October 24, 2023

Palm Beach Atlantic University Welcomes Dr. Stephen Johnson as Incoming Provost

Dr. Stephen Johnson

PBA News

Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) is pleased to welcome Dr. Stephen Johnson as its incoming provost and chief academic officer. Dr. Stephen Johnson’s appointment marks the transition from the esteemed leadership of Dr. Chelly Templeton, who is set to retire on December 31, 2023.  Until her retirement Dr. Templeton will continue to oversee all aspects of the fall semester.  Dr. Johnson will start his service with PBA on December 1 to allow for a one-month transition period. His official start date as Provost will be January 2, 2024.

Expressing gratitude for Dr. Templeton’s contributions, Dr. Debra Schwinn also celebrated the selection of Dr. Johnson as a remarkable successor. “We are incredibly blessed to have had Dr. Templeton’s dedicated service and are equally delighted to welcome Dr. Johnson to our academic community. His experience as a collaborative faculty member and administrative leader, dedicated to fostering student-centered education and cultivating strong faculty relationships, makes him an exceptional addition to our team.”

Dr. Stephen Johnson was selected from a national search. He most recently served as vice provost and professor at Azusa Pacific University (APU) in California. His service to APU since 2013 includes being founding dean of APU’s College of the Arts, which under his leadership introduced innovative degrees in animation, art education, digital media and communication, games and interactive media, music industry strategic communication, and user experience design. He also served as interim provost between 2022-2023 where he advanced the mission by collaboratively securing the university’s Carnegie R2 status, broadened faculty and student support systems, and built a community of trust through shared governance. Dr. Johnson has worked to stabilize enrollment, nurture relationship with faculty, build cross-disciplinary partnerships, and worked collaboratively to raise funds for student scholarships, capital projects, and the endowment.

Before joining APU, Dr. Johnson was an associate professor of theory and composition and dean of the School of Music at Southwestern Seminary. As a composer, his repertory includes numerous solos, chamber, and large ensemble works performed in recitals, concerts, and festivals across the country, from Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center to 20th Century Studios.

“I am grateful and honored to join Palm Beach Atlantic University’s vibrant community,” said Dr. Johnson. “The combination of a resounding Christ-first mission coupled with a wide array of high-quality academic programs has garnered PBA a national reputation as a community that transforms lives – rippling out from individuals to families and to the broader community. I am eager to join this exceptional team and work with students, faculty, staff, and our many friends and donors as we elevate the academic position of our university and advance PBA’s Christ-first mission.”

About Palm Beach Atlantic University 

Palm Beach Atlantic University, founded in 1968, is a private, Christian university, offering 100 different programs and pathways, including degrees, numerous graduate degrees and professional degrees in nursing and pharmacy. The university offers classes on its 29-acre campus in West Palm Beach, its Orlando campus and online. The 78-acre Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Athletic Campus provides facilities for training and hosting intercollegiate sports. Sailfish athletes compete in 18 NCAA Division II and Sunshine State Conference varsity sports. PBA affirms the values that have built American society, including religious liberty and the free enterprise system. The university is dedicated to the integration of biblical principles to prepare students for learning, leadership and service. Learn more at www.pba.edu.

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