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Elmer Towns

Co-Founder, Liberty University

Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education.  He began teaching at Midwest Bible College, St. Louis, Missouri, for three years and was not satisfied with his textbooks so he began writing his own (he has published over 100 books listed in the Library of Congress, 7 listed in the Christian Booksellers Best Selling List; several becoming accepted as college textbooks.  He is also the 1995 recipient of the coveted Gold Medallion Award awarded by the Christian Booksellers Association for writing the Book of the Year, i.e., The Names of the Holy Spirit.  

He was President of Winnipeg Bible College for five years, leading it to receive American Accreditation and Provincial authority to offer degrees (1960-1965).  He taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, in greater Chicago, Illinois, in the field of Religious Education and Evangelism (1965-1971).

He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty’s existence.  Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.

Dr. Towns is the author of numerous books and resources about Sunday School including:

  • What Every Sunday School Teacher Should Know: 24 Secrets That Can Help You Change Lives
  • What Every Pastor Should Know About Sunday School: 18 Secrets to Bring New Life and Growth to Your Church
  • 154 Steps to Revitalize Your Sunday School and Keep Your Church Growing
  • Friend Day

Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad.  He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries.  He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees.  Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. fromDallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminaryin Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

His wife of 55 years, Ruth teaches a Christian Woman class at Liberty University.  They have three children and ten grandchildren and live in Forest, VA.

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