Antipas L. Harris is the founder and president and dean of the Urban Renewal Center (URC) in Norfolk, Virginia. He is the former founding president and dean of Jakes Divinity School and served on the pastoral staff at The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas. Harris is an ordained minister, a theological educator, and a musician.
Harris has ministered in many churches across the United States and Canada as well as in Germany, Mexico, Nigeria, Angola, and South Africa. In his 30 years of ministry, Antipas has mentored ministers and pastors in leadership and through personal crises.
Antipas is a sought-after speaker on topics related to leadership, community engagement, spirituality, theology, biblical studies, and social justice. He has numerous articles, chapters and monographs.
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Harris takes seriously the biblical command to equip people of faith for the work of ministry. He has studied at a wide range of universities, including Harvard, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, Boston College. He holds academic credentials – Bachelor of Arts from LaGrange College, Master of Sacred Theology from Yale Divinity School, Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Doctor of Ministry from Boston University School of Theology, and Doctor of Philosophy from St. Thomas University – Dr. Antipas welcomes opportunities for advanced knowledge through international travel and global missions.
At the Urban Renewal Center in Norfolk, Virginia, Harris leads a research team and a community engagement team in initiatives that address the intersection of faith, justice, and community development. As professor, Harris serves as part-time Professor of Religious Studies at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
Leadership and Ministry
As as a community development organization, the URC cares about the narratives, situations, and conditions of people’s lives.
The URC sees congregations as an essential part of neighborhoods, communities and city life. The faith community has a valuable role beyond their walls to advance the quality of life in the city. Developing partnerships is the center’s modus operandi. We partner with both congregations and other organizations in the community to pursue several collaborative initiatives. The First Presbyterian Church of Norfolk is the center’s launching partner.
A passion for teaching and scholarship drives Harris’ deep commitment to spiritual formation and societal transformation. Antipas is approachable, compassionate, and faithful. He loves to help people.
Leadership and Ministry
Antipas is the President and Dean of Jakes Divinity School and serves on the pastoral staff at the Potter’s House in Dallas, TX.
Antipas has a passion to fulfill God’s purpose for his life. His motto is “Rise to the Call. A talented communicator and a passionate minister of the gospel, Antipas has served on the pastoral staffs at A House of the Living God, Church of Jesus Christ and Abundant Life Christian Center in Georgia and at Cornerstone Christian Center and Christ Chapel New Testament Church in Connecticut. He has also served as Theologian in Residence at the First Presbyterian Church of Norfolk, VA. From pulpits to the street corners, to churches, to large arenas, he loves to share the good news, inspiring people toward their own success and offering guidance on their spiritual journey.
Antipas was the founding Dean of the Urban Renewal Center in Norfolk, VA. The URC led several initiatives that intersected law enforcement, the interfaith community, roundtables with ecumenical Christian leadership, summits to address the opioid epidemic, panels on racial healing and violence toward women, and more.
Additionally, while in seminary, Antipas has served as chaplain-intern in an all women state prison in Atlanta, GA. He continued his service in prison ministry at the New Haven Correctional Center in Connecticut. As a professor at Regent University, Antipas led a team of students in ministry efforts that supported the homeless.
Antipas creatively weaves scholarship, everyday experiences and theology with passion. He connects well with a variety of audiences in a personal way. He has been a mentor for young people and college students and a friend to the homeless and downtrodden.
Antipas has also taught in a master’s degree program at Sing Sing Prison, which is a maximum-security facility in Ossining, NY. Also, he has taught at continuing education level for pastors and ministers in pursuit of refresher courses to enhance their ministries.
He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham, England. Dr. Antipas has also served as a “Visiting Professor” at Vanguard University. Also, Antipas has served as the Moen Preaching Chair at North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dr. Antipas has served several universities, including Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, New York Theological Seminary, Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA, Portland Seminary and Regent University, where he was a tenured associate professor.
Pushing the theological envelope, Dr. Antipas’ current research centers on two primary interests: black Pentecostalism and the Holy Spirit and social justice. His books include, Holy Spirit, Holy Living, The Gifted Worshipper. He has three edited volumes that include, The Holy Spirit & Social Justice: Interdisciplinary Global Perspectives (Volume 1 – Scripture & Theology and Volume 2 – History, Race & Culture) and The Mighty Transformer: The Holy Spirit Advocates for Social Justice.
Recent peer-reviewed article, “Emerging African American Sources in Public Theology,” appeared in the Journal of Public Theology, while another, “Black Folk Religion in Black Holiness Pentecostalism,” appeared in the Journal of Pentecostal Theology. His writings have contributed to the academy and the church. They have been used to inform the individual’s search for spiritual relevance and lasting transformation.
Antipas is an ardent writer. He has authored several publications, including books, chapters, peer refereed articles, op-eds, and newspaper columns. Titles of his books include, Unstoppable Success, Holy Spirit, Holy Living, Gifted Worshipper and his most recent two-volume series on the Holy Spirit and Social Justice. Some of his articles and social commentaries have been published in the Washington Post, The Christian Post, Religion News Service, the Virginian Pilot, and Sojourner.
Also, Antipas presents scholarly papers at professional conferences and meetings and special lectures as colleges and universities. Some of them include the Society for Pentecostal Studies Annual Meeting, the COGIC Scholars Forum, Empowered 21: Global Congress on Holy Spirit Empowerment in the 21st Century (Converge 21 USA), Hampton Ministers Conference; Hampton University, African Christian Diaspora Conference: Frankfurt Oder, Germany, and the Leadership Conference at the Empowerment Academy in Pretoria, South Africa.
Antipas has been recognized for his hard work, academic excellence, innovative leadership, and so much more on several occasions.
To name a few:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently honored him with the Director Christopher Wray’s Community Leadership Award for his leadership in the Hampton Roads region;
The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities awarded the Distinguished Merit Award to Hands United Building Bridges (HUBB), an initiative that Antipas and Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz co-founded;
The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) awarded him with the “Raising The Standards Faith and Education Award;”
He was named among the John Maxwell’s list of the top 30 Leaders in the nation;
Regent University honored him as Outstanding Faculty;
The International Top 100 Magazine named him as a top 100 International Leader for his efforts in global ministry, higher education and community outreach;
LaGrange College named him to Wall of Outstanding Alumni;
Inside Business has named him in their list of the Top 40 Under 40 of Hampton Roads.