Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Faculty Profile:  Dr. Darren M. Johnson image

Dr. Darren M. Johnson joined Ohio Christian University’s Psychology Department as an Associate Professor of Psychology and Chemical Dependency Counseling.  He is currently teaching Abnormal Psychology, Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling, Diversity Issues in Counseling, Principles of Counseling, and Physiological Psychology.

In 2017, ProQuest published Johnson’s “The Experience of Being an Atheist in the United States,” a report on his study of interviews with twelve atheists. He has presented on Coping with Stress in the Workplace, Good Grief: How Grieving Properly Can Be Healthy, Team Building: The Importance of Developing Cohesion, Creating a Drug-free Workplace, and Hidden: Adult Children of Alcoholics.

Licensed for Independent Chemical Dependency Counseling with Clinical Supervision and Clinical Counseling, Johnson has 25 years of experience in clinical counseling and therapy, program administration, and clinical supervision. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, American Association of Christian Counselors, and Society for Christian Psychology.

Dr. Johnson earned his doctorate in Psychology at Capella University, his master’s degree in Clinical Pastoral Counseling at Ashland Theological Seminary, and his bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University. He taught at Trevecca Nazarene and Indiana Wesleyan Universities. His scholarship focuses on Behavioral Psychology, Addiction Psychology, Chemical Dependency Counseling, and Mental Health Counseling, specifically on counseling individuals with comorbid disorders.

“Teaching at OCU enables me to share my experiences of mental health and substance abuse counseling with a Christian perspective, demonstrating how Scripture may be integrated into therapy,” he explains.

Johnson integrates his faith into teaching by challenging students to think critically from a perspective rooted in Scripture—vital so they affect the world for Christ and bring healing to those who are broken. “We want students to view clients as individuals in need of Jesus Christ and to understand that treating mental illness and substance abuse disorders should be Gospel-oriented.   Psychology and faith are not mutually exclusive.  Our students learn to apply therapeutic theory and practice with Scripture to bring healing clients and glorify Jesus,” he continues.

“Secular therapists are recognizing more and more that spirituality is a source of great strength in a person’s life. Faith shifts our vision from our shortcomings and weakness and points us to the greater power. Christian psychologists recognize that psychological observations help us understand our cognition, emotion, and experience and that the Bible gives some very specific instructions on how one may become more emotionally and spiritually healthy. Psychology gives us insight into the dynamics of experience and provides tools to enact the Bible’s instructions. The word “mind” is mentioned over 95 times in the Bible. Paul instructs Christians to ‘take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.’ (2 Cor. 10:5)

“How do we accomplish this?” Johnson asks. “Studies show the average person has over sixty thousand thoughts go through their mind each day. Cognitive Therapy for example, provides therapeutic tools to help us become aware of these thoughts, identify irrational beliefs and cognitive distortions so we may replace them with ‘whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.’ (Phil. 4:8) In doing so, it helps us continue to have a mind like Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:16)

Articles of Interest

Reminder - file FASFA

File the FAFSA in just 22 minutes

Reminder - file FASFA

Published: February 3, 2021

Filing the FAFSA isn’t as complicated or time-consuming as it seems – you only need about 6 documents and 22 minutes! In the time it takes you to catch up on your social media feed, you can take the critical first step in getting the money you need to attend college. Here’s a checklist of everything you need: An FSA ID. Your FSA ID allows you to log in to your account, sign the FAFSA and make changes or add schools. You and your parent must create separate FSA IDs. Create this first! You and your parent’s Social Security or Alien Registration number. Here’s what to do if your
Filing the FAFSA isn’t as complicated or time-consuming as it seems – you only need about 6 documents and 22 minutes! In the time it takes you to catch up on your social media feed, you can take the critical first step in getting the money you need to attend college. Here’s a checklist of everything you need: An FSA ID. Your FSA ID allows you to log in to your account, sign the FAFSA and
Filing the FAFSA isn’t as complicated or time-consuming as it seems – you only need about 6 documents and 22 minutes! In the time it takes you to catch up on your social media feed, you can take
Tree of Life Assists Displaced Students image

