Stephen P. Johnson, DMA

Dean, College of the Arts

Phone: (626) 804-2550
Photo of Stephen P. Johnson, DMA


Stephen Johnson, DMA, is the founding dean of the College of the Arts, currently encompassing 34 academic programs and over 1,000 students across the School of Music, the School of Visual and Performing Arts, and the Department of Communication Studies. Since 2013, he has overseen an expansion in endowment, programs, and student body within the college while amplifying the ongoing pursuit of exceptional artistry, scholarship, and innovative industry leadership, which are central to the college mission.

Under his leadership, the College of the Arts has introduced innovative new degrees in animation, art education, digital media and communication, games and interactive media, music entrepreneurship, strategic communication, and user experience design. During his tenure, the college’s endowment has seen an increase with the addition of an endowed graduate art program and millions of dollars have been raised in capital enhancements and student scholarships.

Before joining Azusa Pacific University, he served as associate professor of theory and composition and dean of the School of Church Music at Southwestern Seminary. As a composer, his repertory includes numerous solo, chamber, and large ensemble works which have been performed in recitals, concerts, and festivals across the country from Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center to 20th Century Fox Studios. He studied composition with Edwin T. Childs, George Flynn, Kurt Westerburg, Frederick Lesemann, Donald Crockett, and James Hopkins. He received his doctorate in music composition from the University of Southern California, his masters degree from DePaul University, and his undergraduate degree from Moody Bible Institute.


  • DMA, Composition, University of Southern California
  • Minors in Orchestration, Music History, and Choral Conducting
  • MM, Composition, DePaul University
  • BM, Composition, Moody Bible Institute

Academic Areas

  • School of Visual and Performing Arts (College of the Arts)
  • School of Music (College of the Arts)


  • Arts Leadership
  • Composition
  • Conducting
  • Music History
  • Orchestration

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