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, having taught since 1980 in many schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools–both in The United States and elsewhere.
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. You can read more about this and see the transcribed Prayer Manual at https://wesley-works.org/online-resources/
Wesleyan spirituality 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 authored and co-authored 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 40-year teaching ministry, Steve’s ministry for 55 years has included serving as a youth minister, pastor, evangelist, seminary dean, and seminary vice president. Until his retirement, he was also a frequent speaker in local churches, and at camps, conferences, and retreats. Now, his primary ministry is writing here on Oboedire and producing the “Heart Sound” podcast series.
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!