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

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus image

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus image

Published: April 10, 2019

On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
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

Archived Articles of Interest

OCU Faculty Provide Monthly Academic Presentations image

OCU Faculty Provide Monthly Academic Presentations

OCU Faculty Provide Monthly Academic Presentations image

Published: December 3, 2012

Ohio Christian University faculty have begun monthly presentations to enhance the academic quality and engagement of faculty, students, and community members. These events are also being made available live through video conferencing so that faculty and students in online programs are able to participate.On December 5th, Prof. Thad Hicks will present on the topic of Managing Compassion Fatigue. Prof. Hicks serves as Assistant Professor of Disaster Management and is working on a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies. Compassion Fatigue, or secondary traumatic stress disorder, is a condition
Ohio Christian University faculty have begun monthly presentations to enhance the academic quality and engagement of faculty, students, and community members. These events are also being made available live through video conferencing so that faculty and students in online programs are able to participate.On December 5th, Prof. Thad Hicks will present on the topic of Managing Compassion
Ohio Christian University faculty have begun monthly presentations to enhance the academic quality and engagement of faculty, students, and community members. These events are also being made
Ohio Christian University to Celebrate a Record Number of Graduates on May 5, 2012 image

Ohio Christian University to Celebrate a Record Number of Graduates on May 5, 2012

Ohio Christian University to Celebrate a Record Number of Graduates on May 5, 2012 image

Published: April 30, 2012

President Mark A. Smith will preside over the largest graduation ceremony in the history of Ohio Christian University this coming Saturday, May 5, 2012, with 386 graduates.This year's graduation includes the conference of 141 associate's degrees and 235 bachelor's degrees. OCU also celebrates its first conference of master's degrees with 10 students earning the Master of Arts in Ministry.Graduation practice (required for all graduating students) begins a 1 p.m. on Friday, May 4. The graduation ceremony begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 5 in the OCU Maxwell Center. 
President Mark A. Smith will preside over the largest graduation ceremony in the history of Ohio Christian University this coming Saturday, May 5, 2012, with 386 graduates.This year's graduation includes the conference of 141 associate's degrees and 235 bachelor's degrees. OCU also celebrates its first conference of master's degrees with 10 students earning the Master of Arts in Ministry.
President Mark A. Smith will preside over the largest graduation ceremony in the history of Ohio Christian University this coming Saturday, May 5, 2012, with 386 graduates.This year's graduation
Dr. Jim Smith

OCU Professor is Published

Dr. Jim Smith

Published: November 30, 2010

Ohio Christian University Professor of Substance Abuse Counseling Dr. Jim Smith contributed two chapters for the recently published collaborative work Nelson's Church Leader's Manual for Congregational Care, available from Thomas Nelson Publishers. The two chapters are on lay ministry care for those with substance abuse issues and mental disorders.  Smith is well qualified to write on these topics as he holds three graduate degrees and is a licensed counselor as well as an ordained minister.  Smith states, "The connection to be part of this collaboration was brought about by God." OCU
Ohio Christian University Professor of Substance Abuse Counseling Dr. Jim Smith contributed two chapters for the recently published collaborative work Nelson's Church Leader's Manual for Congregational Care, available from Thomas Nelson Publishers. The two chapters are on lay ministry care for those with substance abuse issues and mental disorders.  Smith is well qualified to write on these
Ohio Christian University Professor of Substance Abuse Counseling Dr. Jim Smith contributed two chapters for the recently published collaborative work Nelson's Church Leader's Manual for