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

Tony Perkins Receives Faith & Liberty Award

Family Research Council's Tony Perkins Receives 2018 Faith & Liberty Award

Tony Perkins Receives Faith & Liberty Award

Published: February 21, 2018

The Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government’s Center for Faith and Liberty presented its seventh annual Faith
The Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government’s Center for Faith and Liberty presented its seventh annual Faith
The Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government’s Center for Faith and Liberty presented its seventh annual Faith
Student Profile:  Sophia Donaldson is Conquering the Calling image

Student Profile: Sophia Donaldson is Conquering the Calling

Student Profile:  Sophia Donaldson is Conquering the Calling image

Published: February 7, 2018

If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other adventurous students is set to be on mission in Cambodia, May 29th through June 12th, 2018. Unlike some participants, Sophia has felt a clear calling from God to undertake this mission.  Playing guitar since age ten, but not serious about it until this year, Sophia strongly feels God wants her to go to Cambodia and play music for the people. It’s that simple and clear.  Despite initial doubts, she
If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other adventurous students is set to be on mission in Cambodia, May 29th through June 12th, 2018. Unlike some participants, Sophia has felt a clear calling from God to undertake this mission.  Playing guitar
If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other
Lifelong Learning image

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning image

Published: January 2, 2018

by Dr. Hank Kelly, OCU Provost As the soil of the Earth needs to be fed to blossom, our brains are the absorbent sponge waiting to be fed with new ideas and concepts. Water it daily to stimulate growth, and you will yield a bountiful harvest of information and knowledge. –Matt Mayberry An education is important and prepares you to succeed in life, but if you do not continue to learn, increasing in knowledge and skills, you will eventually stagnate.  All too often promising leaders plateau early in their careers—because they stopped learning.  Even if you never change jobs again,
by Dr. Hank Kelly, OCU Provost As the soil of the Earth needs to be fed to blossom, our brains are the absorbent sponge waiting to be fed with new ideas and concepts. Water it daily to stimulate growth, and you will yield a bountiful harvest of information and knowledge. –Matt Mayberry An education is important and prepares you to succeed in life, but if you do not continue to learn,
by Dr. Hank Kelly, OCU Provost As the soil of the Earth needs to be fed to blossom, our brains are the absorbent sponge waiting to be fed with new ideas and concepts. Water it daily to stimulate
Student Profile:  AYA Math Teacher Ed Major Leads by Example  image

Student Profile: AYA Math Teacher Ed Major Leads by Example

Student Profile:  AYA Math Teacher Ed Major Leads by Example  image

Published: December 26, 2017

Clarissa Crowley, one of the first Adolescence to Young Adult Education (AYA) Mathematics majors at Ohio Christian University, set her sights high when she decided to major in STEM education to transform young lives. Serving as a ‘guinea pig’ for the new AYA curriculum with its advanced, yet enticing, and rigorous materials, Crowley’s goal for herself is not only propelling her into the future, but also enabling her to demonstrate faith-based leadership to her peers. Becoming a servant leader wasn’t always in the cards for Crowley.  Higher education seemed unobtainable to her until a
Clarissa Crowley, one of the first Adolescence to Young Adult Education (AYA) Mathematics majors at Ohio Christian University, set her sights high when she decided to major in STEM education to transform young lives. Serving as a ‘guinea pig’ for the new AYA curriculum with its advanced, yet enticing, and rigorous materials, Crowley’s goal for herself is not only propelling her into the
Clarissa Crowley, one of the first Adolescence to Young Adult Education (AYA) Mathematics majors at Ohio Christian University, set her sights high when she decided to major in STEM education to
Professor Larry Olson

Christmas in the Wesleyan Tradition

Professor Larry Olson

Published: December 6, 2017

An Interview with Prof. Larry Olson, Chair, Department of Psychology Q: Thanks for taking time to discuss how studying theories of personality helps us better understand human behavior and society, especially from a Christian perspective where faith in Christ transforms personality.  Now, as we celebrate Christmas and the new year, can you explain how studying psychology illuminates and inspires the individual in society, the human condition? LO:  Sure.  Great question!  In our Integration of Faith and Psychology course, we talk about personality theories.  Why do we need them? 
An Interview with Prof. Larry Olson, Chair, Department of Psychology Q: Thanks for taking time to discuss how studying theories of personality helps us better understand human behavior and society, especially from a Christian perspective where faith in Christ transforms personality.  Now, as we celebrate Christmas and the new year, can you explain how studying psychology illuminates and
An Interview with Prof. Larry Olson, Chair, Department of Psychology Q: Thanks for taking time to discuss how studying theories of personality helps us better understand human behavior and society