Michael Jessup

Dr. Michael Jessup

Michael Jessup

Professor of Sociology

Office Location: Reade 217-F
Phone: (765) 998-5542
Email: mcjessup@taylor.edu

Specialties: christian community development, individualism and its role in american culture, racial reconciliation, rwanda and the rwandan genocide, social justice, social movements



PhD, Sociology, Southern Illinois University
MS, Sociology, Iowa State University
BA, American Studies, Idaho State University
BA, Sociology, Idaho State University

Why I love teaching at Taylor:

Bottom line -- I enjoy teaching. I like all of the “work” that goes into class preparation; I enjoy reading contemporary research, and wrestling with new and challenging ideas. I also enjoy trying to find new and innovative ways to communicate these ideas to students.  I want students to be as excited about concepts, theories, and ideas as I am! One of the benefits of Taylor is the small class size – allowing me integrate experiential components into the classroom. For students, this might mean the opportunities of talking to offenders in a prison, hanging out with a homeless person, listening to a refugee from South Sudan share his or her story, or praying with a Rwandan pastor who lost forty members of his congregation. I also enjoy Taylor because I have the freedom to integrate my Christian faith – the freedom to ask the tough questions.

Advice to incoming students:

You may be wrong! Sometimes the world really is not the way you see it!

Get ready for intense shades of gray. It would be wonderful if all social life fit neatly into little boxes, and all issues were clearly defined in black and white or red and blue. Fortunately, the social world is more complex, nuanced, and messy than most Christians would like to think.

God is too big to be understood by one culture.

Follow the 5 “E”s:  Embrace, Engage, Enquire, Enjoy, Experience. Follow these    5 “E”s for a truly transformative education.


News junkie – always reading about current events and auto news!

Movies – yes, I like them! I watch all kinds of movies (except horror!). Movies are filled with sociology and sociological insights.  Yes, I am a weeper.

I thoroughly enjoy hanging out with my family, probably talking about the news and movies!  We also have fun together.  For example, last Christmas, we went on an 70 mile snowmobile trek through Yellowstone. Just celebrated 31 years of marriage!

Addicted to culture – like reading, talking, thinking, and most exploring other cultures. (I think I am a closet anthropologist.)  

I like writing, reading, and watching comedy and comedies. In fact, have written dozens, and been in dozens, of dramas at church.