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John W. Hawthorne, Ph.D

Professor of Sociology
Poling Center
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John W. Hawthorne is professor of sociology and former chair of the Social Science Division. He has devoted his career to Christian higher education, serving as a classroom teacher and administrator. He earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in sociology at Purdue University, specializing in the sociology of religion and social psychology. His time as an academic administrator gave birth to study in the nature of Christian higher education and the emerging shape of learning and teaching. Hawthorne joined the Spring Arbor community in 2011.

Hawthorne is the author of A First Step into a Much Larger World: The Christian University and Beyond, written to introduce freshmen to the exciting world of Christian higher education. In addition, he continues to explore the changing nature of evangelicalism in America, especially among the millennial generation.

Hawthorne and his wife, Jeralynne (who also teaches at SAU), have two married adult children and one remarkable granddaughter. His personal interests include reading, biking, and walking Elton the dog whenever he demands. He is an unrepentant political junkie.


  • Ph.D.: (Sociology ) Purdue University
  • M.S.: (Sociology ) Purdue University
  • B.S.: (Sociology ) Purdue University


A First Step into a Much Larger World: The Christian University and Beyond