Cristie Jo possesses a unique gift of creativity and innovation demonstrated in her new ideas, projects and programs. She has a natural instinct to generate strategic components for culturally relevant content. One of her desires is to communicate critical Christian thinking material by connecting with audiences through global media platforms. This is due to her extensive experience filming with the world’s leading antagonists to Christianity, as well as scholars, skeptics and leading Christians. Cristie Jo also represents a growing genre in biblical scholarship – the female apologist and articulate female Bible teacher.
As a Bible teacher and presenter, she has spoken to leaders on various platforms including the National Day of Prayer at the invitation of Shirley Dobson in Washington, DC. In addition, she has ministered with her husband, Dr. Jerry Johnston, in hundreds of churches throughout North America. In collaboration with her husband, Cristie Jo is a successful writer, director and producer of documentaries on subjects ranging from cultural and teenage issues to ministry and life.
Actively and fruitfully engaged in Christian ministry for nearly four decades, Cristie Jo joined the faculty/staff of Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas, in October 2014 as professor of Theology in the School of Christian Thought. She serves as executive producer and screenwriter as well. Her distinctive, spiritual gifts of teaching and training are complimented by the gifts of leadership, evangelism, faith, administration and mercy. Cristie Jo is an ardent, lifelong student of God’s Word. Her messages and presentations are marked by theological substance with skilled application and delivery to her listeners of various ages and genders. As the wife of a former church plant pastor, her Bible study class and weekly television program experienced rapid growth with nearly 500 people enrolled.
Cristie Jo’s unique scholarship is enhanced by years of study with her mentor, Professor Craig A. Evans, PhD, DHabil, the John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins for the School of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University. Professor Evans served as Cristie Jo’s doctoral supervisor during her studies at Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, Canada, where she wrote her thesis on “Examining the Challenges Pastors and Their Families Encounter After A Period of Overwhelming Ministry Stress And Developing A Strategy For Their Overall Health.”
Cristie Jo’s teaching experience in systematic theology and ministry experience have prepared her, in particular, for effective communication in spiritual formation. Numerous men and women she helped mentor have entered full-time Christian service. Cristie Jo’s desire in life is to be a critically thinking Christian who produces and proclaims relevant content to a biblically illiterate generation. She is passionate about equipping her children, grandchildren, and the next generation with every resource and opportunity necessary to communicate solid, critical thought-based questions and answers to scholars, skeptics and leading Christian advocates.
Loving parents raised Cristie Jo Huf in a Christian home. Her father escaped to West Germany from communist Czechoslovakia in 1949 at 19 years old, and her mother experienced the brutality of World War II while being shipped on trains under the reign of Adolf Hitler. In 1953, Cristie Jo’s parents met in Germany and married. Faithful missionaries who lived near the Hufs’ small apartment came to their home and led the young couple to faith in Jesus Christ. A supporting church in Hudsonville, Michigan, arranged for them to immigrate to America and be spiritually mentored by mature laymen and women in the congregation.
From the beginning of their faith experience, Cristie Jo’s parents prayed that one of their six children would enter vocational Christian ministry. Cristie Jo had always possessed a tender heart toward God, but her faith journey was interrupted during her teenage years as a result of a physically abusive relationship at the hand of her boyfriend. Upon graduating from high school, Cristie Jo pursued a passion in cosmetology. With her formal training finished and state boards complete, the hope of a fruitful career was in clear view. However, her dream was crushed after receiving a letter of rejection from the Michigan State Board of Cosmetology.
Distraught, confused and with nowhere to turn but God, she accepted her father ’s invitation to attend an evangelistic crusade to hear a young evangelist named Jerry Johnston at Calvary Baptist Church in Holland, Michigan in October of 1978. That night, the power of God moved in Cristie Jo’s heart. The next morning, she received an apology letter from the Michigan State Board of Cosmetology for their error, informing her that the test scores were reviewed and she had, in fact, passed and graduated with academic honors.
Later, as the three-week crusade in Holland came to a close, Jerry and Cristie Jo continued to correspond and discuss spiritual matters. On November 9, 1978, after a lengthy investigation with Jerry into various Bible passages, Cristie Jo committed her life fully to faith in Christ and shortly thereafter sensed God’s call on her life for full-time ministry. Jerry and Cristie Jo began dating, and the Johnstons have now enjoyed many fruitful years of marriage, family and ministry. Together, they have raised three children, all of whom have received God’s call to Christian ministry.
