- The Iliff School of Theology & University of Denver, PhD , Religious and Theological Studies, 2010
- Bethany Theological Seminary, MA Theology/Peace Studies, 2000
- Manchester College, BS Sociology/Peace Studies, 1996
Dr. Dean Johnson joined the faculty of Defiance College in the fall of 2008 as Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. An interdisciplinary scholar, Johnson also teaches courses in International and Global Studies and general education courses in the Arts and Humanities division.
Johnson’s teaching philosophy is to teach with passion about the subjects of religion, theology, peace, justice, and conflict transformation working for the just peace of the city by placing transformative theories and theologies into praxis. Labeled by some as an “activist scholar” Johnson understands that education is not a morally or a politically neutral endeavor, but one which should be directed toward learning the histories of past in order to rethink/recreate/rewrite the narrative structures of societies which have been used to create oppression and to deny life. He understands his mission as an educator is to share the possibility of social change and to empower his students by helping them to be social, political and educational critics, who can think analytically and respond socially.
Prior to working at Defiance College Johnson was assistant Professor of Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies at Goshen College (IN). He also served as Assistant to the Academic Dean and Special Assistant to the Provost. Johnson was director of the Goshen College Plowshares Peace Studies Project. The first instructor to teach a peace studies course at Anderson University, he has also lectured in peace studies at Purdue University- Richmond, IN, the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership at Bethany Seminary (IN) and the Indianapolis Peace Institute. Johnson also served as co-assistant pastor for a year at the Richmond Church of the Brethren (IN).
Johnson is a graduate of the religious and theological studies program where he focused in religion and social change at the Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver. Johnson’s dissertation is titled, "Critiquing the Soul of White Supremacy and the Spiritualities of Whiteness: Narrative and Everyday Praxis.”
- Member, American Academy of Religion
- Member, Peace and Justice Studies Association
- Board member, Spirit House (Columbus, GA)
- Former board member, Peace and Justice Studies Association
- Former board member, Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Interests
- “Selected Syllabi,” Boston Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights, Fall 2007.
- “Watu Wa Amani (People of Peace): An African Theology of Liberation and Reconciliation from the Historic Peace Churches in Africa,” Brethren Life and Thought, Vol. 52, no. 1 (Winter 2007), 16-31.
- “Religious Roots of the Black Freedom Struggle.” PlowsharesProject.org (Spring 2007).
- Seeking Peace in Africa: Stories of African Peacemakers Addressing Violence (Cascadia Press, 2007). Co-edited with Lon Fendall, Scott Holland and Donald Miller.
- Featured in Watu Wa Amani: People of Peace DVD. Produced by Ed Cundiff and Pat McFarlane. (August 2006).
- “J. Denny Weaver and Gerald Bieseker-Mast, eds. Teaching Peace: Nonviolence and the Liberal Arts,” Review, Mennonite Quarterly Review (April 2005).
- “Questions for the Movement: Property Damage as a Tactic in Nonviolent Actions,” Quaker Theology, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Spring Summer, 2004).
- “Kernels Without a Cob: A Theological Case Study of Church of the Brethren Subgroups and Congregations,” Brethren Life and Thought, Vol. 47, No. 3 and 4 (Summer and Fall 2002), 125-146.
- “J. Denny Weaver, The Nonviolent Atonement,” Review, Brethren Life and Thought, Vol. 47, No. 3 and 4 (Summer and Fall 2002), 217-220.
- “Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Fiction From Tegel Prison,” Review, Religious Studies Review 27, no. 3 (July 2001).
- “Peace Studies as Vocation,” Spiritrestoration.org (2001).
Heeding God's Call Gathering January 2009 - Anti-gun Violence Demonstration.
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