Johnny Ramírez-Johnson’s wide-ranging education began in Puerto Rico with a bachelor’s in theology, a minor in biblical languages, and a master’s in Hebrew Scriptures and archaeology from Andrews University (Michigan), later complemented with a year’s fellowship at the Semitic Museum at Harvard University. This formative study equips him to bring the culture of biblical times into an understanding of Scripture as the basis for Christian mission relevant in a multicultural context. At Harvard he earned a master’s and a doctorate, in which he examined how society’s discrimination of a historically disadvantaged group of Latinos (Puerto Ricans) was ameliorated and overcome by faith via the social support of the church and the ideology of the gospel. His training in human development and cultural psychology provide theoretical vehicles for reading the Bible from a practical theology perspective that facilitates the gospel’s work among the unreached from American inner cities to remote areas of the world.
Two books by Ramírez-Johnson apply the multicultural, intergenerational, and multi-language realities for North American churches in promoting not only love for Jesus but also healthy and holy lifestyles: A Way Up the Ladder, Motivation Achievement Via Religious Ideology: An Ethnography of a Seventh-day Adventist Puerto Rican Church (Edwin Mellen, 2008) and AVANCE: A Vision for a New Mañana (foreword by Justo González; Loma Linda University Press, 2003). In addition, many of his articles deal with the role of culture in church affairs.
Ramírez-Johnson describes himself as a practical theologian working at the intersection of the social sciences and theology. Integrating principles from anthropology, cultural psychology, and cognitive psychology, he developed the Image-IQ Survey, an intercultural communication skills inventory. Before joining Fuller's faculty he taught religion/theology full time at two colleges and one university, most recently as professor of religion, psychology, and culture at Loma Linda University. He has also taught at the Seminario Latinoamericano in San José, Costa Rica.
Regarding his personal faith and resulting service, he says, “I am a convert to Jesus Christ and the truth of the Word of God who followed Jesus under duress; my father persecuted and tried to kill me as I fled home to follow Jesus.” He has been involved in planting churches around the world, including Middle America, North America, and Lebanon, and has preached around the world for revivals, evangelism, and church growth.
Ramírez-Johnson holds leadership committee roles at the General Conference for Hispanic Ministries, Chaplaincy and Education, serves as a volunteer chaplain at Saint Bernadine Medical Center, mentors at a local Hispanic church in Loma Linda, and conducts Bible studies and does pastoral care counseling for LLU students and the community. Even prior to joining the faculty, his service has included Fuller Theological Seminary (2002–2006) as a member of the Seminary’s Hispanic Advisory Committee.
- MB560: Methods of Observing and Interpreting Culture (English)
- IS503: The Practice of Mission (English)
- IS502: Practica Comunidad Cristiana (The Practice of Christian Community)
Areas of Expertise, Research, Writing, and Teaching
Mission research, research methods, cultural psychology, practical theology, ethnography, human development, anthropology, sociology of religion, psychology of religion, congregational and social research
- A Way up the Ladder, Motivation Achievement Via Religious Ideology: An Ethnography of A Seventh-day Adventist Puerto Rican Church. New York: Edwin Mellen, 2008.
- With H. L. Díaz, R. Basham, and V. K. Pillai. Strengthening Democracy through Community Capacity Building: A Study of Four Latin American Countries. Spokane, WA: Marquette Books, 2008.
- With E. I. Hernández, E. I., and with a foreword by Justo González. AVANCE: A Vision for a New Mañana. Loma Linda, CA: Loma Linda University Press, 2003.
- Ramírez-Johnson J., Park J., Wilson C, Pittman S., Díaz H. L. (2013). “‘Deeply Woven Roots’: Health Initiatives and Community Social Services of Faith Based Organizations of the Hidalgo County, Texas,” Journal of Religion and Health.
- Sorajjakool, Siroj, Victoria Aja, Beverly Chilson, Johnny Ramírez-Johnson, and Art Earll. (2008). “Disconnection, Depression, and Spirituality: A Study of the Role of Spirituality and Meaning in the Lives of Individuals with Severe Depression,” Pastoral Psychology, Vol. 56, Issue 5 (March 21): 521-32. doi:10.1007/s11089-008-0125-2.
