Dr. John N. Tyson Jr.
Ph.D. The University of Texas
M.A. Abilene Christian University
B.A. Abilene Christian University
Dr. John Tyson Jr. has dedicated his life to serving and supporting the values and mission of Christian education. He became Rochester College’s ninth president in August 2013.
A native of Hurst, Texas, Tyson’s association with Christian education began when he decided to attend Abilene Christian University in 1981. Tyson earned a degree in biblical studies and was an active student, serving as president of the ACU Student Association and being named Mr. ACU. He continued at ACU and earned his master’s degree in religious communication in 1982. He then became a Longhorn at the University of Texas, earning his doctorate in rhetorical studies in 1991.
After completing his educational training, Tyson entered into ministry, serving in New Braunfels and Belton, Texas. He then combined his two professional interests in Lubbock, Texas, where he served as chair of the Department of Biblical Literature at Texas Tech University and as campus minister for the Broadway Church of Christ.
In 1989, his love for Christian education and for ACU called him back to Abilene, where he began serving as executive assistant to the president. He was fortunate to serve under two respected and long-term presidents: President John Stevens and President Royce Money. In this role as executive assistant, he established and directed the university’s strategic vision and long-range planning program.
Believing in Tyson’s strategic and visionary capabilities, Money asked Tyson to move into ACU’s Development Office, where he served for the next 16 years. When in 2010 he stepped down as vice president of development, his record of accomplishment for ACU was notable. He directed fundraising campaigns securing more than $330 million in philanthropic gifts and commitments to ACU. He directed the ACU Centennial Celebration; established the Madagascar Presidential Scholars Program with President Marc Ravalomanana of the Republic of Madagascar; met with Ye Ziao Wen, director-general of state administration for religion for the Republic of China, opening doors to recruit Chinese students to ACU; tripled alumni giving percentage and total donor base; produced major concerts and ceremonies; and won various CASE, Emmy and Telly awards.
Tyson left higher education for a few years to serve as president of Abilene Christian Schools, a PreK-12 private Christian school. During his 2011-2013 tenure, Tyson developed the school’s strategic vision and long-range plans, increased student enrollment 8 percent, and raised major gifts for capital improvements.
Tyson has served in a variety of civic and professional organizations, including the United Way, the National Christian Schools Association and the World Christian Broadcasting Association. Tyson has traveled, lectured and preached in 25 different nations.
Tyson has been married to his wife, Valinda, for 25 years, and they have three adult children: Victoria, John III (Trey) and James (Trevor).
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
M.A., Vanderbilt University
M.Th., Harding University Graduate School of Religion
M.A., Harding University Graduate School of Religion
B.A., Harding University
Ph.D, Philosophy, Makerere University (Kampala, Uganda)
M.Div., Theology, Harding Graduate School of Religion
B.A., Religion, Harding University
Phone: (248) 218.2026
Vice President of Finance and Operations
Certified Public Accountant
Doctoral Studies, Louisiana Tech University
M.B.A. University of North Texas
B.A. Harding University
Vice President of Admissions
M.S. University of Tennessee at Martin
B.S. Lipscomb University
Vice President of Development
M.A. Johnson University
B.S. Oklahoma Christian University