Steve Pettit was named the fifth president of Bob Jones University May 8, 2014. Pettit is the first president in the University’s history not related to nationally known evangelist and BJU founder Bob Jones Sr.
Pettit received a BS in Business Administration from The Citadel in 1978 and an MA in Pastoral Studies from BJU in 1980. In 2014, Pettit was named a Distinguished Citadel Alumnus, becoming the 142nd alumnus to be named to the list since The Citadel was founded in 1842.
Prior to being elected BJU president, he served for 29 years as the president of the Steve Pettit Evangelistic Association. In this ministry, Pettit emphasized revival and evangelism as he conducted over 800 campaigns throughout the United States and preached in over 21 countries.
Additionally, Pettit served for nearly three years as national director for Cross Impact Ministries, a ministry which partners with local churches to minister on college campuses across the nation. Pettit formerly served as camp director and staff evangelist for Northland Camp and Conference Center in Dunbar, Wisconsin, and as an assistant pastor for youth ministry at First Baptist Church in Bridgeport, Michigan.
Married to the former Terry Elkins of Denver, Colorado, he and his wife have four adult children— Rebecca, Rachel, Stephen Jr. and Michael—three grandsons and a granddaughter.
Pettit chairs the BJU Education Group Board and serves on the boards of the Central Africa Baptist College in Kitwe, Zambia, the Wilds Christian Camp and Conference Center in Brevard, North Carolina, and the BJU Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission.
With a deep burden for this generation of young people, Pettit devotes a large portion of his ministry to inspiring young people to pursue relational discipleship while reflecting a commitment to godly living. A gifted communicator and expositor of the Scriptures, Pettit regularly speaks at BJU and in churches, Christian schools, colleges, camps and conferences around the world.
As BJU’s president, Pettit leads BJU with a firm reliance on the absolute authority of Scripture and a thorough integration of a biblical worldview into academic programs and student life. Under his leadership the University has expanded academic program offerings; launched a new School of Health Professions and the School for Continuing, Online and Professional Education; established the Center for Global Opportunities to organize community service and ministry projects; expanded intercollegiate sports; and was granted regional accreditation. Pettit seeks to inspire students to serve Christ vocationally through the knowledge they gain at BJU in their respective fields of study.