The administration of Truett McConnell University (TMU) honored nine employees for years of service this week during employee orientation. Among the honorees was Dr. Emir Caner, who has served as president for ten years.

In the last decade and under the leadership of President Caner, Truett McConnell has experienced many improvements and growth.

  • The Baptist Faith and Message was passed into the faculty confession in order to ensure the theological fidelity of the institution.
  • The Great Commission Minor is now required for every baccalaureate graduate and supports TMU’s four pillars: to love the Lord, love His Word, love the Church, and love the lost.
  • The Creation Research Center and World Missions Center were developed in 2009, which are both central to the mission of TMU and the heart of the institution’s slogan, From the very first verse to the very last tribe.
  • The two-year athletics program was transitioned to a four-year athletics program, paving the way to add five new teams: volleyball, lacrosse, wrestling, and men and women’s track and field, as well as produce team championships in softball and soccer and several individual national qualifiers in their prospective sport.
  • The four year college became a university, which opened the door to offer graduate degrees, increase research opportunities, and structure academics according to schools. TMU currently offers a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling, a Master of Arts in Theology, a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Education, and a Master of Science in Biology.
  • The number of full time faculty has increased by 250%; seven new buildings and nine schools were added; an online program began, and now offers four baccalaureate degrees and three graduate degrees; and the total student population increased from 400 to a projected 2,900 this fall.

Although Caner attributes the growth to TMU’s biblically centered mission, his leadership has helped shape the institution into what it is today.

“When you have a faculty that is centered around a confession of Faith, there is a draw to this place for people who desire the same,” said Caner. “We didn’t look at numbers, we were simply staying true to who we were and letting students decide if Truett McConnell is where they needed to be. That kind of freedom takes a lot of pressure off of our faculty and admissions staff to ‘sell’ the university.”

In addition to the president’s recognition of service, Dr. Connie Nunley, Professor of English, received an award for her 30 years of service, and 15 years of service honorees included: Jonathan Morris, Director of Student Development; Dr. Michael Justus, Dean of the Conrad Grebel School of The Humanities and Professor of History; and Janice Justus, Associate Professor of History.


Valarie Reeves is the Director of Marketing and Communications at TMU.

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