Tomlin wrote his first worship song at age fourteen. During high school, he learned to lead worship in his youth group. After graduating from Grand Saline High School in 1990, he entered Tyler Junior College (TJC) planning for a medical or physical therapy career. Tomlin graduated in 1992 and enrolled in Texas A&M University to study medicine. He grew active in a campus Christian group called Breakaway, where he became the worship leader. In 1994, Tomlin graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After college Tomlin participated as a worship leader at various camps in Texas, including Dawson McAllister Youth Conferences. While at Breakaway, Tomlin participated in a Bible study led by then Choice Ministries founder Louie Giglio. In 1997, Tomlin partnered with Giglio to found Passion Conferences.