- Johnny Ramírez-Johnson, Edwin I Hernández. (2005). “Holiness versus mercy: How theology both hinders and facilitates the church’s response to HIV/AIDS pandemic,” Andrews University Seminary Studies, 43 (1):101-112.
- Juan Carlos Belliard and Johnny Ramírez-Johnson. (2005). “Medical Pluralism in the Life of a Mexican Immigrant Woman,” Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 27: 267-285.
- Johnny Ramírez-Johnson, David L. Taylor, Rubisel Ramírez. (2004). “Enfleshment of the worship experience: A model for church music,” Asian Adventist Seminary Studies, 7:59-79.
- Ramírez-Johnson, J. (2002). “‘Amiga’ Theology: Collaborating with Latino Churches,” Challenge of Faith, 1 (1)12, 21.
- Ramírez-Johnson, J. “Is Faith an Emotion? Faith as a Meaning-Making Affective Process: An Example from Breast Cancer patients,” American Behavioral Scientist 45 (12)1839-1853.
- Díaz, H.L.; Drumm, R.D.; Ramírez-Johnson, J.; Oidjarv, H. “Social Capital, Economic Development and Food Security in Peru’s Mountain Region,” International Social Work, October, Vol. 45 , No. 4:481-496.
- Drumm, R.N.; Díaz, H.L.; Ramírez-Johnson, J. (2001).”Social Capital, Economic Development and Food Distribution among Women in Peru’s Mountain Region,” Social Development Issues 23 (2)35-43.
- Ramírez-Johnson, J.; Castro, D.; Loo, L.K.; Skoretz L.E.; Stottlemyer , D.L. (2000). “An ethnographic study of patients’ cautionary views about integration of spirituality into their medical care,” Journal of General Internal Medicine, Vol. 15 , Supplement 1, April, 166-167.
- Ramírez-Johnson, J.; Hooker, W.; Kim, J.S. (1999). “Preliminary Report of Wholeness Research of LLUSD Alumni,” Journal of School of Dentistry, Fall, 1998/Winter, 1999, Vol. 10 (2):14-16.
- Castro, D.; Loo, L.K.; Skoretz L.E.; Trinh, D.D.; Stottlemyer, D.L.; Ramírez-Johnson, J.; John, J.S. (1999). “Prayer with Patients: Can Physicians Predict Who Wants It?” Journal of General Internal Medicine, Vol. 14, Supplement 2, April, 18.
- Ramírez-Johnson, J. (1998) “Christianity, work and poverty: Implications for a philosophy of international development,” Adventist Development Dialog, Journal of the Adventist Development Agency, Vol. 1, No. 1:11-18.
- Ramírez-Johnson, J. (1998) “A Case Study,” Journal for Minority Medical Students, Spring, pp. 21-22, 72.
- Ramírez -Johnson, J. (1996) “The Coherent Institutional Philosophy, Myth or Mandate? An Ethnography of Faculty World Views at a Christian University,” Journal of Research on Christian Education, Vol. 5 No. 1:3-32.
- Articles in The Latino Encyclopedia. Edited by J. Ramírez-Johnson, R. Chabrán, R. Chabrán, R. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1996:
“Alliance for progress.”
“Asociación Nacional Pro Personas Mayores.”
“Bishop’s Committee for the Spanish-Speaking Peoples.”
“Catholic Youth Organization.”
“Comisión Femenil Mexicana Nacional, INC.”
“Community Service Organization.”
“Cuban American National Foundation.”
“El Paso Interreligious Sponsoring Organizations (ELPISO).”
“Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy.”
“Hispanic National Bar Association.”
“Hispanic Policy Development Project (HPDP).”
“Industrials Areas Foundation.”
“Mexican American Cultural Center.”
“Mexican American Unity Council.”
“Mexican American Women’s National Association.”
“Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social.”
“National Association of Cuban American Women.”
“National Coalition of Hispanic Health/Human Services Organization.”
“National Conference of Puerto Rican Women.”
“National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights.”
“National Council of Hispanic Women.”
“National Puerto Rican Forum.”
“Padres Asociados por Derechos Religiosos.”
“Puerto Rican Association for Community Affairs.”
“Puerto Rican Bar Association.”
“Sons of America.”
“Spanish Speaking Unity Council.”
- “Puerto Rican Infant-Mother Attachment Behavior: A Pilot Study,” Harvard University Graduate School of Education (qualifying paper), 1990.