Jim Johnson

  • Professor, School of Education and Department of Psychology
  • Cross-Disciplinary Studies program, Main Campus
  • Graduate Program, Mission Valley Regional Center
  • Phone: 619-849-2990 Evans Hall


  • Ed.D. University of Southern California
  • M.A. Pasadena College/Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Strengths Signature Themes: Relator | Maximizer |
  • Individualization | Learner | Strategic


Professional Experience

Dr. Johnson joined the PLNU School of Education faculty in 1991 initially coordinating the Special Education program and currently serves as Professor for the School of Education in San Diego teaching courses in Psychology, Philosophy/Spiritual Formation,  Educational Foundations, Learning Theory, and Special Education.   Dr. Johnson also teaches an undergraduate psycholgy course in the first year experience program.

1991 - presentProfessor, School of Education, Department of Psychology  
Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, CA

Courses taught:

Graduate Masters Program:Undergraduate/Graduate Cross Disciplinary Studies Program:
Advanced Educational PsychologyLegal, Ethical, and Wesleyan Perspectives in Education
Philosophy of EducationResearch-Based Learning Theory
Individual and Group Counseling Foundations of Special Education
Educational Measurement and EvaluationDifferentiation for All Learners in Secondary Classrooms
Using Technology to Support Student LearningFrom Shape to Send: Teaching and Learning for Personal and Professional Development
Assessment and Services for Students with DisabilitiesTeaching Strategies for Special Populations
Instructional Adaptations-Students with Disabilities

Department of Psychology:

 Psychology of Personal Development

Psychology of the Exceptional Individual

Faculty Responsibilities include/have included:

  • Member of  Faculty Academic Policy Committee
  • Member Faculty appointed Task force on Distance Learning
  • Member Provost Apponted Committee on Hybrid and Online Learning Policies and Procedures
  • Member Dean Appointed Committee on Proprietary Rights
  • Chair, University Ad Hoc Strengths Committee
  • Member, Teacher Education Committee
  • Resource/Application Evaluator for ITS
  • Member, Technology Committee for the School of Education
  • Mentor, Supervising Faculty for Student Honors Project 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14
  • Strengths Coaching and Training,  implementing campus Strengths training and development activities
  • Consultant, Faculty member, Nazarene Strengths Institute supporting Center for Pastoral Leadership in training for churches and pastoral development, Gallup Faith Practice, Engaged Churches
  • Chair, Host Town San Diego Point Loma Leadership Team responsible for hosting 177 Special Olympics Athletes from Albania, Burkina Faso, and Finland as a part of the World Games LA15


1978 - 1991 Adjunct Professor, Department of Special Services
  California State University, Sacramento
  Sacramento, CA 
1984Lecturer, School of Law
   University of California, Berkeley
   Berkeley, California
1979 - 1980

Instructor, Department of Teacher Education
   Point Loma Nazarene College
   Pasadena Campus

1977 - 1978 Instructor, Department of Teacher Education
   University of Southern California
   Los Angeles, CA
1975 - 1976 Coordinator, Clinic for Exceptional Children
   University of Southern California
   Los Angeles, CA


  • Life Standard Teaching Credential, Elementary
  • Life Standard Teaching Credential, Secondary
  • Life Specialist Teaching Credential, Learning Handicapped
  • Life Specialist Teaching Credential, Severely Handicapped
  • Life Standard Administrative Credential
  • Life Standard Supervision Credential

Professional Resume 

Brief Professional Biography

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Dr Johnson's research interests are in the areas of sensory motor integration, effective practices for persons within the Autism Spectrum, TBI, and attentional disorders.  He is currently supervising an Honors Research Project with graduate and undergraduate students on the assessment and use of Strengths development with persons within the Autism Spectrum, neurological disorders or developmental delay.  He also is working with students in his Research-Based Learning course developing an ongoing student research project for studying use of technology for effective  instruction and learning in undergraduate programs.

 Honors Project 2011-2013, The Effects of Strengths Inetervention in College-Age Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory-Motor Integration Issues.

Sabbatical Fall, 2008:  A Study of Brain-Based Learning Theory and Neurobiological Development: Implications for Spiritual Development and Instructional and Church Practices for Emerging Adults.  This study has served as the basis of course development and workbook materials for Life Purpose assessment and learning materials.

2000-2006       Developed, implemented and served as co-Director of the University approved Learning Styles Research Project.  A research project in collaboration with the Department of Psychology studying the understanding of learning styles in relation to college student performance.

Tatum, M., Hardy, N., Testerman, L., Irwin-Chase, H., Johnson, J., & Wu, J (2006, April). Effect of Learning Style Interventions on Course Satisfaction. Poster session presented at the 86th Annual Western Psychological Association Convention, Palm Springs, CA.

Testerman, L., Hardy, N., Tatum, M., Irwin-Chase, H., Johnson, J., & Wu, J. (2006, April). Reliability and Validity of the VARK: A Learning Style Assessment. Poster session presented at the 86th Annual Western Psychological Association Convention, Palm Springs, CA.