Tree of Life Assists Displaced Students

Tree of Life Assists Displaced Students image

Published: March 19, 2020

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to surge, Ohio Christian University has transitioned to all online courses through the end of the semester. In the midst of these trying times, many businesses have found ways to support those impacted by the repercussions of the measures taken to slow down the spread of the virus.  During this disruptive time for the university, Tree of Life worked hard to contribute in a way that ensures that students have access to the materials they need to succeed in their courses. This is especially important with the transition to online learning. The company
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to surge, Ohio Christian University has transitioned to all online courses through the end of the semester. In the midst of these trying times, many businesses have found ways to support those impacted by the repercussions of the measures taken to slow down the spread of the virus.  During this disruptive time for the university, Tree of Life worked hard to
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to surge, Ohio Christian University has transitioned to all online courses through the end of the semester. In the midst of these trying times, many businesses
Ohio Christian Ranked Among Best Online Logistics Management Programs image

Ohio Christian Ranked Among Best Online Logistics Management Programs

Ohio Christian Ranked Among Best Online Logistics Management Programs image

Published: October 16, 2019

Ohio Christian University was recently ranked as offering one of the best online baccalaureate programs in Logistics Management. The university was ranked 8th out of 15 by the Online Schools Report (OSR), which serves as a resource for students pursuing online programs. According to OSR, their rankings are based on six data points: three schoolwide and three program-specific. For schoolwide, OSR uses student satisfaction, admission rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the median debt of graduates from that program, how many
Ohio Christian University was recently ranked as offering one of the best online baccalaureate programs in Logistics Management. The university was ranked 8th out of 15 by the Online Schools Report (OSR), which serves as a resource for students pursuing online programs. According to OSR, their rankings are based on six data points: three schoolwide and three program-specific. For schoolwide
Ohio Christian University was recently ranked as offering one of the best online baccalaureate programs in Logistics Management. The university was ranked 8th out of 15 by the Online Schools Report
Trailblazers in Reading image

Trailblazers in Reading

Trailblazers in Reading image

Published: August 12, 2019

Submitted by Professor Scott Barr American author Henry David Thoreau wrote, “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” This holds true for many of the young men and women in Professor Anita Conkel and Professor Scott Barr’s English composition classes. On April 15, students marked their participation in “The Great American Read” with a celebration sponsored by the English Department and hosted by the Maxwell Library staff. “The Great American Read” is a nationwide event started by the Public Broadcast System (PBS) in 2018. One hundred influential and
Submitted by Professor Scott Barr American author Henry David Thoreau wrote, “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” This holds true for many of the young men and women in Professor Anita Conkel and Professor Scott Barr’s English composition classes. On April 15, students marked their participation in “The Great American Read” with a celebration sponsored
Submitted by Professor Scott Barr American author Henry David Thoreau wrote, “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” This holds true for many of the young men
On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You? image

On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You?

On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You? image

Published: April 26, 2019

by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus program, an online program, or a combination of the two. But which option best fits you? In order to choose what fits you best, there are important considerations for each option. Location and Setting When you consider going away to college, it is important to not only consider the qualities of the school but also the location and the setting. How far away from home is optimal? Do you want
by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus program, an online program, or a combination of the two. But which option best fits you? In order to choose what fits you best, there are important considerations for each option. Location and
by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus

Archived Articles of Interest

4.0 Students Recognized in Chapel Service image

4.0 Students Recognized in Chapel Service

4.0 Students Recognized in Chapel Service image

Published: January 23, 2019

The January 23rd Chapel Service included a time of recognition for students who achieved a 4.0 grade point average during the fall semester. Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost, presented each awardee with a coffee mug loaded with candy. Fellow Trailblazers cheered on their peers and helped recipients celebrate their successes. Over 60 students were awarded. 4.0 Student Rachel Hicks says, “Last semester was my first semester taking strictly pre-law courses, it was really tough. I worked extremely hard to achieve a 4.0 and it feels really good to have accomplished this.” Kevin Bennie, Director of
The January 23rd Chapel Service included a time of recognition for students who achieved a 4.0 grade point average during the fall semester. Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost, presented each awardee with a coffee mug loaded with candy. Fellow Trailblazers cheered on their peers and helped recipients celebrate their successes. Over 60 students were awarded. 4.0 Student Rachel Hicks says, “Last semester
The January 23rd Chapel Service included a time of recognition for students who achieved a 4.0 grade point average during the fall semester. Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost, presented each awardee with a
New Year Brings Opportunity and Challenge image

