Where I come from
I was born and raised in Washington, but count myself an Oregonian since attending college in Eugene and settling down in the suburbs of Portland, having lived more of my life now in this great state. Before working as a teacher, I was a school bus driver and a part-time youth pastor (if there really is such an animal).
Why I teach at Multnomah
I enjoy teaching at Multnomah University because it offers me a chance to help mold future teachers and affect more classrooms across our country for God's glory. My calling has always challenged me to affect as many lives as possible for the Gospel. When God opened the door for me to teach future teachers, I realized that my various gifts had been honed over the years to allow me to pass on real time knowledge to the people who would benefit from it the most.
Current ministry outside class
Since I am only an adjunct professor at Multnomah, I fill my time with a full-time teaching assignment at West Hills Christian School, teaching Language Arts and Bible to 7th and 8th graders. Previously, I taught 8th through 12th grade students for 11 years at a Classical Christian school focusing on the trivium as explained by Dorothy Sayers in her essay “The Lost Tools of Education.” While there, I specialized in ancient and medieval literature and AP English. I also taught logic and Bible. I volunteer in Beaverton Foursquare Church's Children's Ministry program working with their 3rd through 5th grade drama and worship teams. My wife and I also volunteer as leaders in the hospitality department, catering a variety of events that happen throughout the year.
People who inspire you
My heroes share the same name: Joseph. God used Joseph son of Isaac to teach me how to live a life of humility and servant-hood. God used Joseph of Nazareth to teach me about faith and obedience (and how to be happy in the background). I am inspired by many people, but those currently challenging me in my profession, faith and personal life are Gary D. Schmidt, an amazing literary writer and professor of English; C.S. Lewis, a phenomenal theologian, writer and visionary; and Steven Curtis Chapman, a musical genius and a tremendous man of God whose trials have been publicized for others to watch and learn from.
Favorite Bible verse
"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8, NIV)
Extra-curricular, non-ministry activities
I love to write - I am currently working on writing my first novel; I love to critique movies; I love to cook with my wife and children; and I am a closet superhero fan, with a significant comic book and paraphernalia collection. I even teach a class called "American Mythology" in which students study the worldviews of, and the connections between ancient mythologies and modern superheroes.
I have been married to Amy Johnson since 1997, and we have three sons. All of our boys are tremendous miracles from God. We were told we could never have children: Micah was a surprise pregnancy beginning at the end of our first year of marriage, Gabriel was born 12 ½ weeks early and they told us he would be a vegetable (he isn’t), and Isaiah survived a near-death infection in-utero that almost killed both mother and son. God is wonderful. All three are healthy and amazing! Our two prophets and one angel love the Lord and prove to us daily just how amazing God is.