John Townsend (author)

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John Townsend
Born June 1, 1952
Smithfield, North Carolina[1]
Occupation Writer, Psychologist, Leadership Consultant
Nationality American
Alma mater North Carolina State University (BA)
Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M)
Biola University (PhD)
Subject Leadership, Organizations, and Psychology
Notable works Boundaries (book series), Leadership Beyond Reason"

Dr. John Townsend (born 1952 in Smithfield, North Carolina), grew up in Wilson, North Carolina, is an author, clinical psychologist, leadership coach and organizational consultant.

Townsend has authored or co-authored 27 books, selling over 6 million copies.[2] He is best known for Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. This book, coauthored with Dr. Henry Cloud in 1992, has sold over two million copies and gave rise to several additional books about boundaries.[3]

He founded the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling, providing graduate training in Organizational Leadership, Executive Coaching and Counseling, based at Huntington University in Indiana, which is scheduled to open in September 2015.[4]

He has also formed the Townsend Leadership Program, an intensive year-at-a-time training program for leaders, with sites in various regions around the USA (

Townsend works with corporations, family-owned enterprises and small business. He also speaks and writes on various leadership and success topics.


Townsend has appeared on many national TV, radio and newspapers and co-hosts the nationally syndicated radio program “New Life Live”, airing on 180 stations with 3 million listeners. He co-founded the Minirth-Meier Clinic West and served as its clinical Co-Director for ten years.[5] The clinic operated treatment centers in thirty-five cities in the western United States.[6] Townsend and Dr. Cloud conduct the Ultimate Leadership Workshop and the One Week Intensive for counselors in Southern California. He also co-leads Cloud-Townsend Resources. He is a visiting professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and is Clinical Director of the American Association of Christian Counselors. Dr. Townsend serves on the board of directors of Mustard Seed Ranch, a ranch setting for abused children, and of the New Canaan Society, an association for professional men.

Townsend's hobbies include travel and playing in a band which performs at lounges and venues in Southern California.[5]


Townsend has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with honors from North Carolina State University, a Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary (also with honors) and a PhD degree in clinical psychology from Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University.[5]


Townsend and his family reside in Southern California.[7]


Books which he has authored or made a contribution to include:

See also[edit]