Skip navigation

Office of the President

Dr. Daniel W. Johnson was named the third full-time president of Wisconsin Lutheran College (WLC) in 2008. Dr. Johnson is honored to lead a special mission and ministry within the higher education landscape, one that offers academic excellence rooted in Christ, promotes spiritual growth, and prepares men and women for lives of Christian leadership as they embark upon 21st century careers and influence their families, churches, communities, and workplaces.


    President Johnson headshot

    A lifelong educator, Dr. Daniel W. Johnson understands the importance of a quality, Christ-centered education. Prior to joining WLC, he served in a number of K-12 educational settings as an educator and administrator in schools throughout the nation including in Nebraska, Florida, Wisconsin, and Arizona.


    Dr. Johnson holds a bachelor's degree in education from Dr. Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota, and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from National-Louis University in Chicago, Illinois. He earned his doctorate in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.


    Dr. Johnson joined Wisconsin Lutheran College in October 2008. God has richly blessed his efforts and those of WLC's leaders, faculty, and staff. During his tenure, Wisconsin Lutheran College has:

    • Experienced a 60% increase in enrollment,
    • Created an Adult and Graduate Studies program focusing on degree completion and master's degree offerings,
    • Secured $1M gift to launch the Adult and Graduate Studies Program,   
    • In 2011 WLC was the first institution in Wisconsin to receive approval with no improvement recommendations from the Department of Public Instruction for our Education program, 
    • Built WLC Outdoor Athletic Center at our Outdoor Athletic Complex, the home to WLC football (also home football field for four local high schools), softball, baseball, track, and soccer, 
    • Secured $1M gift to launch fund drive for Outdoor Athletic Center,
    • Secured $5.1M naming rights for our state-of-the-art academic/science hall - now called Generac Hall, 
    • Added 13 majors, 
    • Implemented university model by structuring three colleges within WLC,
    • Launched the Center for Christian Leadership to better serve our community; hiring the first Executive Director in fall 2015,
    • Broadened support for our urban initiatives: Pathways to College Program - college readiness program - and Center for Urban Teaching - helping prepare teachers to teach in the inner city, 
    • Signed an enrollment agreement with Jiangxi Normal University in China,
    • Secured articulation agreements with two-year centers of the University of Wisconsin system,
    • Opened a state-of-the-art residence hall, Aspire, in fall 2014, 
    • Secured a $500,000 gift to install new football turf - completed in summer 2015,
    • Secured a $500,000 gift to build dugouts and install new scoreboards and fencing for baseball/softball fields - completed in summer 2015,
    • Secured two gifts totaling $1,050,00 to install a new gym floor, bleachers, and a complete remodel of the Recreation Complex - completed in summer 2015, 
    • Secured a $5.5M gift to build a new parking center on campus - will be completed in early 2016,
    • Established the Endowed Legacy Debt Fund - brought in $7.5M since November 2014, 
    • Developed an institutional strategic plan, Vision 2020, to guide the academic and operational efforts of the college through the end of the decade, and  
    • Received ten-year accreditation of The Higher Learning Commission in 2015. 


    Dr. Johnson was elected by his presidential colleagues to the Executive Committee of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) and served as president of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC).


