Jan-Olof Johansson was born in Lekeryd (in Jönköping District) on the 22 April 1948. He grew up in Skillingaryd, Aneby and Nässjö. After gaining his school certificate, Jan-Olof Johansson took degrees in theology and philosophy. He also studied for a year in Jerusalem. In addition he passed the primary school teachers’ examination. In 1980 he was ordained priest for Växjö Diocese by Bishop Sven Lindegård. His first appointment was as ’adjunkt’, or assistant, in Sävsjö Pastorate. In 1992 he was appointed as an Honorary Dean by Bishop Jan Arvid Hellström.
Jan-Olof Johansson worked at the Diocesan Secretariat in Växjö as a diocesan ‘adjunkt’, church secretary and diocesan dean until 2006, when he was appointed as Cathedral Dean in Växjö. On 30 August 2010, he was chosen as bishop by a substantial majority. It was only the second time in the history of the Church of Sweden that the election of a bishop had been decided in the first ballot.
Jan-Olof Johansson has been a chaplain to the royal court since 1995. He is the author of, ‘Pilgrimsbok för färd i heligt land’ (‘Book for Pilgrims for journeys in the Holy Land’), ‘Präster i Växjö stift’ (‘Priests in Växjö Diocese’) and the editor of ‘Född i Betlehem’ (‘Born in Bethlehem’). He has been involved in a number of TV productions, among others the TV3 children’s programme ‘Skurt in Mose fotspår’ (‘Skurt in the footsteps of Moses’) and ‘Skurt i Jesu fotspår’ (‘Skurt in the footsteps of Jesus’) at the end of the 1990s (note: Skurt is a puppet character). He is also chair of the Svenska Jerusalemsföreningen (Swedish Jerusalem Society), which runs a school for Palestinian girls in Bethlehem. The bishop is married with three grown-up children.
Bishop Jan-Olof Johansson has chosen as his motto ‘Joy for all the people’, which was the message of the angels to the shepherds outside Bethlehem on the night when Jesus was born.
Translated from an article on the Diocese of Växjö web pages