Mark Smith

Columbia International University


A little bit about Dr. Mark Smith.

Dr. Mark Smith is the President of Columbia International University. Dr. Smith has committed his life to the advancement of the gospel through Christian higher education.

Dr. Mark Smith hold his Bachelors degree from Hobe Sound Bible College and a Master’s from Northeastern State University, as well as a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from West Virginia University. He formerly served as the president of Ohio Christian University for 11 years.

My Story

More details about Mark Smith’s career and life

Today, as President of CIU, Mark Smith’s focus is to challenge his students’ heads, hearts, and hands in a balanced way. Dr. Mark Smith is dedicated to preparing a new generation of ministers, missionaries and ministering professionals. For over two decades, Mark Smith’s mission has been to educate people from a biblical worldview to impact the nations with the message of Christ.

Prior to his current position at CIU, Dr. Smith served as the president of Ohio Christian University. During his time at OCU, Mark Smith helped lead the growth the university tenfold from abut 400 to more than 4,600 students. He also had a strong hand in raising over 20 million dollars in funding for OCU facilities. Prior to his success at Ohio Christian University, Dr. Smith served as Dean and later Vice President for Adult and Graduate Studies Indiana Wesleyan University, from 2001 through 2005. 

Since Smith became president of CIU, the school has added a fully online MBA, as well as fully online bachelors and associate degrees in business. Due to Mark Smith’s leadership and direction, enrollment at CIU has also seen a dramatic increase of over 20 percent.

Throughout his career, Dr. Smith has served on numerous educational and political boards and was appointed for a three-year term to the FIPSE Board, which focused on Excellence in Education by President George Bush. He has also served on several corporate and private
boards, including Columbus 2020 – Ohio Regional Economic Development Board and the ELEOS Corporate board.

During Dr. Mark Smith’s professional journey, he was faced with a nearly paralyzing head-on collision. Learning how to walk again and fighting every day through pain and tears, Dr. Mark Smith came out of the accident a more resilient leader. That unfortunate event ultimately fueled Smith’s determination and he is always reminded of how lucky he is to be here today. Following the accident, Dr. Mark Smith was solely focused on taking the message of God around the world.

Dr. Mark Smith has been married to his wife, Debbie, for 32 years and they have two children. His passion and drive for leadership is the foundation of his professional endeavors and service.