The Johnson Center for Journalism and Communication

The mission of the Johnson Center for Journalism and Communication is to produce culture-shaping Christians in the field of print and electronic journalism. Founded in 2008 thanks to the generous support of Gene and Kathy Johnson, the center brings some of the world’s finest Christian journalists to campus to teach and inspire students through special one-on-one workshops and classes on such topics as business reporting, international journalism, and covering religion.

With their passion for journalism and vision for ministry, the Johnsons have supported an exemplary journalism program in which students receive top-notch training in professional journalism within the context of a Christian worldview.

Enriching the student experience

The Johnson Center has funded:

  • Student media internships
  • Campus workshops with world-class Christian journalists
  • Journalists who participate in a yearly Topics in Journalism class
  • Bethel conferences on faith and journalism
  • Student registrations for national journalism conferences
  • An annual summer high school journalism camp
  • Equipment, books, and resources for journalism classes

Johnson center interns have serve at prestigious publications, including:

  • Minneapolis Star-Tribune
  • St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • Kansas City Star
  • Christianity Today magazine
  • Miami Herald

The Johnson Center has educated and trained Bethel students who have gone on to work in various multimedia areas:

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Movies and documentaries
  • Photography
  • Online editorial
  • Blogs and social media

Outstanding journalists have visited campus for lectures and workshops:

  • Manny Garcia, executive editor of El Nuevo Herald
  • Ray Suarez, broadcast journalist with PBS NewsHour
  • Krista Tippett, host of American Public Media's "On Being"
  • Fred de Sam Lazaro, director of the Under-Told Stories Project on PBS
  • Paul Glader, former reporter with the Wall Street Journal
  • Bill McKibben, author, environmentalist, and founder of 350.org
  • Stephan David, former correspondent with India Today in Bangalore

About the Johnsons

Gene and Kathy Johnson are owners of Press Publications, a group of community newspapers and shoppers in Minnesota and Wisconsin headquartered in White Bear Lake, Minn. A national leader in newspaper publishing, Gene has served as president of the Minnesota Newspaper Association, the National Newspaper Association, and Suburban Newspapers of America.

Advisory Board

The Johnson Center Advisory Board was established to support the outreach of the Johnson Center for Journalism and Communication and to extend the influence of Bethel’s journalism program.

Sara Davis, Ph.D.
Former Associate Director, Education Resource Development
USA Today 

Christa Hillstrom
Web editor, YES! Magazine, Seattle
Founder of www.humangood.net

Carter Johnson
Publisher
Press Publications 

David Kansas
Chief Operating Officer
Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media Group 

Rohan Preston
Lead theater critic, Star Tribune

Marshall Shelley
Managing Editor, Leadership Journal
Vice President, Christianity Today, Inc.

Chris Tompkins
Digital Communication Director
Wells Fargo, San Francisco 

Nicolle Westlund
Communications Specialist, Youth Frontiers, Inc.
Managing Editor, tkTwinCities
Freelance writer and graphic designer