Assistant Professor of Mission, Evangelism and Culture

B.A., Dordt College
M.A., The Catholic University of America
Ph.D., The Catholic University of America

Janel Bakker teaches in the areas of sociology of religion and the history, theology, and practice of mission and evangelism. Her research interests include partnership-based approaches to grassroots mission efforts, the religious dimensions of bereavement, the intersection of globalization and religion, and the restructuring of American Christianity. Dr. Bakker’s first book, Sister Churches: American Congregations and Their Partners Abroad, was published by Oxford University Press in 2014.

After completing a Ph.D. in religion and culture at The Catholic University of America, Dr. Bakker was a post-doctoral fellow at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. She went on to serve as associate director of the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research, located on the campus of Saint John’s University in Central Minnesota. In 2015, she joined the faculty of Memphis Theological Seminary.

Dr. Bakker is active in both church and community life. She currently serves on the board of directors of Thistle and Bee Enterprises, an organization dedicated to partnering with survivors of human trafficking in Shelby County.

Learn more about Dr. Bakker’s research and teaching.