BETHANY, W.Va. — Bethany College announces James P. Johnson, President Emeritus of the Christian Church Foundation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), as speaker for the annual Baccalaureate service to be held Friday, May 11 at 6 p.m. in Commencement Hall, located in historic Old Main on the College campus.
“Bethany’s academic vision and identity as a Disciples of Christ college have maintained an essential connection since its founding,” said Bethany President Scott D. Miller. “As we celebrate the completion of another successful academic year, it is particularly fitting that such an esteemed leader in the Church provide his blessing on our graduates, their time here and all that they will accomplish.”
Johnson served from 1992 to 2003 as president of the Christian Church Foundation, which seeks to ensure the continuing ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) through education about planned-giving opportunities, consultation with individuals and congregations, and fund management, among other services. Previously he served as development consultant, vice president and president of the Church Finance Council for the organization.
Johnson received his undergraduate degree from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., and went on to attend Lexington (Ky.) Theological Seminary, earning his Bachelor of Divinity degree in l965. He also received a Master of Science degree from Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind., and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. He received the designations of Chartered Financial Consultant and Chartered Life Underwriter from The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive.
Following his retirement from the Christian Church Foundation, Johnson served as director of planned giving at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., until December 2007. Johnson also served as pastor of Monroe City Christian Church and St. Charles Christian Church in Missouri prior to his work with the Foundation.
Johnson served as the 16th president of Lexington Theological Seminary from September 2008 until September 2011. During his time as president, he led the institution’s transition from a traditional residential model to a dynamic model incorporating the use of online courses, intensive short-term residential courses, experienced mentors, and required congregational responsibilities.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.