Institute Faculty

Dr. Michael is Swan-Collins-Allen Professor of World Religion at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, where he has taught since 1978.  He serves as Chair of the Department of Religion and previously served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Ohio Wesleyan.  He has also taught occasionally at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio.  He holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (A.B.) and from Harvard University (M.Div., A.M., & Ph.D.)   Prof. Michael teaches courses focusing on the religious traditions of Asia, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Shintoism.  He also teaches courses on contemporary American religious phenomena and on the Methodist tradition and its founder John Wesley.  His research focuses on the Virashaiva tradition in South India.  He has published a monograph and numerous articles on this religious movement.  Rev. Michael is an ordained member in full connection in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and serves in special appointment by his Bishop at Ohio Wesleyan. He is active at Asbury United Methodist Church in Delaware; and he is involved in community service through Kiwanis International.  Dr. Michael's wife is retired from serving the State of Ohio Medicaid Program; his daughter is the school psychologist at Olentangy Liberty H.S.; and his two grandchildren are elementary students and soccer players in Hilliard.  His hobby is restoring, maintaining, and driving classic British sports cars--especially a sixty-five year old MG TD.