Dear WPU Community,

It’s a new year…As we journey further into a young 2024 and meet all that God places in our path, I feel moved in my spirit to write more directly and boldly to our WPU community than perhaps ever before. I want to address a deeply important question…

“Is Warner Pacific still affiliated with the Church of God? Is Warner Pacific still a Christ-centered university?”

I’m glad you asked – the answer is a joyful, emphatic YES.

Having begun my presidency during a tremendous time of change – a worldwide pandemic, a university struggling with enrollment and maintaining its accreditation, a president who hails from outside the Pacific Northwest and represents the first African American in our university history – I get it. A lot has changed in a short period of time at WPU, and these last few years of my presidency have been marked with great challenges as WPU pushes forward toward rebound and recovery.

Let’s also face that we look different than where we started. We have a wonderful legacy as a Bible College and as a resource for launching new pastors. Today though, the Lord has moved us to minister in a very directed way: leading a population of students that largely includes those who are first-generation and/or students of color to encounter a loving, Christ-centered community of learners. Here our students still emerge withthe ability to minister – but in fields like Nursing, Education, Business and more. We need this ministry in our world.

WPU’s unique story mirrors so very well the Church of God Movement – God is Moving at Warner Pacific…continually shaping us to meet the role we find ourselves in: as the most diverse university in the state, serving the most urban location within the Church of God university family. It’s a beautiful reflection of the Kingdom of God. This IS the Lord at work!

There is so much to share, and there is so much wonderful work to be done to continue building up the Kingdom of God at WPU. Today however, my message is one that I hope is familiar to our extended Church of God family: Jesus is the subject at WPU.

Please enjoy the stories in this newsletter and witness the Lord at work in so many wonderful ways on our campus. We are so blessed by the many congregations, alums, past and present staff and volunteers, donors and friends who support us. Write to me at or visit us any time!

Bless you for a wonderful 2024,

Brian L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Warner Pacific University