Faith-based Organizations

Byron Johnson, Ph.D.

Byron Johnson

Dr. Byron Johnson, founding director of Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion (IRS) and Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences, is an expert on the relationship between religion and criminology. He has done extensive research on the impact of religious education on maximum-security prisoners and the role of faith-based programs on reducing recidivism.

Johnson is recognized as a leading authority on the scientific study of religion, the efficacy of faith-based organizations, domestic violence and criminal justice.

Johnson’s recent publications, including his book "More God, Less Crime," have examined the impact of faith-based programs on recidivism reduction and prisoner reentry.

Johnson plays a leadership role at the Religious Freedom Project, a partnership between Baylor's ISR and Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. The partnership represents the only university-led research center dedicated to religious freedom.

Johnson has directed research centers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Pennsylvania. He recently completed a series of empirical studies for the U.S. Department of Justice on the role of religion in prosocial youth behavior and is a member of the Coordinating Council for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. In 2013, he was named the Lone Star Big Brother of the year by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Texas.

Johnson joined the Baylor faculty in 2004. He directs the ISR's Program on Prosocial Behavior, which examines the role of religiousness in guiding individual behavior and the role of faith-based groups and organizations in fostering prosocial activities.

To interview Dr. Johnson, contact Terry Goodrich, at 254-710-4656, or the Office of Media Communications at 254-710-1961.