The CSU Global “modern learner” is career-driven and focused on their future, but needs the flexibility required to learn their way, on their schedule. CSU Global alumnus Parker Johnson fits that bill, and then some. 

Focused on the Future

This globe-trotting Oklahoma native, who now lives in Calgary, has logged many miles in pursuit of his career. Today, Johnson works for Community of Christ as a transition coordinator, helping the church run as effectively and efficiently as possible. But just a few years ago, he wouldn’t have been prepared for the role. 

Johnson had already earned a bachelor of fine arts degree, but he realized that his undergraduate program had been light on the business skills he’d need for the career he wanted. He had already moved to Denver and was working for DaVita – a CSU Global affiliate – when he learned about CSU Global – and the tuition discount he’d receive through his employer’s partnership with the university. 

Flexibility of Online Learning

After enrolling and getting through the first year of his online Master’s of International Management program, Johnson and his husband moved back to Oklahoma, where his husband would attend law school. Johnson’s CSU Global coursework moved right along with them, including a stint traveling across Europe. 

“I never felt like school was an inconvenience,” says Johnson. “I would just schedule some layover time, or do work in cafes, and do my readings in transit. I remember writing a paper on a flight from Houston to Frankfurt. I took full advantage of the remote aspect.”

“I was blown away at how organized and intentional all the communications were. Everything was so streamlined, seamless, and end-user focused, and yet it didn't feel like a business. It felt like what school should be.”
- Parker Johnson

Putting His Education to Work

Obtaining those much-needed business skills ultimately paid off. “I'm constantly doing presentations and check-ins and surveys, or needs analysis with stakeholders,” says Johnson, whose position will continue to evolve as he helps the church navigate post-COVID-19 life. 

Johnson also serves as president of Harmony, a U.S.-based nonprofit. “The church I work for, Community of Christ, is affirming to the LGTBQ community in seven countries at this point.” He explained that Harmony works to advocate for that community, offering peer support, and providing congregations with resources on topics like sensitivity training or crafting their own statements of welcome.

Fulfilling Lifelong Goals

Johnson said that his work with Harmony provides him with both professional and personal fulfillment. On the professional side, he’s led the organization through exponential growth in both membership and fundraising in just one year, all while undergoing a complete rebrand. Personally, he says, “As a gay man, it’s really a passion project for me to be able to advocate for full participation – being able to be ordained and married in the church, and be in leadership positions.” 

Johnson knows his education played a significant role in his ability to achieve what he has over just the past few years. “I sing CSU Global’s praises all the time," he says. “It was just the right fit for me, 100 percent.”

CSU Global alum Parker Johnson wearing a blue suit coat, white dress shirt, and glasses
Parker Johnson
Calgary, Alberta, Canada | CSU Global Alum
Master’s Degree, International Management