Justin Tilghman

I grew up in a small town and in a Christian family. I grew up going to church and can't really pin down an exact "date" when I trusted Christ for my salvation. Since I was roughly 6 years old, I've been following Christ as best I knew how given my level of maturity at the time. However, at the end of my senior year of undergrad at Campbell University I went through a very rough period emotionally and spiritually which resulted in me having to postpone graduate school and come back home, totally changing the course of my life. During that difficult time I had to decide if I really believed all of this stuff about Jesus or if I was going to throw it out and mark out my own path forward. By God's grace I recommitted and affirmed my faith in Christ rather turn away for good. Looking back on it now, that difficult season was so pivotal and so necessary for me to really make my faith personal and untether me from the faith of my family. As difficult as it was, I don't know that I would have changed it if I could. That set me on a path to where I am today and prepared me to face other challenging times since then. That season led me into the field of public administration and higher education, which has been so very rewarding for me. At the same time, had I gone straight into graduate school without coming home, I would have never met my wife. We met in 2010 and we were married in 2013. Five years into our marriage we became aware that having a biological family was likely not in the cards for us, which was very difficult to wrestle with. There were many nights of questioning God's goodness and his plan for us. That difficult season led us to our little boy, whom we adopted in 2020. Just as before, though it was such a difficult season, I wouldn't change it for anything because God blessed us with our beautiful little boy. My life hasn't turned out quite like I planned it would when I started college, but I can look back and see the Lord guiding me every step of the way and for that I am eternally grateful. Life isn't easy; it has lots of ups and downs. Every day isn't perfect and I'm certainly not perfect. But the Lord continues to show his grace and mercy to me every single day.

My Life

My hobbies

Cycling, reading

Fantasy dinner guests

Charles Spurgeon, R. C. Sproul

My undergrad alma mater

Campbell University

My worst subject in school


In college I drove

A Chevy Blazer

If I weren't a professor, I would

be a pilot

Favorite books

Lord of the Rings, biographies

Favorite city

Lake Tahoe

Favorite coffee

Starbucks Americano with 2 pumps of hazelnut syrup

Current Research

Development of identity and connection in the online learning environment Student retention in public safety education courses