Lee University is a private Christian university in Cleveland, Tennessee. It was originally the Church of God Bible Training School, a small Bible institute founded in 1918 with twelve students and one teacher. The school grew and became Lee College, with a Bible college and junior college on its current site, in 1948. Twenty years later, Lee received accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a four-year liberal arts college. In 1997, Lee made the transition from college to comprehensive liberal arts university granting graduate degrees. The university is divided into six colleges and schools: the College of Arts & Sciences, the Helen DeVos College of Education, the School of Business, the School of Music, the School of Nursing, and the School of Religion. The university also offers online degrees through the Division of Adult Learning. The university is named for F.J. Lee, its second president.
Lee is well known for the success of its vocal programs and alumni. In 2009, Voices of Lee, the a cappella vocal ensemble directed by Danny Murray, competed on the first season of The Sing-Off, an a capella competition television show on NBC, hosted by Nick Lachey. They finished in third place. In addition, several alumni have found success in popular television singing competitions. Phil Stacey finished in sixth place on season 6 of American Idol. In May 2015, Clark Beckham was runner-up on season 14 of American Idol, and in that same year, alum Jordan Smith won season nine of NBC's The Voice. In December 2017, Brooke Simpson placed third on the thirteenth season of The Voice. In January 2013, the Lee University Festival Choir, a special group composed of singers from each of the choral ensembles, performed at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C.