William Jessup University opened during the Great Depression when Dr. Eugene Sanderson, who had already opened three other colleges, saw that the greater San Francisco area needed a Bible college. Dr. Sanderson purchased two homes across from the San Jose Teachers College campus to use for the new school. Over the next few years, he upgraded the property and added a chapel. In 1939, Dr. Sanderson asked William L. Jessup, who then lived in Vialia, to open the new school, prompting Mr. Jessup and his wife to move to San Jose. Classes began on September 20, 1939, with 14 students. The focus of the curriculum was the Bible and to prepare students for church-related jobs.
It was not long before the San Jose Bible College outgrew the small campus. The school purchased over
seven acres at Twelfth and Virginia Streets and erected three buildings that were opened in 1951. Beach Memorial Hall, the first on-campus housing, opened in 1960.
In 2013, the school was renamed William Jessup University in honor of the first president of the college and moved to a 125-acre campus in Rocklin, California. Today, the school offers more than 20 degree majors in over 50 programs. The School of Professional Studies, opened in 1996 and designed to meet the needs of working adults, now comprises more than one-third of the student population. Today, there are over 1300 students enrolled with 97 percent of undergraduates attending full-time.
William Jessup University Accreditation Details
William Jessup University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission which is one of seven major regional accreditation organizations in the country. In addition, the college is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education, an organization that specializes in accreditation of schools related to Bible and religion. The school is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.
William Jessup University Application Requirements
Undergraduate students with no post-secondary credits must complete an application and provide official transcripts as well as official ACT or SAT scores. Graduate students must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in order to apply. Graduate programs have different requirements for admission, so students must speak to a graduate admissions counselor before applying.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Undergraduate tuition at William Jessup University is $14,975 per semester for students taking between 12 and 18 unites. Semester hour costs below 12 units is $1,260 per unit while units above 18 cost $755 per unit. Graduate tuition is as follows:
- Master of Arts in Education – $600 per credit hour
- Master of Arts in Leadership – $400 per credit hour
- Master of Arts in Teaching – $495 per credit hour at San Jose Campus; $600 per credit hour at Rocklin campus
- Master of Business Administration – $600 per credit hour
Financial Aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants, student loans and work-study programs. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify.
William Jessup University offers individuals a student experience unlike other colleges with a strong focus on the Bible that is intertwined throughout all curriculums at the college. Chapel is the heartbeat of community worship on both campuses where students, faculty and staff gather twice weekly. The university invites a multitude of speakers from the local community as well as those that are world-renowned for their strong beliefs. Music worship is student-led and all students are required to attend chapel regularly. There is also a prayer chapel in the center of the campus that provides students with a peaceful location for prayer, reflection and renewal.
William Jessup University also promotes the development of a lifetime of service. Outreach has been a tradition at the school since it began in the 1930s. Because the university is Christ-centered, there is a strong belief that God has called on His believers to be His “hands and feet in the community and the world.” The outreach and missions program allows students to live out their faith through actions that benefit others. Domestic and foreign mission trips are offered each year, allowing students to earn service credit and each student in attendance is urged to consider going on at least one mission during their time at the university. Funds are raised through support letters to cover the cost of mission trips.
Discipleship is also very important at William Jessup University through Spiritual Formation Groups and Prayer Ministries. Spiritual Formation Groups are small groups of up to ten students that are led by staff, faculty or administrators. They may also be led by upperclassmen and provide a safe place for students to be supported. Spiritual Formation Groups are a requirement for a portion of the student enrollment.
William Jessup University is also a Leadership Inspired University, providing students with the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to be leaders in their field. Students are given practical, focused opportunities to develop skills and the student leadership team includes the campus ministry staff, orientation assistances, residence assistants and student government. Student leaders are expected to follow the Student Code of Conduct both on and off campus, develop health relationships with friends, including dating relationships and balance job-related duties with academics.
There are many student organizations and facilities available to promote active student life as well. There are organizations related to arts and entertainment, publicity, health and wellness as well as facilities that promote active lifestyles. Students may also participate in intramural sports, including basketball, dodgeball, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, indoor soccer and spikeball.
The school also offers several unique degree programs, some available in an online format that makes it easier for adult learners to achieve their higher education goals. Programs like American Sign Language and Air Force ROTC are not offered at institutes of higher learning throughout the country. Because all degree programs are offered with a Christ-centered focus, students not only develop skills and knowledge in their chosen field of study, but also learn to apply Christian values to their learning.
William Jessup University has been providing outstanding education to students since the Great Depression. With the addition of adult learning facilities and online programs, the university has made it easier for working adults to further their education. The flexible formats allow individuals to achieve their higher education goals when work, family or social obligations make it difficult for them to attend traditional classes at William Jessup University.