March 17, 2020 – After three decades of faithfully serving at Providence, President David Johnson announced this weekend to the Board of Governors that he will retire from his role at the end of his term on June 30, 2021.
Johnson is the university’s 14th president over its 95-year history. He says his decision to retire is something he’s been considering for a period of time, “I mentioned my thoughts to the Board last June just before I turned 65. As my wife and I talked it over, we determined that I should retire no later than the end of my current term. There are lots of factors that weigh on this decision: what is best for us and what is best for Providence.”
Johnson has had an accomplished 30-year career at Providence, serving 12 years as a professor, 18 years as an administrator and the last eight years as President. He began his career at Providence in 1990 as a Seminary Professor, teaching the New Testament and Greek. He became the Dean of Seminary in 2002 and then moved into the position of Executive Vice President and Provost in 2007. After a year as Interim President, the Board appointed Johnson as President in 2013.
Johnson says he plans to do everything he can to give the next President a successful start. “Now it’s time to let someone else take the reins and lead Providence to its future. The future holds great challenges for Christ-centred higher education in general. Yet, God is good and will continue to touch Providence just as He’s done over the past 95 years. Be assured of my prayers for the flourishing of this work of building the church.”
Providence, founded in 1925, has been graduating more than 10,000 leaders with character and knowledge who serve in business, science, industry, churches, missions and non-profits in Canada and around the world.
In an email to staff and faculty sent on Monday, Johnson mentioned that, “Together we have put in place new programs and made strides in many areas of our institutional life. I am most happy with the move to a living and learning philosophy of student growth. This fits who we are as a school. We have seen God do some marvelous things.”
Coming to Providence after serving for seven years as a pastor in a small church in Minnesota, Johnson talks about spending more time with his family. He will stay in Manitoba close to his three daughters, but trips to Minnesota will be more frequent to visit his siblings and aging parents.
Johnson looks forward to pursuing volunteer opportunities after retirement, completing some long-postponed research and writing projects and doing some teaching on the side.
Providence is grateful for Johnson’s dedication and faithful service to the school and honours the meaningful contributions and legacy he’s made over the years, directly impacting the lives of students, staff, faculty and the greater Providence community.