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

Student teaching major options with professor

First 2018 Orientation Day Biggest Ever!

Student teaching major options with professor

Published: May 21, 2018

Seventy-eight newly enrolled Ohio Christian University students, including nine transferring in from other schools, attended the day-long initial orientation with luncheon and campus tours. This day was the first of OCU’s several annual spring and summer orientation days.  The next days are scheduled for June 8 and 29.  Many students were accompanied by parents who appeared as eager to learn about the University experience as their daughters and sons. The day began at 8:30 am with a continental breakfast and concluded after walking tours of campus facilities.  Cool-to-warm sunny
Seventy-eight newly enrolled Ohio Christian University students, including nine transferring in from other schools, attended the day-long initial orientation with luncheon and campus tours. This day was the first of OCU’s several annual spring and summer orientation days.  The next days are scheduled for June 8 and 29.  Many students were accompanied by parents who appeared as eager to learn
Seventy-eight newly enrolled Ohio Christian University students, including nine transferring in from other schools, attended the day-long initial orientation with luncheon and campus tours. This
ARI Partners with OCU!

New Digital Marketing Micro-Credential Program

ARI Partners with OCU!

Published: May 8, 2018

Ohio Christian University (OCU) is partnering with education and technology leader Accelerated Retention Institute (ARI) to provide a first-to-market digital marketing and e-commerce micro-credentialing course designed to address training for the overwhelming demand for digital marketing jobs in the US and abroad.  For more on ARI's educational products, click ARI.  ARI’s digital marketing and w-commerce micro-certification course is designed to be a complete immersive program offering 20 days of intense study.  The firm deploys advanced learning, video-based technology giving
Ohio Christian University (OCU) is partnering with education and technology leader Accelerated Retention Institute (ARI) to provide a first-to-market digital marketing and e-commerce micro-credentialing course designed to address training for the overwhelming demand for digital marketing jobs in the US and abroad.  For more on ARI's educational products, click ARI.  ARI’s digital marketing
Ohio Christian University (OCU) is partnering with education and technology leader Accelerated Retention Institute (ARI) to provide a first-to-market digital marketing and e-commerce micro-
Exultant graduates of OCU Class of 2018!

Class of 2018 Celebrates Commencement

Exultant graduates of OCU Class of 2018!

Published: May 1, 2018

Ohio Christian University’s April 28 commencement filled the sunny, still chilly, spring day as 392 students graduated in two sessions from the University’s on-campus and online degree programs.  The entire class of 2018 numbers 770. Participants in the commencement represented twenty-four states.  The oldest graduate was 73 years old; the youngest was 20.  Of those present, one hundred and eleven received associate degrees; two hundred and fourteen received bachelor degrees; and, sixty-seven received master degrees. Degrees conferred included Associates of Arts in Business, Christian
Ohio Christian University’s April 28 commencement filled the sunny, still chilly, spring day as 392 students graduated in two sessions from the University’s on-campus and online degree programs.  The entire class of 2018 numbers 770. Participants in the commencement represented twenty-four states.  The oldest graduate was 73 years old; the youngest was 20.  Of those present, one hundred and
Ohio Christian University’s April 28 commencement filled the sunny, still chilly, spring day as 392 students graduated in two sessions from the University’s on-campus and online degree programs.  
Samantha Roberts won $5,000 for 1st place

2018 Business Plan Competition Is Opportunity to Excel

Samantha Roberts won $5,000 for 1st place

Published: April 17, 2018

On April 6 at the annual awards banquet, five finalists in Ohio Christian University’s 2018 Business Plan Competition received recognition and cash awards. Students enrolled in the School of Business
On April 6 at the annual awards banquet, five finalists in Ohio Christian University’s 2018 Business Plan Competition received recognition and cash awards. Students enrolled in the School of Business
On April 6 at the annual awards banquet, five finalists in Ohio Christian University’s 2018 Business Plan Competition received recognition and cash awards. Students enrolled in the School of
OCU Georgia Graduates Celebrate at Commencement!

2018 Georgia Commencement

OCU Georgia Graduates Celebrate at Commencement!

Published: April 12, 2018

Ohio Christian University graduates celebrated their Commencement on Saturday, April 7, at Divine Faith Church in Jonesboro, Georgia. One hundred and thirty-three graduates received their degrees from President Jon S. Kulaga and Vice President Bradford Sample. Georgia Senator Emanuel Jones spoke about how Jesus is the ‘game changer’ and challenged graduates to seek to be like Him. Jones represents Georgia's 10th District, sitting on the Banking and Financial Institutions, Economic Development and Tourism, Interstate Cooperation, Special Judiciary and Retirement Committees. He holds
Ohio Christian University graduates celebrated their Commencement on Saturday, April 7, at Divine Faith Church in Jonesboro, Georgia. One hundred and thirty-three graduates received their degrees from President Jon S. Kulaga and Vice President Bradford Sample. Georgia Senator Emanuel Jones spoke about how Jesus is the ‘game changer’ and challenged graduates to seek to be like Him. Jones
Ohio Christian University graduates celebrated their Commencement on Saturday, April 7, at Divine Faith Church in Jonesboro, Georgia. One hundred and thirty-three graduates received their degrees