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

Dean Joe Wuest

Dean Joe Wuest Recognized with 2018 Ruth Bamford Award

Dean Joe Wuest

Published: July 30, 2018

The Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) honored Ohio Christian University’s Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Joe Wuest, M.A., with the 2018 Ruth Bamford Award.  Dr. Edee Schulze, ACSD’s president, explains the award’s significance: “The Ruth Bamford award is presented annually to individuals who have served in the field of student development less than 15 years, who have provided outstanding leadership and service to ACSD and their home institution, as well as contributed significantly to the field of student affairs.  Especially important is
The Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) honored Ohio Christian University’s Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Joe Wuest, M.A., with the 2018 Ruth Bamford Award.  Dr. Edee Schulze, ACSD’s president, explains the award’s significance: “The Ruth Bamford award is presented annually to individuals who have served in the field of student development less than 15
The Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) honored Ohio Christian University’s Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Joe Wuest, M.A., with the 2018 Ruth Bamford Award. 
Organizational Leadership Ranks #14

#14 Best Organizational Leadership Program Nationwide

Organizational Leadership Ranks #14

Published: July 30, 2018

Ohio Christian University has been ranked as offering among the best Organizational Leadership programs in the country. This ranking from College Choice, a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources, puts Ohio Christian University in 14th place for Best Organizational Leadership Degrees. The complete ranking list is available here. According to College Choice, the rankings are based on institutional reputation, graduation rates, selectivity, and faculty resources.  Data for ranking comes from the National Center for Education Statistics’ IPEDS database, U.S.
Ohio Christian University has been ranked as offering among the best Organizational Leadership programs in the country. This ranking from College Choice, a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources, puts Ohio Christian University in 14th place for Best Organizational Leadership Degrees. The complete ranking list is available here. According to College Choice, the
Ohio Christian University has been ranked as offering among the best Organizational Leadership programs in the country. This ranking from College Choice, a leading authority in college and
Prof. Angela Flowers dances with Isabella Misita, her student at Pioneer Center in Chillocothe

New K-12 Needs Intervention Specialist Degree Program Open for Enrollment

Prof. Angela Flowers dances with Isabella Misita, her student at Pioneer Center in Chillocothe

Published: July 17, 2018

The Ohio Department of Education recently recognized that OCU’s Mild/Moderate Needs Intervention Specialist (K-12) bachelor’s program meets the Chancellor’s requirements and State Board of Education standards for bachelor degree programs that prepare graduates for Mild/Moderate Needs Intervention Specialist (K-12) licensure.  Enrollment into the new program is now open.    Dr. Valerie Jones, Teacher Education Department chair explains, “We train teachers who have a Christ-like calling to educate all children, including those with special needs.  With the opioid and poverty crises
The Ohio Department of Education recently recognized that OCU’s Mild/Moderate Needs Intervention Specialist (K-12) bachelor’s program meets the Chancellor’s requirements and State Board of Education standards for bachelor degree programs that prepare graduates for Mild/Moderate Needs Intervention Specialist (K-12) licensure.  Enrollment into the new program is now open.    Dr. Valerie Jones
The Ohio Department of Education recently recognized that OCU’s Mild/Moderate Needs Intervention Specialist (K-12) bachelor’s program meets the Chancellor’s requirements and State Board of
School of Business & Government Israel Tour Creates Lasting Impressions image

School of Business & Government Israel Tour Creates Lasting Impressions

School of Business & Government Israel Tour Creates Lasting Impressions image

Published: June 20, 2018

Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government traveled to Israel May 23 through June 3, 2018.    Thirteen students toured the Holy Land with Passages Israel, a program sponsored by Philos Project and the Museum of the Bible Foundation.  Passages specialize in providing Christian college students with leadership potential a fresh and innovative approach to experiencing the Holy Land. The OCU students encountered the historic landscape of their Christian faith and modern-day Israel.  Significant sites visited were Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, Nazareth,
Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government traveled to Israel May 23 through June 3, 2018.    Thirteen students toured the Holy Land with Passages Israel, a program sponsored by Philos Project and the Museum of the Bible Foundation.  Passages specialize in providing Christian college students with leadership potential a fresh and innovative approach to experiencing the
Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government traveled to Israel May 23 through June 3, 2018.    Thirteen students toured the Holy Land with Passages Israel, a program sponsored by
Trauma Informed Care Training Hits Needs Head-On image

Trauma Informed Care Training Hits Needs Head-On

Trauma Informed Care Training Hits Needs Head-On image

Published: June 20, 2018

On June 4 and 5, Ohio Christian University hosted over 150 participants attending the Southern Ohio Trauma Informed Care Training. OCU undergraduate and graduate teacher education students as well as area educators, pastors, administrators, and social workers listened to informative sessions covering topics ranging from classroom teaching to social work case management.  They engaged in dynamic discussions, break-out activities and tasks that raised questions and prompted fresh thinking by even the most inquisitive participants. Hosted by social workers Amanda Knotts and Bryston
On June 4 and 5, Ohio Christian University hosted over 150 participants attending the Southern Ohio Trauma Informed Care Training. OCU undergraduate and graduate teacher education students as well as area educators, pastors, administrators, and social workers listened to informative sessions covering topics ranging from classroom teaching to social work case management.  They engaged in
On June 4 and 5, Ohio Christian University hosted over 150 participants attending the Southern Ohio Trauma Informed Care Training. OCU undergraduate and graduate teacher education students as well