Dr. Johnson was born in Houston and grew up in Lake Charles, La., graduating from Lake Charles High School in 1970. He then attended Louisiana College, where he graduated summa cum laude with a major in Religion and minors in Greek and history. At Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary he received the Broadman Seminarian Award for outstanding achievement in biblical studies. In the summers during his years in college and graduate school he served in four different churches in various capacities. While in seminary he met his wife Martha. They have two daughters and now a two-year-old granddaughter.

His first full-time teaching position began at Wayland Baptist University, in Plainview, TX, where he taught from 1982-1992. He then taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1992-2002. While there he spent a sabbatical year studying in Tübingen, Germany. In 2003, he took up his current position as Professor of Religion at East Texas Baptist University.

Dr. Johnson is an active churchman. He enjoys singing in choir. He has served on several committees, but he especially enjoys teaching Bible studies. He is both an ordained minister and an ordained deacon.

What makes students successful in your class?

Students who do well in my class are those who have learned how to listen critically and take good notes, who engage in class discussion, who read the textbooks carefully, and who write papers with thorough research and clarity of expression.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from your ETBU colleagues?

The faculty at ETBU continues to inspire lifelong learning and scholarship dedicated to presenting Jesus Christ as the foundation for all of our life and knowledge.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from your ETBU students?

The students here exude enthusiasm for missions and ministry. It is a joy to behold.

How do you promote Christian Scholarship in your classroom?

I try to examine everything to see if it is faithful to the Bible as the Word of God. That task demands attention to every area of human existence and learning. This task is simply obedience to the command to take every thought captive to Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).


Rick Johnson, PhD

Professor of Religion, '03
School of Christian Studies

Doctor of Philosophy, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1983

Master of Divinity, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1977

Bachelor of Arts, Louisiana College, 1974

Areas of expertise:
Old Testament; Old Testament theology; biblical theology

Professional Affiliations
Society of Biblical Literature
National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion
Vice-President of Southwest Region, 2008
President of Southwest Region, 2009
Institute for Biblical Research

Recent Publications

  • Issue Editor for the Southwestern Journal of Theology, Vol. 44, no. 1 (Fall 2001). “Genesis 1-11.”
  • “Ralph Lee Smith.” In The Legacy of Southwestern: Writings That Shaped a Tradition, ed. James Leo Garrett, Jr., 149-59. North Richland Hills, TX: Smithfield Press, 2002.
  • “Joshua’s Conquest of the Land.” Biblical Illustrator 26 (Spring 2000): cs.
  • “The Bridegroom in John 4.” Presented to the Southwest Regional Biblical Studies Seminar, Fort Worth, TX, April 1999.
    • Presented to the Institut zur Erforschung des Urchristentums, Tübingen, Germany, 1994.
  • “Introducing 1 Corinthians.” Biblical Illustrator 23 (Summer 1997): 13-17.