Picture of Matthew Roberts

Matthew "Matt" Roberts


Vice President for Academic Affairs, Academic Dean


Academic Affairs

Office Location:

Bristol Campus: King Building 16A

Office Phone:



“When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”  - Abraham Maslow


Dr. Matthew Roberts is Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Academic Dean for King University. Dr. Roberts earned his Bachelor of Arts from East Tennessee State University in English and Foreign Languages, his Master of Arts in Applied English Linguistics from the University of Houston, and his Doctor of Education from Appalachian State University with cognates in language and literacy acquisition.

Roberts’ teaching career in literature, language, and education has focused on diverse learners and linguistic minority groups in Texas, North Carolina, and Tennessee.  Prior to King, Roberts’ teaching experience includes appointments at Rice University (Houston, TX), University of Houston, Houston Independent School District, Paideia Academy (Cary, NC), and Appalachian State University (Boone, NC).

In 2007, Roberts was recipient of the prestigious Cratis D. Williams Fellowship for his contributions to rural education in North Carolina. Roberts was the co-founder and editor of the Appalachian Family Storytelling Project, a family literacy initiative that spanned five counties in western North Carolina; this project worked to connect pre-service teachers at Appalachian State with students and families in documenting the region’s oral history.

Dr. Roberts came to King in 2008 as a faculty member in the School of Education where he continues to teach courses in literacy development and educational psychology.  In 2010, Roberts was named King’s first Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Director. The QEP is part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges’ (SACSCOC) requirement for institutions to identify a focus and direction where signature curricular improvement would be positively impactful. Roberts’ support through QEP initiatives assisted peer mentor-based programs to flourish and define distinct learning communities visible in King’s undergraduate core curriculum classes, as well as meeting King’s commitment to improving oral and written communication as the institution’s QEP topic. In 2014, King University’s QEP Impact Report successfully received no referrals in a review by the Committee on Fifth-Year Interim Reports.  In 2012, Roberts was named Dean of Academic Affairs, and in 2013 he was named Chief Academic Officer for the University.

Several achievements and improvements have occurred for King University under Roberts’ leadership. King was approved as a SACSCOC Level V institution with its first doctoral degree, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in 2014. For the institution’s interim accreditation report, King secured the successful completion of SACSCOC on-site committee reviews of instructional locations in Knoxville, TN, and Big Stone Gap, VA with no referrals. Currently, King University continues the investment and development of over 30 articulation agreements and partnerships with community colleges and institutions throughout Tennessee and Virginia. Most importantly, faculty development opportunities have grown to support King’s commitment to the integration of faith and learning as inscribed in the institution’s motto Ecclesiae et Litteris (For the Church and Learning).


Roberts’ current research interests include social cognitive theory and self-efficacy as they relate to instructor performance and demands in a quickly changing higher educational landscape.  He has published and presented papers on teacher efficacy and linguistic/social distance theory. Roberts’ scholarship is both broad and focused: He has studied the work of Russian psychologist, Lev Vygotsky, under renowned scholar Michael Cole (UC Davis), and playwriting under Edward Albee at the University of Houston.

Roberts serves as the Chair of the Administrative Council at Mountain View United Methodist Church in Kingsport, TN where he is also a lead musician in the praise band. Roberts and his wife, Jessie, have two daughters, Lucy and Emma, and one son, Jack. They enjoy hiking and singing loudly in the car.


Ed.D. in Educational Leadership – Appalachian State University: Boone, NC (2008)

Concentrations in language and literacy education


M.A. in Applied English Linguistics – University of Houston: Houston, TX (2000)

Concentration in Second Language Acquisition


Post-baccalaureate; teacher licensure – University of St. Thomas: Houston, TX (1999)


B.A. in English and Foreign Languages (German) – East Tennessee State University: Johnson City, TN (1997)

Courses recently taught

EDUC 5070 LECT Advanced Educational Psychology
EDUC 5090 LECT Theory and Practice in Literacy and Reading Instruction