Project, Content Creator, Co-Executive Producer of the “I Am Christian Strong” ™ Venture
June 2013 – Present
The “I Am Christian Strong” ™ project seeks to empower the faith-based community to passionately engage in a personal statement declaring authentic Christianity by demonstrating love in action. IACS ™ is a multilayer, global endeavor that includes a docuseries, trade books, Critical Christian Thinking Center, theme song, teaching lessons for Bible studies/small groups/pastoral lessons, a weekly television show, and a live, 24-hour “I Am Christian Strong” ™ movement. Additionally, the project will raise awareness, volunteerism and funds directed towards American veterans.
“I Am Christian Strong” ™ Filmed Interviewees
Tackling Life’s Toughest Questions With A Bible Response(12 messages) (IN PROGRESS)
Examining The Challenges Pastors And Their Families Encounter Emerging From A Period of Overwhelming Ministry Stress, And Developing A Strategy For Their Overall Health
(unpublished doctoral dissertation; Nova Scotia; Acadia University-Acadia Divinity College, 2012). Currently, under review for publication.
(Dr. Cristie Jo Johnston was invited to enroll as a PhD student at Trinity College, in Bristol, United Kingdom.) “[We] consider the focus of your research to be of huge importance, and we are strongly interested in it and in the fact that you have achieved significant resources to conduct the research.”
– Revd. Dr. Howard Worsley, Vice Principal, Tutor in Missiology
Professor, Department of Theology
School of Christian Thought Executive Producer and Screenwriter
Houston Baptist University: October 2014 – Present
Project Content Creator & Co-Executive Producer of “I Am Christian Strong” ™
June 2013 – Present
Creator & Coordinator
Critical Christian Thinking Center for Higher Education and Laity
I.G. Transmedia, LLC
Founder & Director
Intentional God, Inc.
Jerry Johnston Ministries Association, Inc.
Founder & Director
Open Arms Women’s Events
Founder & Director
Chesalon Comfort Circles
Founder, Presenter, Author & Teacher-Mentor
W.O.W. (Wisdom on the Way) Weekly, Co-ed Bible Study & TV Program
Founder & Director
LOTT (Lighting of the Trees)
“A woman I didn’t recognize and had never met who stood at the podium to speak at an event planned for the National Day of Prayer in Washington, D.C. Her radiant smile shined Jesus. There was tender love in her voice for those she addressed as she spoke. After the meeting, I pushed my way to where she stood. ‘I just want to meet you because you radiated the love of Jesus today in an amazing way,’ I told her. ‘Thank you for ushering us into God’s presence with your engaging style and practical suggestions for passionate prayer.’ Of course, Cristie Jo, that woman was you …”
Wolgemuth & Associates, Inc.
“Cristie Jo Johnston brings to a conference a perfect storm of theological insight, practical experience, and a passion. Cristie Jo is known for taking Christian women from complacency to competency as Christian leaders in the home and the workplace. Whether on the local community or the national scene as a
speaker for the National Day of Prayer in Washington, D.C., Cristie Jo conveys a confidence in the Word of God that is contagious and real.”
– Dr. Rodney Harrison
VP for Institutional Effectiveness, Dean of Online Ed. &
Assoc. Prof. of Christian Education, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
“I serve as Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, and Cristie Jo accepted my invitation to speak at our Capital hill event in Washington, D.C. Her
message on that occasion confirmed the strength of her convictions regarding core biblical issues relevant to the nation and the church. She is a very effective speaker and leader and the Lord used her in a special way that day.”
– Shirley Dobson
National Day of Prayer
“Cristie Jo Johnston is one of the most dynamic, passionate and clear presenters of God’s word that I’ve been around. She connects with people and has an
innocence about her that motivates others to follow.”
– Dayton Moore,
Kansas City Royals Baseball Team
“Cristie Jo has participated with her husband, Jerry, for several years as a key note speaker in multiple marriage seminars that usually last for two days. In addition to speaking multiple times a month, Cristie Jo is the author of a book, which is a ninety-nine message Bible study titled; ‘My Bible: The Big Picture; The Bottom Line; and What’s in it for Me.’ She is the creator of the Chesalon Comfort Circles, weekly meetings of people with varied specific struggles. Cristie Jo’s many activities as Sunday school teacher, author, Comfort Circle creator and leader, board member of a mega-church plant; wife and advisor to her Pastor husband, and other activities require intense weekly research and scholarly writing.”
