Asked why she does what she does, Lisa Sharon Harper’s answer is clear: “So that the church might be worthy of the moniker ‘Bride of Christ’.” Through preaching, writing, training, network development, and public witness Ms. Harper engages the church in the work of justice and peacemaking. For example: Ms. Harper helped build the Evangelical Immigration Table from 2011-2013. She fasted for 21 days as a core faster with the 2013 immigration reform Fast for Families, trained and catalyzed evangelicals in St. Louis to engage the 2014 push for justice in Ferguson and did the same in Baltimore in 2015.
Behind the scenes, Ms. Harper manages Christian networks and develops coalitions focused on racial justice, environmental justice, foreign policy, and evangelical public witness.
Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, The Christian Post, Sojourners’ God’s Politics Blog, Sojourners Magazine, The National Civic Review, Huffington Post, Relevant Magazine, and Patheos.com where she has written extensively on poverty, immigration reform, health care reform, racial and gender justice, and transformational civic engagement.
Ms. Harper’s Faith in Action training has activated people of faith across the U.S. and around the world to address structural and political injustice as an outward demonstration of their personal faith.
Having earned her masters degree in Human Rights from Columbia University in New York City, Ms. Harper's books include: Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican…or Democrat (2008, The New Press); Left, Right & Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics, co-written with D.C. Innes (an evangelical Republican who is also a Tea-Partier), (2011, Elevate Publishing); and Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith (2014, Zondervan).
Ms. Harper’s next book, The Very Good Gospel, is due for release June 2016, by WaterBrook Multnomah (a division of Random House).
Ms. Harper co-founded and co-directed the Envision 2008: The Gospel, Politics, and the Future conference on the campus of Princeton University (June 2008) and co-chaired the Envision 2011: Caring for the Community of Creation: Environmental Justice, Climate Change, and Prophetic Witness symposium in New York City (June 2011). She currently serves as the program director for The Summit for Change, Sojourners annual convening of 350 top leaders of multiple justice movements. Summit participants dig for deeper understanding, share best practices, and build relationships that can lead to common future action.
Ms. Harper was the recipient of Sojourners’ Organizers Award and the Harlem “Sisters of Wisdom” Award in 2009. She was celebrated on Rick Warren’s website Purposedriven.com in 2010 as one of his inaugural seven “Take Action Heroes.” Ms. Harper was named “#5 of the Top 13 Women to Watch in 2012” by the Center for American Progress, was awarded the 2013 Faith and Justice Leadership Award by the National Black Women’s Roundtable, was awarded the National Council of La Raza Capital Award for Public Service in 2013 and was recognized in 2015 as one of “50 Powerful Women Religious Leaders to Celebrate on International Women’s Day” by the Huffington Post.
Ms. Harper is currently in the ordination process with the Evangelical Covenant Church.