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About ETBU

President J. Blair Blackburn

A man in navy academic regalia and a female in a navy cap and gown holding a degree smile in front of a red brick building.

Our students have been given tremendous gifts in each of their chosen vocations that through ETBU, they are encouraged and equipped to harness to serve others with great ability and compassion, just as Christ serves us.”

Dr. J. Blair Blackburn

Dr. J. Blair Blackburn, ETBU’s 13th president, has served faithfully as President of East Texas Baptist University since June 2015. Prior to ETBU, he served at four other institutions of higher learning, including Dallas Baptist University, University of Texas at Tyler, Lon Morris College, and Paris Junior College. His experience in campus operations, administrative affairs, student affairs, athletics, fundraising, and enrollment has led ETBU, under his leadership, to increased undergraduate and graduate enrollment, as well as expanded the number of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs offered at the University. He has advanced new partnerships with Marshall ISD and the City of Marshall, facilitated community improvements with ETBU’s Neighborhood Renewal Initiative, and expanded the University’s student servant leadership program to engage all ETBU undergraduate students in contributing one hour per week to volunteer community service. In addition to the University’s 18 NCAA Division III athletic teams, Dr. Blackburn launched five new club sports for greater student involvement, including ice hockey, lacrosse, pom, bass fishing, and cheer, as well as beginning men’s and women’s golf and elevating acrobatics and tumbling to the NCAA Division III level.

Dr. Blackburn earned an Associate of Arts from Tyler Junior College, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Texas at Tyler, a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Administration from Baylor University. He has been married to his wife, Michelle Blackburn, for over 30 years, and they have three children: Taylor, Elizabeth Blair, and Parker.

“Within our campus community, students are afforded vast opportunities of fellowship as they are challenged toward excellence in their calling to God and humanity,” Dr. Blackburn shared. “At ETBU, our mission is to educate students through a Christian worldview, rooted in the truth of the Gospel. It is the focus of our faculty and staff to develop our students into dedicated servant leaders, who use their platform and their callings to be a light for Christ on our campus, in the community, and across the globe.”

Blessings from President Blackburn and the ETBU Family to you!

President Signature