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 to Host FAFSA Workshop on Oct. 8th image

OCU to Host FAFSA Workshop on Oct. 8th

OCU to Host FAFSA Workshop on Oct. 8th image

Published: October 3, 2016

By Amanda Plotts, Staff Reporter for the Circleville Herald   Future college students who need help navigating the financial aid system are encouraged to attend FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Day, a financial aid workshop sponsored by Pickaway HELPS (Higher Education Learning Partners for Students) and Ohio Christian University (OCU). The workshop is free and will take place on Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at OCU’s Maxwell Center. Professional financial counselors will be available to give individual help, answer questions, and assist with the online
By Amanda Plotts, Staff Reporter for the Circleville Herald   Future college students who need help navigating the financial aid system are encouraged to attend FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Day, a financial aid workshop sponsored by Pickaway HELPS (Higher Education Learning Partners for Students) and Ohio Christian University (OCU). The workshop is free and will
By Amanda Plotts, Staff Reporter for the Circleville Herald   Future college students who need help navigating the financial aid system are encouraged to attend FAFSA (Free Application for
Is college preparation worth it? A teen's perspective. image

Is college preparation worth it? A teen's perspective.

Is college preparation worth it? A teen's perspective. image

Published: September 15, 2016

By Jordyn Williams (pictured) In the years approaching college, the weight of the world is on us teens. Our stress is magnified as the expectations for college readiness intensifies. Our days grow longer and our nights shorten as we return home from a seven hour day of school only to spend additional hours studying and completing homework for multiple AP and honors classes. We wake up early the next morning to repeat the cycle. Work-free weekends are infrequent when they have become filled with youth leadership group gatherings, club meetings, community service, and SAT/ACT prep. The
By Jordyn Williams (pictured) In the years approaching college, the weight of the world is on us teens. Our stress is magnified as the expectations for college readiness intensifies. Our days grow longer and our nights shorten as we return home from a seven hour day of school only to spend additional hours studying and completing homework for multiple AP and honors classes. We wake up early
By Jordyn Williams (pictured) In the years approaching college, the weight of the world is on us teens. Our stress is magnified as the expectations for college readiness intensifies. Our days grow
OCU Graduates Celebrate Commencement at the Morning Ceremony

Record 810 Graduates Celebrate Commencement

OCU Graduates Celebrate Commencement at the Morning Ceremony

Published: May 26, 2016

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, Ohio Christian University held its 66th Commencement Ceremonies at the university’s main campus in Circleville, Ohio. A record 810 associate, bachelor, and master level graduates participated a total of four ceremonies: three in Ohio and one in Georgia earlier this month. Kelvin J. Cochran of Atlanta, Georgia, was the 2016 Commencement speaker. Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, Cochran followed his childhood dream and became a firefighter in 1981. Working his way through the ranks, he was appointed Fire Chief of the Shreveport Fire Department in 1999
On Saturday, April 30, 2016, Ohio Christian University held its 66th Commencement Ceremonies at the university’s main campus in Circleville, Ohio. A record 810 associate, bachelor, and master level graduates participated a total of four ceremonies: three in Ohio and one in Georgia earlier this month. Kelvin J. Cochran of Atlanta, Georgia, was the 2016 Commencement speaker. Originally from
On Saturday, April 30, 2016, Ohio Christian University held its 66th Commencement Ceremonies at the university’s main campus in Circleville, Ohio. A record 810 associate, bachelor, and master level
Morrow Campus graduates gather for a photo-op.

Georgia Campus Celebrates First-Ever Graduation

Morrow Campus graduates gather for a photo-op.

Published: April 20, 2016

On Saturday, April 9, 2016, The Morrow Campus of Ohio Christian University held its Inaugural Commencement Service at Divine Faith Ministries International in Jonesboro, Georgia.  70 Associate, Bachelor, and Master level graduates, for onsite and online, participated in the historic ceremony. MBA graduate Charlotte Daniely said, “The graduation was excellent.  I am extremely proud to say I am a graduate from Ohio Christian. The Lord was in the house!” An honorary doctorate was awarded to Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran. Dr. Shawn Thomas, Dean for the Morrow Campus said, “
On Saturday, April 9, 2016, The Morrow Campus of Ohio Christian University held its Inaugural Commencement Service at Divine Faith Ministries International in Jonesboro, Georgia.  70 Associate, Bachelor, and Master level graduates, for onsite and online, participated in the historic ceremony. MBA graduate Charlotte Daniely said, “The graduation was excellent.  I am extremely proud to say I
On Saturday, April 9, 2016, The Morrow Campus of Ohio Christian University held its Inaugural Commencement Service at Divine Faith Ministries International in Jonesboro, Georgia.  70 Associate,
Criminal Justice Dept. Hosts Distinguished Law Enforcement Officers image

Criminal Justice Dept. Hosts Distinguished Law Enforcement Officers

Criminal Justice Dept. Hosts Distinguished Law Enforcement Officers image

Published: March 23, 2016

The Criminal Justice program at Ohio Christian University held its inaugural Advisory Council with several distinguished criminal justice professionals from local, state, and federal agencies, including U.S. Secret Service, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
The Criminal Justice program at Ohio Christian University held its inaugural Advisory Council with several distinguished criminal justice professionals from local, state, and federal agencies, including U.S. Secret Service, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
The Criminal Justice program at Ohio Christian University held its inaugural Advisory Council with several distinguished criminal justice professionals from local, state, and federal agencies,