Spadafora Joins Faculty of LMU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program


Michael Spadafora, PT, DScPT, CMPT, has joined the faculty of the Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program effective Jan. 4, 2021. Spadafora will serve as the assistant professor of Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy for the new program set to welcome its first class in May 2021 at LMU-Knoxville (9737 Cogdill Road).

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Spadafora join our team at Lincoln Memorial University,” said DPT Program Director Kellee Harper-Hanigan, DPT. “Mike has an extensive background in physical therapy, athletic training and orthopedics. We look forward to the knowledge and experience he will bring to our students as we launch this new program.”

spadaforadptSpadafora earned his Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in 2020. Before LMU, he served as an instructor of physical therapy at South College. Spadafora began his career at The University of Tennessee (UT), Knoxville, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in 1994 and worked as a graduate assistant athletic trainer for the UT football team. After becoming a certified athletic trainer, he went on to complete his master’s degree in physical therapy at Shenandoah University near Washington, DC, in 2000. Spadafora earned his certification as an orthopedic specialist with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) in 2004 and completed a manual therapy residency with the Ola Grimsby Institute in 2006. He also earned his certification in Manual Physical Therapy from the North American Institute of Manual Therapy in 2017. He has worked as a clinician in outpatient orthopedic settings as well as in private practice.

“I am looking forward to growing alongside intentional individuals with high expectations who are also humble and gracious while developing the DPT program into a fun, interactive, and vastly equipping journey for both students and faculty,” Spadafora said.

Spadafora grew up in Charleston, West Virginia, but has made Knoxville, Tennessee, his home. He and his wife, Jennifer, a physical therapist specializing in pediatrics, and their three children enjoy being able to get away to the mountains for hiking, biking, and camping.

The DPT program will be located at LMU-Knoxville (9737 Cogdill Road). Current LMU students and transfer students from other institutions may also enter the program after completing the prerequisite coursework. For those who have already completed their bachelor’s degree, but want to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy, they can do so without having to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

The program is in the pre-candidacy stage of the accreditation process and applied for candidacy in December 2020, with the application for full initial accreditation submitted Fall of 2023, to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).*

For complete information on admissions and application requirements, visit:

Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, with an additional location at LMU-Knoxville. LMU-DCOM is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of osteopathic physicians to provide health care in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU-DCOM, call 1.800.325.0900, ext. 7082, email [email protected], or visit us online at




LMU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, or call 404.679.4500, for questions about the accreditation of Lincoln Memorial University.


LMU plans to offer the DPT program in May of 2021 pending approval of the SACSCOC.


*Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703.706.3245; [email protected] is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states. 


Lincoln Memorial University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on December 1, 2020. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

Back to previous page