James F. Gates, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Sociology
  • Director, Center for Justice and Reconciliation
  • Phone: 619.849.2659


  • B.A. Psychology & Religion, Eastern Nazarene College
  • M.Div. Emphases in Religion, Philosophy, Multi-culturalism, Nazarene Theological Seminary
  • Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, University of Florida


Jamie Gates, M.Div., Ph.D., serves Point Loma Nazarene University as Professor of cultural anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Social Work and as the Director of the university’s Center for Justice and Reconciliation .  Having been raised in and studied apartheid South Africa, Jamie continues to focus on justice and reconciliation as central concerns.  Jamie and his family founded and lived in a covenant household with another Christian family 2005-2008, learning to live simply and sharing all goods in common in the spirit of the early Christian communities (Acts 2 and 4).  He became an ordained minister in 2006.

Jamie lives with his favorite roommate Michelle, married to her since 1992, and together they’ve shared their home with Charisa, Anthony and Micaela.  They all love singing together and Jamie will even occasionally bust out the saxophone.  He loves playing with their two dogs, Charlie and Ella.  But you’ll often find him out on the PLNU tennis courts beating on that small fuzzy yellow ball with anyone who will join him.  Table tennis is also not out of the question.  Lord of the Rings marathon, anyone?


Concern for the immigrant in our midst has been of strong interest to Jamie since he himself immigrated back and forth to South Africa as a missionary kid.  Jamie has developed lectures, seminars and workshops on immigration, theology and the church for multiple settings.  

Jamie is also committed to interfaith work as part of his Christian call to be “ambassadors of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5.7-18).  He has been a leading member of the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice for over a decade, working for better wages, benefits and working conditions for the lowest paid workers.  This also led to concern for living wages all along the supply chains that fuel the products and services in our lives.

Working for the sake of human trafficking survivors has become an important part of Jamie’s life.  He co-leads the National Institute of Justice research project “Measuring the Extent and Nature of Gang Involvement in Sex Trafficking in the San Diego/Tijuana Border Region”.  He co-chairs the Research and Data Committee of the San Diego County Advisory Council on Human Trafficking and CSEC.  He mentors campus organizers against human trafficking.  He also serves as faith-based organizer with the following national and local organizations: Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking, Churches Against Trafficking, Interfaith Center for Worker Justice and the Wesleyan-Holiness Consortium Freedom Network.  Jamie is the lead consultant to Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, USA/Canada on human trafficking.


Jamie is co-author of Living Justice: Revolutionary Compassion in a Broken World (2007) and co-author/editor of  Nurturing the Prophetic Imagination (2012).