Byron R. Johnson is Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University
He is the founding director of the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) as well as director of the Program on Prosocial Behavior. Johnson is a faculty affiliate of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University and is co-executive director of the Center for Faith and the Common Good at Pepperdine University. He is a co-founder of the Religious Freedom Institute, based in Washington, DC.
He is a leading authority on the scientific study of religion, the efficacy of faith-based organizations, and criminal justice. Recent publications have examined the impact of faith-based programs on recidivism reduction and prisoner reentry. He has been the principal investigator on grants from private foundations as well as the Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, and the United States Institute for Peace, totaling more than $80 million.
He is the project co-director of the Global Flourishing Study, a five-year panel study with annual data collection on approximately 240,000 people from around the world. He is the author of many journal articles and a number of books including More God, Less Crime (2011), The Angola Prison Seminary (2016), The Quest for Purpose (2017), Objective Religion: Competition, Tension, Perseverance (2021); The Restorative Prison (2021), Objective Religion: Problems, Prosociality, Progress (2022), and The Faith Factor and Social Problems: Rethinking Evidence, Practice, and Polity (forthcoming 2023).