About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, and also a retired Professor of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies.

He received his PhD in 1981 at Duke University, writing his dissertation on “The Devotional Life of John Wesley: 1703-38.”  In addition to writing on this topic, Steve included John Wesley’s Prayer Manual in his dissertation, being the first person to transcribe the document into a fully-readible text from its original form in which John Wesley used shorthand and symbols to economize space.  The Prayer Manual provides an early look into Wesley’s devotional life, during the years of 1727-32.

Wesleyan spurituality has served not only as a focal point in Steve’s ministries, but also as a window through which to view the many streams of Christian spirituality, the spiritualities of other world religions, and beyond all these to the Perennial Tradition, from which all religions have arisen.

From this research, Dr. Harper has written more than thirty books directly related to Wesley Studies, and to a variety of subjects related to Christian Spiritual Formation.  You can find out more about these by clicking the “My Books” link on the righthand sidebar of the Oboedire home page.

In addition to his 30-year teaching ministry, Steve has served for over 50 years as a youth minister, pastor, evangelist, and seminary Vice President/Dean.  He has taught in multiple colleges, universities, and seminaries in The United States and elsewhere in the world.  Until his retirement, he was also a frequent speaker at camps, conferences, and retreats.

He has been married to Jeannie since 1970–the love of his life and ‘ezer’ in every aspect of his life and ministry.  They are the parents of two children (John and Katrina), grandparents of Zoe, Isaac, and James, and in-laws to Allison and Chris.  It doesn’t get any better than that!