Cross-Cultural, Urban, Reformed, Ecumenical

Jia Johnson, Program Director

Jia Johnson is hyper-focused on justice-making and solidarity-building with individuals and communities impacted by mass incarceration.

Jia currently serves as program director for McCormick Theological Seminary’s Solidarity Building Initiative for Liberative Carceral Education at Cook County Jail. Integrating her corporate experience, entrepreneurial ideation and project management skills with her commitment to public ministry and liberative pedagogy, as program director, she is the seminary liaison and convener in co-creating learning communities and collaborations that tend to the whole of incarcerated learners and their communities. Jia is a strategic consultant, collaborating with diverse populations, industries and networks to identify creative solutions for justice-making and board member for Community Renewal Society.

In the recent years she developed partnerships with formerly incarcerated entrepreneurs through her work at Sunshine Enterprises and Pathway to Enterprise for Returning Citizens, and served as public ministry engagement coordinator for Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She served on the board of directors for Off the Pews: Faith in Action and later transitioned to become the summer program director. Jia holds a Master of Arts in Public Ministry with a concentration in Racial Justice from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Jia became involved with McCormick’s program while pursuing her master’s degree. She chose McCormick’s Certificate in Theological Studies Program (the “Program”) at Cook County Department of Corrections (“CCDOC”) as her public ministry capstone project and co-taught the pilot course with Dr. Jenny McBride.

When Jia isn’t being radical about solidarity-building and justice-making, she is meditating on her yoga mat with a green drink, loving on her nieces, hanging with her peeps, seeking joy in the mundane and introverting with her curious pup.