well a college meets its obligations (such as instructional expenses and students services) from the tuition, grants, gifts, and investment revenue it receives.
  5.         Tuition As A Percentage of Core Revs (15%)How dependent a college is on tuition for core revenues.
  6.         Return On Assets (10%)Whether a college’s assets are actually growing.
  7.         Admission Yield (10%)The percentage of admitted students who actually choose to attend a particular college.
  8.         Percent Freshman Getting Institutional Grants (7.5%)The percentage of students actually getting institutional grants or rebates from colleges to attract enrollment.
  9.         Instruction Expenses Per FTE (7.5%) How much money a particular college devotes to the core mission of higher education.

In addition to the Forbes ranking, the Chronicle of Higher Education released data on costs at colleges and universities from 1998-99 through 2016-17.

Among other private four-year institutions in the state of Tennessee for 2016-17, Johnson ranked 3rd lowest in cost among those who offer room and board.

Tuition/Total Costs 2016
 Johnson University = $13,950/ $19,770

View the lists in the links below:

 Forbes 2016 Financial Grades

Tuition and Fees, 1998-99 Through 2016-17



Trump wins! Reply

The 2016 race that initially involved 22 major candidates has come to a verdict. Millions of voters headed to the polls across the U.S. to cast their ballots or have been closely following the election. The Republican nominee Donald Trump, R-New York, defeated the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, D- New York. Trump will take office as the 45th President of the U.S. Jan. 20, 2017.

In order to win the election, a candidate must win 270 electoral votes,a majority of the 538 votes in the electoral college.Below are the results of the 2016 Presidential election.

The first projection of the night took place at 7 p.m. when the first polls closed. According to CNN, Donald Trump was projected to win Indiana,Kentucky and West Virginia gaining 24 electoral votes. Hillary Clinton was projected to win Vermont gaining 3 electoral votes.

The second projection went more in Clinton’s favor. Clinton was projected to win her home state of Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland,Rhode Island, Delaware and the District of Columbia gaining a total of 68 electoral votes. Trump was projected to win Oklahoma, Tennessee and  Mississippi gaining a total of 48 electoral votes.

According to CNN, Trump was also projected to win South Carolina and Alabama gaining a total of 66 electoral votes.

The next poll closing resulted in a projection for Clinton to win Trump’s home state, New York, gaining a total of 97 electoral votes. Trump was projected to win Kansas, Nebraska,Wyoming, North Dakota,South Dakota, Texas, and Arkansas gaining Trump a lead with a total of 129 electoral votes.

Next Clinton was projected to win Connecticut, New Mexico, Virginia, and Colorado gaining 131 electoral votes and Trump was projected to win Montana, Louisiana, Missouri, and Ohio gaining trump 168 electoral votes.

Near the end of the polling, Clinton gained projected wins in Colorado,Hawaii, Oregon, Washington,Nevada, and 3 electoral votes from Maine giving her a total of 218 electoral votes. Trump gained North Carolina,Idaho, Utah, Florida, Iowa,and Georgia gaining 244 electoral votes.

The last few deciding states that led Trump to his victory were Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona and Alaska.

Total Electoral Votes:

Trump=289/ Clinton= 218


Donald Trump, left, and Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Republican and Democratic presidential nominees (Photo, Wikipedia)

Battleground states included:Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.




Johnson Ultimate team places fifth in semester’s last tournament Reply

KNOXVILLE- Johnson University’s Ultimate team traveled to Berea, Kentucky for their last tournament of the fall season last weekend.

The “A team” won 5 of their 8 games and placed fifth overall in the tournament.

The “B team” was able to score their first win in 2 years in their final game of the tournament and place twelfth overall.

The team of thirty students also said goodbye to seniors Edison Aubrey, Jesse McGuire, Justin Sutherland, and Travis Hedger who will be graduating at the end of this semester.

The Ultimate team will be participating in several tournaments in the spring semester.

Students interested in joining the team can email Ross McSherry at or Blake West at