North Central College - Naperville, IL

Robert J. Harman

Class Year: 
1959

Wall of Witness Award Winner 2010

The Reverend Robert J. Harman ’59 is a distinguished leader in the United Methodist Church (UMC) and an author, historian and visionary for global Christianity. He has lived his life witnessing for the values of civil rights, social justice and worldwide evangelism. While serving an inner-city Chicago congregation, he marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and witnessed King’s attempts to improve open housing laws. Robert personally experienced civil disobedience by getting arrested during one such march and spending the night in jail.

An ordained elder of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference of the UMC, Robert has served in rural, urban and suburban churches. He has focused his faith and passion on global missions, serving as the chief administrative officer for the world mission program of the UMC’s General Board of Global Ministries. In that role, he supervised mission workers in 70 countries and a $21 million budget. He retired from the board in 2000.

After graduating from North Central College in 1959 with a degree in English, Robert earned a master of divinity degree from Evangelical Theological Seminary, now Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He also earned a master’s degree from New York University’s School of Public Administration.

Robert and his wife, Marcia ’59, are steadfast supporters of the College and enjoy retirement homes in Danbury, WI, and the Edgewater neighborhood in Chicago.