    Read the President's Annual Report

    Read WLC's Vision 2020 Strategic Plan

    Johnson, D. W. (2016, February). Sustainability of Lutheran Schools. Presentation at the Northern Wisconsin District Teachers' Conference. Brillion, WI. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2015, January). Effective Strategies for Success with Adult Learners. Presentation at the Council of Independent Colleges President's Institute. San Diego, CA. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2014, March). Engaging and Preparing Millennials for Lives of Christian Leadership. Presentation at the Northern Wisconsin District Seminars for Christian Service. Appleton, WI. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2013, May). Servant Leadership - Be an Assist-Maker. Presentation at the WI Servant Leadership Forum. Milwaukee, WI. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2013, January). Our Ministry - Our Calling. Presentation at the Urban Ministry Conference. Brookfield, WI. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2012, August). Developing a Culture of Care and Concern. Presentation at Manitowoc Lutheran High School. Manitowoc, WI. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2012, February). Excellence in Sustainability. Presentation at Morning Star Lutheran School. Jackson, WI. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2012, February). Developing a Culture of Care and Concern. Presentation at Men of His Word Conference. Oshkosh, WI. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2011, September). Excellence in Sustainability. Presentation at St. Croix Lutheran High School. Saint Paul, MN. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2010, October). Leadership - By All and For All. Presentation to the WELS North Central High School Teachers' Conference. Watertown, SD. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2010, September). Excellence in Sustainability. Presentation to the Lakeside Lutheran High School Federation. Lake Mills, WI. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2010, August). Excellence in Sustainability. Presentation to the Fox Valley Lutheran High School Federation. Appleton, WI. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2010, February). Excellence in Sustainability. Presentation to the Association of Lutheran High Schools. Brookfield, WI. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2010, January). What Makes a Good Christian School. Presentation to the Lakes Lutheran Principals' Conference. Somers, WI. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2009, November). Qualities, Declared Initiatives, and Programs That Impact the Enrollment of Christian Elementary Schools. Presentation to the AZ-CA Teachers' Conference. Phoenix, AZ. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2009, October). Recruitment and Retention in Lutheran Schools. Presentation at the WALE Conference. Milwaukee, WI. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2009, April). Amazing Grace - Amazing Place. Inaugural Address at Wisconsin Lutheran College. Wauwatosa, WI. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2009, March). Christian Education: A New Perspective. Presentation to the Barnabas Group. Wauwatosa, WI.

    Johnson, D. W. (2009, January). Christian Education Today. Presentation at the Kingdom Workers Retreat. Phoenix, AZ. 

    Johnson, D. W. (2008, June). Cost-Based Tuition/Need-Based Aid: WELS Case Studies. Presentation at the WELS National School Leadership Conference. Brookfield, WI.

    Johnson, D. W. (2008). Qualities, Declared Initiatives, and Programs That Impact the Enrollment of Christian Elementary Schools. (Doctoral Dissertation, Nova Southeastern University).

    Johnson, D. W. (2000, February). Heroes of Faith - Isaiah. Paper presented at the 2000 Black Canyon Delegate Conference in Ahwatukee, AZ. 

    Johnson, D. W. (1996). Thematic Teaching of High School Geography. (Master's Thesis, National Louis University). 


    Mr. Mark Neumann (Chairman)
    Nashotah, Wisconsin

    Mr. Pete Aisbet 
    Slinger, Wisconsin          

    Mr. Ryan Barbieri            
    Hartland, Wisconsin           

    Mr. Steven Boettcher     
    Mequon, Wisconsin           

    Mr. Matthew Burow       
    Slinger, Wisconsin              

    Mr. Gary Drska  
    Muskego, Wisconsin          

    Dr. Gerald Fischer            
    Bethesda, Maryland           

    Mr. James Fischer
    Waukesha, Wisconsin

    Rev. Kenneth Fisher        
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin      

    Mr. Stephen Granberg    
    Appleton, Wisconsin            

    Dr. Terry Gueldner           
    Manitowoc, Wisconsin     

    Rev. Jeff Gunn   
    Phoenix, Arizona                 

    Rev. Mark Henrich
    Markham, Ontario, Canada       

    Mr. Charles Kluenker      
    Roseville, California           

    Rev. Carlos Leyrer
    Doral, Florida      

    Dr. R. Bowen Loftin        
    Columbia, Missouri            

    Mr. Jamie Luehring         
    Cedarburg, Wisconsin

    Mr. Scott Mayer
    Franklin, Wisconsin            

    Mr. Tom Plath   
    Collierville, Tennessee  

    Dr. William Raasch          
    Wauwatosa, Wisconsin    

    Mr. Jim Reinert 
    Parkville, Missouri              

    Mr. Paul Scriver 
    Kansasville, Wisconsin       

    Rev. Gene Sims 
    Grove City, Ohio                 

    Mr. C. Daniel Stefferud  
    Redondo Beach, California             

    Dr. Gary Stimac 
    The Woodlands, Texas      

    Mr. Lawrence Totsky      
    Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin         

    Mr. William Treffert        
    Naples, Florida     

    Dr. Ronald White             
    Fort Myers, Florida             

    Mr. Kerry Woody             
    Muskego, Wisconsin          

    Mr. George Zaferos      
    Watertown, Wisconsin



    Dr. Daniel W. Johnson

    Dr. John D. Kolander

    Mr. James Brandt
    Vice President of Degree Completion

    Mr. Richard Mannisto
    Vice President of Development

    Mr. Gary Schmid
    Vice President of Finance

    Rev. Nathan Strobel
    Vice President of Student Life