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Kristen Deede Johnson, Ph.D.

Theologian / Author / Professor

Western Theological Seminary


Kristen’s teaching and scholarship engage areas of theology, discipleship and formation, justice, culture, and political theory. In partnership with International Justice Mission, she and Bethany Hanke Hoang wrote the award-winning The Justice Calling: Where Passion Meets Perseverance (Brazos, 2016), which was chosen for Christianity Today’s 2017 Book Awards. She has also written Theology, Political Theory, and Pluralism: Beyond Tolerance and Difference (Cambridge University Press) and an array of articles and book chapters.  In 2018, Kristen was named as one of 10 New or Lesser-Known Female Theologians Worth Knowing by Christianity Today.

Before joining the faculty of Western Theological Seminary, Kristen was the founding director of the Studies in Ministry Minor and the Center for Ministry Studies at Hope College, programs dedicated to upholding the significance of theological formation, spiritual growth, cultural engagement, and vocational discernment.

Kristen grew up outside of Washington, DC, with a few of her growing up years spent in Germany and England.  She met her husband, Tryg, at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland while in graduate school. Together they have two young children, Trygve and Ella, and a dog named Ebey.


St. Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews

St. Andrews, Scotland. 2000-2004.
Ph.D in Theology.

Awards and Fellowships


Doctoral Fellow, Center for Religion and Democracy, University of Virginia.


University Scholarship, University of St. Andrews.


Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. 1994-1998.
B.A. with High Distinction, Political and Social Thought.
Minor, Religious Studies.


Phi Beta Kappa
Echols Scholar


Professor of Theology and Christian Formation

Western Theological Seminary, July 2018-present

Associate Professor of Theology and Christian Formation

Western Theological Seminary, July 2013-June 2018

Director, Center for Ministry Studies and Assistant Professor of Ministry Studies

Hope College, July 2012-June 2013

Director, Studies in Ministry Minor, Associate Director, The CrossRoads Project, and Assistant

Professor of Political Science

Hope College, January 2005-June 2012

Recent Teaching

  • “Practice of Discipleship”
  • “Justice, Discipleship, and the Church”
  • “Living the Christian Life According to Pop Christian Culture”
  • “Foundations for Theology and Ministry”
  • “Theology of Ministry I and II”
  • “Introduction to Christian Theology and Spirituality”
  • “Coolness: Consumerism, Culture, and Christianity”

Professional Societies and Academic Service

  • American Academy of Religion
  • Editorial advisory board, New Explorations in Theology Series, IVP Academic
  • Steering Committee, Civitas Alumni Association
  • Steering Committee, Hope Behind Bars

Church Service

  • Women’s Bible Study Leader, Pillar Church, Fall 2013-present
  • Worship Leader, Children and Worship, Pillar Church, Fall 2015-present
  • Ordained Elder, Reformed Church in America
  • Elected Member, Reformed Church in America Commission on Theology, July 2015-present
  • Adult Sunday School at various churches