Byron Johnson, Ph.D. is Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. He is the founding director of the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) as well as director of the Program on Prosocial Behavior. He is a leading authority on the scientific study of religion, the efficacy of faith-based organizations, and criminal justice. He has been the principal investigator on grants from private foundations as well as the Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, and the United States Institute for Peace. He is the author of more than 250 articles and a number of books including More God, Less Crime (2011), The Angola Prison Seminary (2016), The Quest for Purpose (2017), The Restorative Prison (2021), and Objective Religion: Competition, Tension, Perseverance (2021). Along with Tyler VanderWeele, he is Project Director for the Global Flourishing Study, a longitudinal data collection and research collaboration between scholars at Harvard University and Baylor University, in partnership with Gallup and the Center for Open Science and with the support of a consortium of funders. The $43.4 million initiative will include data collection for approximately 240,000 participants from 22 geographically and culturally diverse countries.
He is recognized as a leading authority on the scientific study of religion, the efficacy of faith-based organizations, domestic violence, and criminal justice. Professor Johnson has directed research centers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Pennsylvania and Johnson’s research has been used in consultation with the Department of Justice, Department of Defense, Department of Labor, and the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Johnson recently authored More God, Less Crime, a book on the impact of faith on prisoner rehabilitation.