New Year Brings Opportunity and Challenge

New Year Brings Opportunity and Challenge image

Published: January 2, 2019

2019 brings opportunities to attain your educational goals. We would love to help you with your fresh start. In education, sports, work, and personal relationships, for Christians, the difference is understanding the key to maturing spiritual development as expressed in Christ’s parable in the Gospel of Luke 5:36-38 (NIV): “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37 And, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the
2019 brings opportunities to attain your educational goals. We would love to help you with your fresh start. In education, sports, work, and personal relationships, for Christians, the difference is understanding the key to maturing spiritual development as expressed in Christ’s parable in the Gospel of Luke 5:36-38 (NIV): “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one.
2019 brings opportunities to attain your educational goals. We would love to help you with your fresh start. In education, sports, work, and personal relationships, for Christians, the difference
Hands-on Teaching: OCU Professor Keeps Science 'Fun' image

Hands-on Teaching: OCU Professor Keeps Science 'Fun'

Hands-on Teaching: OCU Professor Keeps Science 'Fun' image

Published: November 19, 2018

By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer​, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 14, 2018 When teaching, Rolanda Hurtt believes a hands-on approach is a way to keep both students and teachers interested and engaged. Hurtt, an Affiliate Professor in the Teacher Education department at Ohio Christian University, shares her hands-on approach with her students who can then pass it on to their students once they are in the classroom. “We always try to have fun,” she said. “I want my students at OCU to enjoy what we’re
By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer​, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 14, 2018 When teaching, Rolanda Hurtt believes a hands-on approach is a way to keep both students and teachers interested and engaged. Hurtt, an Affiliate Professor in the Teacher Education department at Ohio Christian University, shares her
By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer​, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 14, 2018 When teaching, Rolanda Hurtt believes
Chapel Speaker Touts Value of Liberal Arts Education image

Chapel Speaker Touts Value of Liberal Arts Education

Chapel Speaker Touts Value of Liberal Arts Education image

Published: November 19, 2018

By Cynthia Tweedell, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Rick Bartlett, Director of Theological Education at Tabor College spoke at Ohio Christian University’s Chapel Service on Wednesday, October 31. He encouraged students to value their liberal arts education as the best way to prepare for the future. Dr. Bartlett reminded students of the speed with which technology has changed in their lifetimes. They can recall YouTube videos that were so influential a few years ago but have run their course. Likewise, many jobs like telemarketer, paralegal, and
By Cynthia Tweedell, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Rick Bartlett, Director of Theological Education at Tabor College spoke at Ohio Christian University’s Chapel Service on Wednesday, October 31. He encouraged students to value their liberal arts education as the best way to prepare for the future. Dr. Bartlett reminded students of the speed with which
By Cynthia Tweedell, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Rick Bartlett, Director of Theological Education at Tabor College spoke at Ohio Christian University’s
OCU Develops Future Teacher's Skills in Educating 'Whole Child' image

OCU Develops Future Teacher's Skills in Educating 'Whole Child'

OCU Develops Future Teacher's Skills in Educating 'Whole Child' image

Published: November 16, 2018

By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 15, 2018 The Ohio Christian University’s Teacher Education program is guiding the next generation of teachers into modern day teaching. Valarie Jones, chair of the education department, said they’re teaching their education students about trauma-informed educating, a way to teach students who have been affected by trauma to their maximum potential. “Everything we do has the idea to love the kids first and then everything else comes after
By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 15, 2018 The Ohio Christian University’s Teacher Education program is guiding the next generation of teachers into modern day teaching. Valarie Jones, chair of the education department, said they’re teaching their education students about trauma
By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 15, 2018 The Ohio Christian University’s Teacher