Cooper, N., Crocker, N., Erselius, K., Lerma, A., Irwin-Chase, H., Wu, J., and Johnson, J.  (2005, April).  Development of a brief course satisfaction measure.  Poster session presented at the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Annual Conference, Phoenix, AZ.


"The Attitudes and Perceptions of Regular Classroom Teachers on the Integration of Exceptional Children in the Regular Classroom", chair Dr. Robert Rutherford, University of Southern California, 1976


Dr. Johnson is a leader and trainer in Strengths Development efforts working with Gallup Education Practice and Gallup Faith Practice at local, state, and national levels.  He is a Gallup Certified Educator, Advocate, Advisor and Coach for Individuals and Teams, Gallup Corporation.   Dr. Johnson is also a Faculty member and Faith Practice Consultant for the Nazarene Strengths Institute providing training and support services for Engagement and Strengths development to districts, churches, Nazarene universities, pastors and church leaders.

Strengths Signature Themes:   Relator | Maximizer | Individualization | Learner | Strategic


Dr. Johnson is deeply committed to families and friends in the disabled community  providing leadership in hosting the San Diego County Special Olympics Regional Track meet.  He supervises the Special Olympics Student Leadership team in their efforts of organizing the PLNU hosted event.  Next year the PLNU Leadership team celebrating over 25 years of consecutively hosting the event for Special Olympics of Southern California.  Dr. Johnson and a student leadership team also support Down Syndrome Action and the Down Syndrome Center at Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego hosting an annual DS Action Easter Egg Hunt on the PLNU campus. Dr. Johnson was named Chair, Host Town San Diego Point Loma Leadership Team responsible for hosting 177 Special Olympics Athletes from Albania, Burkina Faso, and Finland as a part of the World Games LA15 in July, 2015


Preparing for the 21st Century Church-Ministry with a Purpose - Sabbath and Pastoral Self Care, Michigan District Leadership and Advisory Board Retreat, Indian Lake, Michigan, September, 2014

Provided Strengths Leadership Training for Encuentro, a gathering of Latino church leaders and young people on the PLNU campus from Spanish-language Nazarene churches on the PLNU educational region, January, 2013

Provided ministry to Moscow, Russia Church of the Nazarene conducting Family Camp and providing Strengths Leadership Development seminars for Church leaders, June, 2012.

Named and appointed member Named and appointed Conference Chair of the International Conference on Education and Educational Psychology, Istanbul, Turkey, 2011

Building the Potential Part I: Exploring and, Building the Potential Part II: Building“, Co-presented two seminars with Melissa Burt-Gracik, Gallup Education Practice Strengths Educator Conference, Omaha, Nebraska, June, 2010

Unlocking the Potential: Moving Towards a Team with Strengths, Central California District Strengths Leadership Summit, Porterville, California, March, 2010

Insights and Developments for Autism Spectrum Disorders Implications of Sensory-Motor Integration Issues Related to Attention, Behavior Management, and Social Functioning”, 2010 International Conference on Special Education, Kyrenia, Cyprus, March, 2010

”Connecting with 21st Century Learners Using Technologies for Enhancing Critical-Thinking Skills and Learning”, 2010 International Conference on Special Education, Kyrenia, Cyprus, March, 2010

”A Study of Brain-Based Learning Theory and Neurobiological Development: Implications for Spiritual Formation and Instructional and Church Practices for Emerging Adults”, Faculty Scholarship Day, Point Loma Nazarene University, November, 2009

The Digital Age, Brain-Based Learning, and Spiritual Formation: Implications for 21st Century Learners and Faith-Based Learning”, Association of Christian Schools International Convention, November, 2009, Anaheim, California

Preparing for the 21st Century Church-Ministry with a Purpose”, Arizona District Church of the Nazarene Pastoral and Ministry Leadership Training, March, 2009, Phoenix, Arizona

“Reaching the 21st Century Emergent Adult:  Cross-Cultural Learning Perspectives Intersecting the Church and Academe”, conference presentation, Azusa Pacific University Christians on Diversity in the Academy (CDA annual conference: “Envisioning the Future”, March, 2009, Monrovia, California 

StrengthsQuest Introduction Seminar”, a one-day training seminar for the San Diego City College Counseling Department, October, 2008, San Diego, California

“StrengthsQuest Introduction Session”, presented an introduction workshop on StrengthsQuest to faculty in the Counseling Department of San Diego Community College, September, 2008, San Diego, California

 “Living for a Purpose – Leadership that Makes a Difference”, keynote address for a city celebration on behalf of the poor and disadvantaged, August, 2008, Atibaia, Brazil

 “Philosophy, Beliefs, Core Values, Change and Purpose/Mission”, lecture/seminar given to 200 seminary students and pastors, August, 2008 Campinas, Brazil

 “Living for A Purpose – Thoughts on Spiritual Formation for Leaders that Make a Difference”, presentation/seminar given to pastors and wives across three Nazarene Brazilian church regions and to 200 seminary students during a three-day seminar on Spiritual formation, August, 2008, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Campinas, Brazil

The Basics of Special Education – Tools that Work”,presentation to San Diego County Probation Department officers, May, 2007, San Diego, California