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

Students pose for a picture at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy

Students visit Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy

Students pose for a picture at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy

Published: March 22, 2016

On November 18, 2015, several Criminal Justice students and Criminal Law students traveled to Columbus OH, where they visited the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy.  Lieutenant Click was their tour guide for the visit.  The first part of the tour took the students to the classroom area where Lieutenant Click provided an overview of what a cadet would experience in the classroom and basic standards of conduct.  Second, the students visited the indoor firing range, were given an overview of the types of weapons used on the range, and informed on the course of fire the cadets and Troopers
On November 18, 2015, several Criminal Justice students and Criminal Law students traveled to Columbus OH, where they visited the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy.  Lieutenant Click was their tour guide for the visit.  The first part of the tour took the students to the classroom area where Lieutenant Click provided an overview of what a cadet would experience in the classroom and basic
On November 18, 2015, several Criminal Justice students and Criminal Law students traveled to Columbus OH, where they visited the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy.  Lieutenant Click was their tour
Criminal Justice students study prison operations image

Criminal Justice students study prison operations

Criminal Justice students study prison operations image

Published: March 22, 2016

On March 17, 2016, students from the CJ225-Corrections course traveled to Orient OH with their instructor, Professor Sean Lovell, to visit the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
On March 17, 2016, students from the CJ225-Corrections course traveled to Orient OH with their instructor, Professor Sean Lovell, to visit the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
On March 17, 2016, students from the CJ225-Corrections course traveled to Orient OH with their instructor, Professor Sean Lovell, to visit the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
OCU Psychology Dept. Launches New Initiative  image

OCU Psychology Dept. Launches New Initiative

OCU Psychology Dept. Launches New Initiative  image

Published: March 21, 2016

Ohio Governor John Kasich has identified the battle with rampant heroin addiction as a priority of his administration. Ohio Christian University Psychology Department has successfully worked with the State government leaders in the past to bring Pastors together for a Drug Education Conference and now the Governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives has reached out to OCU for another effort. Kimberly Hettel, the Director of the Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, met with OCU’s Psychology Department Chair, Dr. Larry Olson, and the Director of OCU’s Substance
Ohio Governor John Kasich has identified the battle with rampant heroin addiction as a priority of his administration. Ohio Christian University Psychology Department has successfully worked with the State government leaders in the past to bring Pastors together for a Drug Education Conference and now the Governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives has reached out to OCU for
Ohio Governor John Kasich has identified the battle with rampant heroin addiction as a priority of his administration. Ohio Christian University Psychology Department has successfully worked with
OCU Writing Center Presents at Writing Center Conference at the University of Notre Dame image

OCU Writing Center Presents at Writing Center Conference at the University of Notre Dame

OCU Writing Center Presents at Writing Center Conference at the University of Notre Dame image

Published: May 20, 2015

The OCU Writing Center has been busy this year. In addition to the over 400 drop-in visits they received from students, the twelve writing workshops they hosted, and their work with students in the Basic Writing Lab, they also presented at a professional writing conference this past spring.April 10-11, Dr. Krista Stonerock and Christine Zimmerman, co-directors of OCU Writing Center, accompanied a group of tutors to the annual East Central Writing Center Association (ECWCA) Conference held at the University of Notre Dame. Tutors Ethan Allen, Tim Allen, Brent Palmer, and Kelsey Blackman
The OCU Writing Center has been busy this year. In addition to the over 400 drop-in visits they received from students, the twelve writing workshops they hosted, and their work with students in the Basic Writing Lab, they also presented at a professional writing conference this past spring.April 10-11, Dr. Krista Stonerock and Christine Zimmerman, co-directors of OCU Writing Center,
The OCU Writing Center has been busy this year. In addition to the over 400 drop-in visits they received from students, the twelve writing workshops they hosted, and their work with students in the
OCU’s Maxwell Library Supports Learning image

OCU’s Maxwell Library Supports Learning

OCU’s Maxwell Library Supports Learning image

Published: October 15, 2014

The Melvin and Laura Maxwell Library has been a cornerstone to support learning at Ohio Christian University for many decades. In addition to physical resources, the library provides faculty and students with access to a growing collection of digital content. Through membership in the OhioLINK consortium, the library participates in cost-effective digital resource acquisition, provides users with state-of-the-art discovery and access technologies, and cooperates in the sharing of more than 50 million physical items across the state.In fall 2013, students were invited to participate in
The Melvin and Laura Maxwell Library has been a cornerstone to support learning at Ohio Christian University for many decades. In addition to physical resources, the library provides faculty and students with access to a growing collection of digital content. Through membership in the OhioLINK consortium, the library participates in cost-effective digital resource acquisition, provides users
The Melvin and Laura Maxwell Library has been a cornerstone to support learning at Ohio Christian University for many decades. In addition to physical resources, the library provides faculty and