– The Honorable Judge Robert G. Ulrich
Retired Missouri Western District Court of Appeals
Former United States District Attorney
“Cristie Jo is, first and foremost, a devoted follower of the Lord Jesus. I know from personal interactions with her that she is a woman of prayer and a woman of the Word. She also is deeply committed to sharing her faith in Christ through personal and mass evangelism. I have seen her personally minister one-on-one to people in the name of Christ, and I have also heard her speak to thousands at a time when she issued a clear, clarion call for people to respond to the gospel. These evidences of a solid and abiding personal faith are supplemented by her commitment to solitude, study, fasting, worship, and many of the other disciplines practiced by mature believers throughout history. Along with balancing her commitment to Christ, Cristie Jo has maintained a delicate balance with family, local church ministry, and academics ever since I have known her. Cristie Jo is an absolutely commanding communicator. She is, hands down, the single-best female communicator I have ever heard. She is also one of the finest communicators and teachers I have ever met, regardless of gender. She is capable of reeling in her audience with a disarming manner, but dropping an atomic weapon of truth on everyone present, leading to enormous spiritual fallout and apowerful radiation of God’s power. Cristie Jo has a rate type of clarity with her ideas and understandings of biblical truths that easily translate on the written page. I have seen dozens of pieces she has written, and each is marked by depth mingled with practicality. Some good speakers do not have the ability to capture the drama of a live event and encode that energy onto the written page. Not so with Cristie Jo ~ this is another of her formidable talents that has been supernaturally enabled through the skillful exercise of her spiritual gifts.”
– Dr. Frederick Cardoza, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor of Christian Education,
Chair, Department of Christian Education,
Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
“I have had Cristie Jo as a student in a classroom situation at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and she was one of the most perceptive students I have had the pleasure of teaching. She gave a verbal presentation before the class, which was not only very well-prepared but of such a depth and quality, that she set the curve for the rest of the class.”
– Dr. Mike McMullen, PhD,
Professor of Church History,
Director ofCollegiate Program, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Cristie Jo possesses all the skill sets, spiritual gifts and ministry experiences that accompany extraordinary leaders. I find her to be a remarkable woman of God on the mission of God who gets the Great Commission and coaches others to get it as well. She is an active, intentional personal evangelist. Her outstanding devotion to the Lord, her husband, her family, her church and her community give her an excellent platform to coach others to grow toward this kind of exceptional life in Christ.”
– Dr. Cky John Carrigan, PhD,
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
“I have had Cristie Jo in some courses at MBTS, and I have found her to be a capable and conscientious student. Her contributions to our class discussions in Christian Ethics indicated an abundance of ministerial ‘street-smarts,’ based on extensive contact with real people and their real problems. Her manner of
presentation and thought were reliably high-class, giving me no hesitation in predicting that she would flourish still more, if given the kinds of ministry opportunities in which your organization specializes.”
– Dr. Thorvald Madsen II, PhD, VP for Academic Affairs,
Professor of New Testament, Ethics and Philosophy,
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
“In a world that is temporarily ruled by the Prince of darkness, what a privilege it is to be in God’s army of warriors alongside Cristie Jo Johnston. True character, they say is tested in the ‘fox-holes’ of life and Cristie Jo has passed the tests that God has allowed her to experience. As a fellow soldier I am happy to be in the battle with her ‘watching my back.’”
– Judy Smith,
Concerned Women for America,
“I can heartily recommend Cristie Jo for any endeavor that requires speaking and teaching expertise, devotion to duty, a willing heart, a sympathetic and understanding attitude, intelligence, a talent for fostering personal relationships, a love of family, and the love of Christ.”
– James Jenkins, Attorney, formerly of Alliance Defense Fund and Focus
on the Family
“Cristie Jo is the teacher of a long-standing and successful Bible study class, and she is also in demand as a conference leader and Bible teacher on the national and local level. Cristie Jo is an excellent student. She writes with clarity and passion and is able to speak to the needs of others. Cristie Jo communicates the hope of the Gospel in effective and winsome ways. She has earned several theological degrees including her doctorate of ministry.”
– Dr. Stephen Andrews, PhD,
Professor of Old Testament, Hebrew and Archaeology,
Director of Ph.D. Program,
Midwestern Baptist TheologicalSeminary