Tennessee Temple University is a four-year private Christian university, with its focus on liberal arts education, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States. Operating there, also, is Temple Baptist Seminary, the university's graduate school of Christian theology.
Tennessee Temple was founded in 1946 under the leadership and vision of Dr. Lee Roberson. As the pastor of a prominent Southern Baptist church, Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Dr. Roberson saw the need to train people for ministry through higher education. Believing that God was leading him to act upon this need, he began an evening Bible institute which would eventually blossom into a Bible college and a liberal arts college. Later, a seminary would be added. The close relationship that the school maintained with Highland Park Baptist Church, one of the early mega-churches of the modern era, created many ministry training opportunities for the students of Tennessee Temple. This model would be the inspiration for a pastor in the mountains of Virginia, the Rev. Jerry Falwell (note: Rev. Falwell did NOT attend Tennessee Temple), to begin what would become Liberty University. Today, Tennessee Temple graduates circle the globe. While they are predominately known for their roles as ministers, missionaries, and educators, Temple grads serve in every imaginable occupation, in all walks of life. Dr. Steve Echols is the current President of Tennessee Temple University.