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ACU names Stephen Johnson chief executive officer at ACU Dallas

Stephen JohnsonDr. Stephen Johnson has been named chief executive officer of ACU Dallas, a branch campus of Abilene Christian University. Johnson has served the university for 22 years, most recently as vice president and chief administrative officer at the Dallas campus, where he led the expansion of the university by opening the branch campus and expanding ACU’s online degree and certification programs for adult learners.  

In addition to leading ACU’s online program offerings, Johnson’s work will focus on business development and expanding ACU’s reach into new markets. ACU’s new division of Executive Education and Professional Advancement, under the direction of Dr. Jeff Frey, will form innovative partnerships with businesses creating custom education programs for existing staff or direct employment pathways for ACU students. This program will accurately match people with professions by partnering with employers to not only upskill existing employees but find and quickly educate potential employees and prepare them for their new jobs.

“Building on the great work he’s led at ACU Dallas for the past eight years, the expansion of Stephen’s role is focused on the strategic growth of our online programs and enhancing ACU’s business development efforts to create increased opportunities for the university,” said Dr. Phil Schubert, ACU president. 

Before his role at ACU Dallas, Johnson served on the Abilene campus in various leadership and teaching positions, including dean of the Graduate School, dean of the Honors College, and associate professor in the Graduate School of Theology. Johnson earned a Doctor of Theology from the University of Toronto, a Doctor of Ministry, a Master of Divinity, and a bachelor’s in Biblical studies, all from ACU. Johnson also holds a faculty appointment in ACU’s College of Graduate and Professional Studies. 

“I am grateful for Dr. Schubert’s and the Board of Trustees faith in my ability to lead our team through a season of strategic growth,” Johnson said. “We’re focused on creating an innovative experience for our students by delivering a transformative education with an emphasis on their vocational formation and creating employment development pathways through new corporate partnerships.”

ACU’s online programs are administered through its branch location in Dallas and include 15 bachelor’s degrees, 15 master’s degrees, four doctoral degrees, two undergraduate certificate programs, and nine graduate certificate programs. Learn more about ACU Online’s degree programs at

— Amanda Gibson

Feb. 24, 2023

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