Mark D. Johns is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Luther College, where he teaches courses in media studies, media production, and public relations. His research interests include social impacts of new communication technologies and intersections of media, religion, and culture.
Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, Mark Johns earned a bachelor's degree in Social Science from Midland Lutheran College (now Midland University) of Fremont, Neb. and a Master of Divinity degree from Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary (now part of Luther Seminary) of Saint Paul, Minn. He was ordained as a minister of the Lutheran Church in America in 1978 and served congregations in Iowa and Minnesota.
In December of 1995, Johns completed an additional master's degree in Communication Studies at the University of Northern Iowa. He received his doctorate in Mass Communications from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa in 2000. Johns served on the Communication Advisory Committee of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and has been involved in many church video productions and media projects over the years.
Mark Johns is co-editor, with Shing-Ling Sarina Chen and Laura A. Terlip, of Symbolic Interaction and New Social Media (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Volume 43) published in 2014 by Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. He is also co-editor, with Shing-Ling Sarina Chen and G. Jon Hall, of Online Social Research: Methods, Issues, and Ethics, published in 2004 by Peter Lang Publishers. He has written a number of congregational resource materials for Augsburg Fortress Publishers, the publishing house of the ELCA, including Our Context: Exploring Our Congregation and Community. He has also authored a number of papers for academic conferences and journal publications. In 2002, Johns became Executive Director of the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research, a very small scholarly organization.
In his personal life, Johns' hobbies include amateur radio, particularly space communication through amateur satellites. He has twice been a recipient of the Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award for service as a volunteer Chaplain for the Iowa State Patrol, and received an Alumni Achievement Award from Midland Lutheran College in 2009.
Johns is married, with two adult daughters and a granddaughter. His wife, Mary, is a recently retired elementary music teacher. They enjoy music, travel, and bicycle riding together when weather permits.