William Jessup University

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William Jessup University
William Jessup University logo
Motto Transforming Tomorrow Today
Type Christian Liberal Arts University
Established 1939
Affiliation Non-denominational Christian
Endowment $1.1 million[1]
Students 1200+ full time equivalent
Location Rocklin, California, USA
Campus Suburban
Colors Blue & White
Website www.jessup.edu

William Jessup University is a Christian liberal arts university located in Rocklin, California with an additional site in San Jose, California. The university served over 1280 students during 2011-12, with 942 full-time equivalents. On August 29, 2013 it was announced that the 2013-14 academic year had over a 10% increase compared to the previous years enrollment. Record enrollments have occurred for the past 4 consecutive semesters.[2]


The University was founded as San Jose Bible College in 1939, in San Jose by William Jessup, the school's first President. Eugene Claremont Sanderson had originally started a school called Evangel Bible University in San Jose in 1934 but was unable to make it viable. As a result, he recruited William Jessup, one of his former students to take over. By 1951, with the school expanding and the San José State University across the street encroaching, San Jose Bible College moved to a parcel bordered by Coyote Creek, 12th Street and Highway 280. Spanish style classroom buildings and several dormitory buildings made up the small campus.

William Jessup retired in 1960 and was replaced by Alvan L. Tiffin. Later, Woodrow Phillips, an alumnus, was president from 1968 to 1979. Dr. Bryce Jessup, a Pepperdine University alumnus and son of the original president, was President from 1984–2010, when he retired. After a national search, Dr. John Jackson was selected to be the 6th President in March 2011. Dr. Jackson is a graduate of Chapman University, Fuller Theological Seminary, and UC Santa Barbara with a Ph.D. in Educational Administration & Organizational Studies.

In 1989, the school was renamed San Jose Christian College and in 2002, the school was regionally accredited by WASC. As the school's enrollment increased, it became obvious that additional expansion was necessary. Unable to find a new location in the Santa Clara Valley, and finding a new location in Rocklin, it decided to move to the Sacramento Metropolitan city of Rocklin in April 2003. The University officially moved its San Jose Campus in June 2004. Along with the move, the college was renamed William Jessup University. A branch campus has been retained in San Jose that primarily serves non traditional and graduate students.

The current location was formerly a Herman Miller Furniture Factory, and many of the buildings were designed by famous architect Frank Gehry. Current architect Russ Taylor has won awards for the re-design of the campus.


William Jessup teams, nicknamed athletically as the Warriors, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, track & field and volleyball.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2008 NACUBO Endowment Study" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved January 27, 2009. 
  2. ^ William Jessup University
  3. ^ Wilson, Holly. "J.J. Heller’s poetic style noted on secular folk chart". Christian Examiner. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  4. ^ http://www.jessup.edu/media/news/annual-gala-honors-four-esteemed-alumni/

External links[edit]