In December 2012, officials at Florida Christian College (Kissimmee, Florida) expressed a desire to partner with Johnson University. Because of a debt load that threatened FCC’s very survival, the president and trustees of Florida Christian College appealed to the administration and trustees of Johnson University to assume that debt and continue the College under the name and management of Johnson University.
In January 2013, after extensive dialogue and analysis, Johnson’s Board of Trustees responded positively and authorized the School’s administration to pursue the partnership with Florida Christian College.
Foundational to this relationship is a shared commitment to biblical education and a common mission of preparing men and women for Christian ministry and other strategic vocations. Johnson University’s president Dr. Gary Weedman reflected on the two schools’ common purpose and commitment to Christian higher education: “I cannot imagine two schools more likely to form a partnership than Florida Christian College and Johnson University.”
While Florida Christian College’s financial challenges were significant, many positive factors encouraged Johnson officials to embrace FCC: solid academic quality, good enrollment trends, a well-developed campus, the strategic location in Central Florida, Florida’s strong population growth, and the enthusiasm of FCC’s personnel and constituency for joining Johnson University.
In April 2013, Dr. David Eubanks, who served at Johnson University 49 years as professor and president, came out of retirement to help guide Florida Christian College as chief operating officer during this important time. Dr. Eubanks is very optimistic about the future of the Florida campus and recently shared how well the transition is going: “I have come to appreciate the pride the FCC family has toward this institution. I have been greatly encouraged by the unanimity of FCC’s trustees, administration, faculty, and staff toward this union and the overwhelming favorable response that I have received from students, alumni, and supporting constituency whom I have met on my extensive travels around Florida.”
After months of preparation, we are pleased to announce that the merger of Florida Christian College into Johnson University is now complete. The new name of Johnson University Florida was officially announced at a press conference on July 1. The main Knoxville campus will now be known as Johnson University Tennessee.
At the press conference Dr. Eubanks commended President Weedman and the boards of both institutions for their humility, wisdom, and foresight in accomplishing the merger. He pointed to bright days ahead, saying “I am extremely optimistic about what the future holds for Johnson University Florida.” Dr. Weedman highlighted the significance of this partnership for the greater Johnson University community, saying, “This merger ushers in a new era for Johnson University. We are now a national University System with three campuses: Tennessee, Florida, and Online.”
New logos were also unveiled at the press conference for Johnson University System, Johnson University Tennessee, and Johnson University Florida. Together with the Online campus, these identities are united and focused on achieving one mission: educating students for Christian ministries and other strategic vocations framed by the Great Commission in order to extend the kingdom of God among all nations.