Dean Johnson is Director of Peace and Conflict Studies and Associate Professor Philosophy at West Chester University. An interdisciplinary activist scholar Johnson teaches courses in Peace Studies and Religious Studies. His research interests include: religion and social change, race critical theory, critical whiteness studies, gender critical theory, nonviolent activism, community organizing, conflict transformation, and critical pedagogies. As an activist and scholar, Johnson is a consultant for nonviolent campaigns and initiatives. He provides workshops and trainings in the areas of nonviolent direct action, community organizing, and (with his partner Melissa Bennett) anti-oppression, queer solidarity, and anti-racism.
He is a member (as well as former/founding board member) of the Peace and Justice Studies Association and a member of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties. Johnson is an advisory board member and former chair of the SpiritHouse Project of New York, NY.
Prior to his work at West Chester University, Johnson was Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of International and Global Studies at Defiance College. Johnson also served as assistant Professor of Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies at Goshen College (Ind.). While at Goshen College he served as Assistant to the Academic Dean and Special Assistant to the Provost. Johnson was director of the Goshen College Plowshares Peace Studies Project working in collaboration with Manchester University and Earlham College.
The first instructor to teach a peace studies course at Anderson University, he has also lectured in peace studies at Purdue University- Richmond, Ind., the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership at Bethany Seminary and the Indianapolis Peace Institute. He also served as co-assistant pastor for a year at the Richmond Church of the Brethren (Ind.).
Johnson grew up in LaGrange, Ind. After graduating from Manchester University, he earned a master’s degree in theology with an emphasis in peace studies from Bethany Theological Seminary, Richmond, Ind. 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.”
He enjoys spending time with his partner Melissa Bennett and their sons.