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The Samford University Ministry Training Institute (MTI) offers courses leading to a Diploma in Biblical Studies through the Cleveland Extension at Westwood.  The initial diploma consists of eight 8-week courses with a tuition of $50 per course.  The (2) courses offered this Spring are listed below along with the registration links. 

These are in-person courses and will follow the Samford University social distancing guidelines.  




Christian Leadership

An 8-week study of effective ministry leadership and leadership development


Paul Davis


Meeting Times:
March 30 - May 18 (Tuesdays 6:00pm - 9:00pm)

Register at:

Minor Prophets




Meeting Times:




4001 Georgetown Rd NW

Cleveland, TN 37312


For additional information, contact Paul Davis



Paul Davis

Paul Davis serves as Director for the Cleveland Extension Site of Samford University's Ministry Training Institute (MTI). Paul was born and raised in Cleveland.  He and his family have attended Westwood since he was five years old. After 17 years of working in a corporate job in the paper & packaging industry and in real estate, he was called to join the ministry team at Westwood in 2004. After serving as Minister of Education for four years, he moved into an executive pastor’s role with responsibilities in administration and educational ministries.  He now continues in this role as the Associate Pastor. 

He is a graduate of Lee University and completed his MBA in Christian Ministry at Bryan College.  He will begin his doctoral studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary this fall.  Paul and his wife Connie have two canine sidekicks named Spencer and Baxter.

Neil Harper

Neil serves as Assistant Pastor for Educational Ministries at Westwood Baptist Church in Cleveland, TN. In addition to his ministry at MTI and Westwood, Neil is an adjunct instructor at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and part-time faculty at Lee University, where he teaches courses such as Criminal Justice & Christian Faith, Human Trafficking, Ethics in Criminal Justice, and Introduction to Criminal Justice. Neil will complete his Th.M. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in May as he continues to pursue his Ph.D. from the University of the Cumberlands. He also holds the following degrees:

M.Div., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
M.S., Missouri University of Science & Technology
MPA, City University
Graduate Certificate, Oklahoma State University
B.S., Francis Marion University
A.S., Georgia Military College

Steve Smartt

Dr. Steve Smartt serves as the senior pastor of Westwood Baptist Church in Cleveland, TN. A graduate of Lee University, Dr. Smartt holds a M.Div. in Great Commission Studies and a D.Min. in Evangelism and Church Growth from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. After ten years in banking and management, Dr. Smartt entered pastoral ministry to serve churches in TN, FL, KY and GA.  In addition to serving the local church, Dr. Smartt is a part-time professor and advisor at Lee University, an adjunct professor in the College of Theology at Grand Canyon University, and has been a visiting professor at the Kyiv Theological Seminary in Kyiv, Ukraine.  He is currently pursuing his second doctorate, a PhD in Intercultural Studies, at Columbia International University.

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