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

Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis image

Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis

Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis image

Published: November 28, 2017

As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian University. On Nov. 17, Teacher Education Professors Valerie Jones and Angela Flowers, along with student majors Maddy McCain and Emily Morton, attended Propel Ohio’s Collegiate Leadership Conference on the effect of poverty and the opioid crisis on Ohio youth.  They joined some 600 attendees in the University of Akron’s historic Quaker Station conference center to hear Ohio Senators Sherrod
As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian University. On Nov. 17, Teacher Education Professors Valerie Jones and Angela Flowers, along with student majors Maddy McCain and Emily Morton, attended Propel Ohio’s Collegiate Leadership
As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian
Reformation Day Celebration

Join OCU's Reformation Day Celebration!

Reformation Day Celebration

Published: October 30, 2017

On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, Ohio Christian University is hosting a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Maxwell Library and finish by 8:30 p.m. The evening is headlined by special guest speaker Reverend Gerhard Kraus of Trinity Lutheran Church in Circleville.  Rev. Kraus' presentation on the Reformation will be followed by a panel Q
On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, Ohio Christian University is hosting a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Maxwell Library and finish by 8:30 p.m. The evening is headlined by special guest speaker Reverend Gerhard Kraus of Trinity Lutheran Church in Circleville.  Rev. Kraus' presentation on the Reformation will be followed by
On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, Ohio Christian University is hosting a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Maxwell Library and
Martin Luther - Reformation's 500th Anniversary

A Wesleyan’s Debt to Luther on Reformation's 500th Anniversary

Martin Luther - Reformation's 500th Anniversary

Published: October 30, 2017

By Prof. Ben Williamson One is tempted to ask what has Wittenberg to do with Circleville? The answer is Wittenberg’s impact on the spiritual ancestors of the American Holiness Movement cannot be overstated. Discoveries made by Luther that led to the moment on October 31, 1517, when he nailed his “95 Theses” to the Wittenberg Chapel door had a profound effect upon John Wesley.  All Wesleyans are children of the Reformation. The three great hallmarks of Reformation theology are: Salvation by grace through faith alone, Sola Scriptura (scripture alone), and the priesthood of all
By Prof. Ben Williamson One is tempted to ask what has Wittenberg to do with Circleville? The answer is Wittenberg’s impact on the spiritual ancestors of the American Holiness Movement cannot be overstated. Discoveries made by Luther that led to the moment on October 31, 1517, when he nailed his “95 Theses” to the Wittenberg Chapel door had a profound effect upon John Wesley.  All Wesleyans
By Prof. Ben Williamson One is tempted to ask what has Wittenberg to do with Circleville? The answer is Wittenberg’s impact on the spiritual ancestors of the American Holiness Movement cannot be
Detty Chapel in fall at Ohio Christian University's main campus in Circleville, Ohio.

Importance of a Christian Education

Detty Chapel in fall at Ohio Christian University's main campus in Circleville, Ohio.

Published: November 8, 2016

Dr. Hank Kelly OCU Provost A college or university education is more than just learning information. There is no neutral, nonformative education (i.e., there is no such thing as a “secular” education). Colleges and universities are forming students into something. The question is: what? Education is formative in that not only does it impact the mind but also the heart. All the practices of a college or university form the imagination and hearts of its students—whether designed or not. If drinking and partying are accepted and even expected to “fit in,” then many students will
Dr. Hank Kelly OCU Provost A college or university education is more than just learning information. There is no neutral, nonformative education (i.e., there is no such thing as a “secular” education). Colleges and universities are forming students into something. The question is: what? Education is formative in that not only does it impact the mind but also the heart. All the practices of
Dr. Hank Kelly OCU Provost A college or university education is more than just learning information. There is no neutral, nonformative education (i.e., there is no such thing as a “secular”
OCU Student Finds Hope Through Classmates image

OCU Student Finds Hope Through Classmates

OCU Student Finds Hope Through Classmates image

Published: October 17, 2016

By Krista Williams In a time where our country and humanity is living in a great amount of fear, being at OCU gives me so much hope. I find peace in being here as I look around the classrooms- I see the future. I sit and look at all of the hardworking students and how each one of them has a divine purpose they are preparing for. A purpose given specially to them because of their skills and abilities. A purpose given to them because our King knows what He is doing. I sit in a class of 20 people and think, "there are 20 world changers right here." It amazes me to think what we, as
By Krista Williams In a time where our country and humanity is living in a great amount of fear, being at OCU gives me so much hope. I find peace in being here as I look around the classrooms- I see the future. I sit and look at all of the hardworking students and how each one of them has a divine purpose they are preparing for. A purpose given specially to them because of their skills and
By Krista Williams In a time where our country and humanity is living in a great amount of fear, being at OCU gives me so much hope. I find peace in being here as I look around the classrooms- I