President Daniel W. Johnson

President Daniel Johnson

Dr. Daniel W. Johnson was named the third full-time president of Wisconsin Lutheran College (WLC) in 2008. A lifelong educator, Dr. 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 12 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 fall 2015,
  • 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).


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.