Knight joined the Adventist church through the ministry of Ralph Larson. The Spectrum Blog: QOD conference bulletin two He completed a BA at Pacific Union College, an MA and MDiv from Andrews University, and in 1976 an EdD from the University of Houston.
Knight originally taught in the School of Education. He had a number of doctoral students who did biographical studies of early Adventist educators. He gradually developed an interest in Adventist history that led to his transition to the Church History department in the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. His 1985 book, Myths in Adventism, put him on the map in Adventist circles and he began to rise to prominence in the church. During the 1990s Knight became particularly well-known for his fresh insight and popularization of Seventh-day Adventist history. By the year 2000 he was the best-selling Adventist author in the denomination with a steady stream of doctoral students and graduate assistants who helped him do research for his books. He was also featured as one of the keynote speakers at the 2000 Seventh-day Adventist General Conference Session held in Toronto, Canada. In 2005 he announced his plans for retirement that occurred during the summer of 2006. He has already begun work on the first volumes of a devotional commentary of the entire Bible.