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Steve Harper, PhD.

Senior Faculty

Professor of Wesleyan Studies


Director - Wesleyan Studies Program

Dr. Steve Harper is a retired Elder in Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. Over the years, his ministry has taken multiple forms: youth minister, evangelist, pastor, parachurch ministry founder, church agency staff member, and theological educator. in these roles he has preached and taught in churches, conferences, retreats and other settings in The United States and other countries.

The bulk of his ministry has been in theological education, where he served for thirty-two years as a professor, dean, and vice president. He received his PhD in 1981 from Duke University in Historical Theology with a specialization in Wesley Studies, studying under the supervision of Dr. Frank Baker. His teaching fields have been Wesleyan theology and Spiritual Formation.

Steve has been married to Jeannie since April 10, 1970. They are the parents of John and Katrina, in-laws of Allison and Chris, and grandparents of Zoe, Isaac, and James. Steve and Jeannie have been co-laborers in ministry, with a particular emphasis upon the wellbeing of clergy and their spouses through the Shepherd’s Care ministry they began in 1992.  Another joy has been traveling in Jeannie’s “Little Red Truck” and a pop-up camper to all of the 48 continental States and five Canadian provinces.

Steve’s ministry has also included writing. He has authored 23 books and co-authored an additional 19. He has written articles for scholarly journals and popular magazines. He continues to write on his Oboedire blog.

In retirement, Steve seeks to live as an elder, “sitting at the gate,” encouraging those in ministry, and engaging in the ministry of small talk. His involvement at Northwind is in that context.

Married to Jeannie since 1970, they have been engaged in ministry to ministers and their spouses since the mid-1990’s when they founded Shepherd's Care. And more than anything else they are the parents of two children (and in-laws), and three grand children. Travel has been a great joy for them, visiting the 48 continental United States and five Canadian provinces in Jeannie’s “Little Red Truck” and pop-up camper, as well as many foreign countries (especially Spain, multiple times).


As Director of the Wesleyan Studies Program at Northwind, he aims to offer students an experience with progressive Wesleyan theology that will enable them to be engaged in the New Awakening occurring in the world and in the NextChurch re-formation in the Body of Christ.



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