Brian Johnson is a missionary who lives and works in Santiago, Dominican Republic. He is helping establish a full-time seminary to train church leaders for the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the region. Brian is doing all this while earning his Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from Johnson University Online.
“Completing a Ph.D. has been a goal of mine for a long time. It is both important to me personally and to the success of the Seminary.”
Seminary of the Americas, a GO Ministries project, launched in the fall of 2012 and has 27 current students. Brian says, “We expect to enroll more students in January when the spring semester starts. We are already excited by the growth we are seeing in the lives of the people who are enrolled as they prepare for leadership in the Church!”
When Brian decided to pursue his Ph.D., he knew he needed to continue his work as a full-time missionary. “I had looked at some hybrid degree programs which required a combination of online and on-site classes, but because I teach as well, the schedules did not fit,” he explained. “Johnson’s online Ph.D. allows me to continue working full-time in my current ministry, and complete my educational goals.”
Interaction with other students from different cultural settings is an added bonus of Johnson’s online Ph.D. “It has been very interesting to be in a cohort with people from a variety of backgrounds and who are currently living in a variety of places. I believe the diversity of my cohort gives me different perspectives, and is valuable for me as I am able to interact with people with widely varied experiences.” These perspectives are especially valuable to Brian and his work in a cross-cultural setting.
The faculty and students played an important role in Brian’s choice of pursuing an online degree at Johnson University. “After I met Dr. Alicia Crumpton and some of the students who were coming to the end of their program I became more interested in the design of the program and the positive personal changes which all of the students had experienced as a result of their coursework.” The meeting shifted Brian’s expectations about the value of Johnson’s online Ph.D. “It moved me from seeing the program as a means to an end of getting a degree toward being excited about what it was going to instill in me as a person and a leader.”
After graduation, Brian plans to continue his work in ministry training in developing countries. “I think my education will help me to be more effective, and I believe it will help me to grow to the level of understanding how cross-cultural ministry education can be expanded in other places as well.”
Brian Johnson is originally from Scottsburg, Indiana. He holds an undergraduate and master’s degree from Cincinnati Christian University. Learn more about GO Ministries on their website.