BA in Christian Ministries, Indiana Wesleyan University
MM in in Pastoral Ministries, Bethel College
MA in Communication, Spring Arbor University
EdD in Adult Education, Nova Southeastern University
Dr. Richard Harris brings extensive expertise and experience to Southeastern from a wide variety of areas. Having served as a senior pastor for 31 years in Illinois, Indiana and Florida and having taught public speaking at Purdue University and Spring Arbor University, he is now the lead professor for speech in the Department of Communication at SEU. He teaches Fundamentals of Public Speaking, Honors Public Speaking and Advanced Public Speaking. He also holds the distinction of being one of approximately 125 “Certified World Class Speech Coaches” worldwide, having gone through extensive training with several “World Champions of Public Speaking.”
In addition to his work in the Department of Communication, Dr. Harris has also taught Homiletics (preaching) for the Barnett College of Ministry & Theology and graduate-level courses for the College of Education at SEU.
Dr. Harris has also served in various administrative roles during his years at SEU. He served as associate director for academic programs for the Division of Continuing and Adult Education and previously as director of evening programs.
Apart from his academic pursuits, Dr. Harris is also well-known for his pre-Christian days when he served as the leader of the largest underground terrorist organization in the Midwestern United States for several years in the 1970s. In 1978, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and renounced all ties to the terrorist group. He documents his experiences in his book, One Nation Under CURSE,which won the 2012 Reader’s Favorite Award for best nonfiction religion/philosophy book.
A popular speaker on college campuses and in church and corporate settings, Dr. Harris speaks on his dramatic transformation as well as the “Three Essential Skills for Success: Thinking, Speaking and Persuading.” He captivates his audiences with stories they’ll never hear anywhere else and challenges them with lessons he has learned on his journey from terrorist leader to pastor and educator.
In the classroom, Dr. Harris is passionate about the subjects he teaches and seeks to provide a safe, high-energy atmosphere where students can learn real-world life skills that will advance them in their careers.
He and his wife, Tricia, have been married since 1982 and have two daughters, both graduates of SEU.