Rev. John Khanjian, Ph.D.
By Tanya Khanjian Stevens
The Rev. Dr. John Khanjian was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1932 and received his elementary education at Bethel School and secondary education at Aleppo College for Boys. During these years he started the Star Youth Group at the Church of Christ (ACO). While receiving his education in Beirut at the Near East School of Theology (BD 1963) and the American University of Beirut (BA 1962 and MA 1968), Rev. Dr. Khanjian established the Armenian Evangelical Boy Scout troop at the First Armenian Evangelical Church. He completed his education at Claremont Graduate University (PhD 1974).
Rev. Dr. Khanjian spent his summers filling pulpits in Kamishly, Damascus and Aleppo. Upon graduation from theological studies in January 1963, he returned to Aleppo College as a teacher of religion at the Girls and Boys schools, Chaplain and Chair of the Religion Department, and became the CE youth leader and choir director of the Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church where his wife, Pauline Alexanian, was the pianist of the Church.
In 1966, Rev. Dr. Khanjian left for the United States to pursue his graduate studies. Upon completion of his course work, he returned to the Near East School of Theology in 1971 as Assistant Professor, Librarian, and Field Work Director to the Armenian students. During the summers he led youth camps in Syria and Lebanon. The Lebanese Civil War forced Rev. Dr. Khanjian and his family to relocate to the United States in 1976. In 1978, he was invited to the position of Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Kansas Wesleyan University where he served as Chairman for ten years and prepared many ministers for the United Methodist Church.
During this time Rev. Dr. Khanjian continued his relationship with the Armenian Evangelical churches in the Near East and was invited by the AMAA to serve the summer camps in Syria and Lebanon for youth in 1978, 1980, and 1982. In 1987, he was invited to become the Academic Dean at the Armenian American International College of the University of La Verne in California where he worked until its closure in 1993.
In 1995, Rev. Dr. Khanjian became the President of Haigazian College in Beirut, Lebanon where he served until 2002. During his tenure the old campus was renovated and refurbished, and the institution returned to its campus in West Beirut. In 1997, Haigazian College was accredited by the Lebanese Ministry of Education as a University; the academic programs were updated, policies and procedures introduced, and a solid foundation established for further development.
Upon his return to the United States, Rev. Dr. Khanjian returned to teaching at the University of La Verne as Senior Adjunct Professor of Religion and Philosophy from 2003 to 2007. In 2007, Rev. Dr. Khanjian was invited by the AMAA to be Provost and Professor at the Evangelical Theological Academy of Armenia in Yerevan due to the need for a fulltime administrator. He served in these positions until 2010 when he once again returned to the United States and resumed teaching at the University of La Verne until his retirement in 2017.
Rev. Dr. Khanjian has published multiple scholarly articles, two books in Armenian for the seminary, and recently authored the “History of the Armenian Missionary Association of America” for the AMAA in English and Armenian.
In 1963, Dr. Khanjian married Pauline Alexanian who also taught at Aleppo College for Girls and established the Education Department at Haigazian University; they have two children, Tanya Joy and Jonathan Alex.