Published on October 5, 2020 at 3 p.m. by Kristen Padilla  
stephen johnson

Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School is pleased to announce Stephen Johnson as the associate director of the grant-funded Thriving Pastors Initiative, effective Oct. 5. Founder of Good Steward Ministries, Johnson has spent more than a decade in ministry, having served as a pastor, church planter and chaplain.

Thriving Pastors is funded by a million-dollar grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its Thriving in Ministry initiative. The overarching goal of Thriving Pastors is to connect congregational leaders with one another and with other sources of support and encouragement to enhance their capacity to thrive in ministry, both personally and pastorally. Key features of the program include the formation of pastoral peer groups (called Thrive groups) and the development of various resources and events.

Johnson will serve with Associate Dean Thomas L. Fuller, who is the program director of Thriving Pastors.

“I am excited that Stephen Johnson is joining us to help implement the vision and plans for this important initiative,” Fuller said. “He is already engaged in a ministry to pastors with similar goals (to Thriving Pastors). Stephen brings a combination of experience, passion and gifts for this work that will be invaluable to our efforts to equip and encourage pastors on the front lines of gospel ministry.”

In addition to his role with Thriving Pastors, Johnson also will assist with ministry placement services for divinity students and alumni.

“I think the world of Rev. Johnson and am grateful to the Lord that he is joining the Beeson team,” said Beeson Dean Douglas A. Sweeney. “Together with Dr. Fuller, he will lead us in a crucial new ministry to pastors, including our alumni, whose tireless kingdom service deserves all the support and encouragement we can provide.”

Johnson holds degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary (Master of Biblical & Theological Studies) and Auburn University (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration). This year he started Good Steward Ministries, which coaches and provides care to pastors, church planters and other ministry leaders. Good Steward primarily serves urban and rural ministry leaders and pastors by providing them with tools and resources necessary for sustainable and healthy ministries.

An ordained minister in the Southern Baptist Convention, Johnson also is a chaplain at Prodigal Pottery, a part of King’s Home ministry, and a member of Redeemer Community Church along with his wife, Jamie, and their son, Oliver.

For more information about the Thriving Pastors Initiative, call 205-726-2991.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.