After teaching for over 33 years and spending 22 of these years at ACU, Randy Harris, instructor in the Department of Bible, Missions and Ministry and spiritual director for the College of Biblical Studies, has decided to see what the Lord has planned for him on the other side of retirement.
Harris works in the Siburt Institute and is an avid guest speaker at Chapel services. He has received multiple awards over the years for his time on campus, including Honors Mentor of the Year, Honors Teacher of The Year, Outstanding Faculty Member of the College of Bible and ACU’s Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year.
Harris will remain in Abilene after retirement. He plans to remain working with the ACU Siburt Institute to help young ministers have a contemplative life. He will also be pursuing his own interest in learning to pray from monks, hermits and spiritual masters and plans to write a Systematic Theology.
While reaching out to his former students and current graduate assistant, the amount of uplifting words said about Harris makes evident that he has made an impact on the students and is leaving a mark on this campus.
“Professor Harris is so wise, the way he is so obedient about prayer and living a godly lifestyle is so encouraging,” Sydney Carr, a sophomore ministry and vocation major from Flower Mound, said. “As a Bible major, he gave me such a clear picture of what ministry is and what it should look like. He gave us just practical advice and tools that I’ll take into my career with me. There’s just not enough kind words to describe how sweet and kind and what a great professor he is and man of God.”
Some words that Lexi Jaramillo, a junior mission major from Austin, described him as kind, thoughtful, devoted, funny and a “yes” man.
“Harris is one of the wisest professors I’ve had here at ACU,” Jaramillo said. “I love how he challenges his students in his classes and pushes them to think outside the box, but yet knows how to guide them in a way that points to the truth of Jesus. Memorizing Sermon on the Mount freshman year has been the most impactful thing in my life and still teaches me so many things today. Randy has given so much to ACU and he will be greatly missed as a professor.”
Jaramillo said she is glad she had the opportunity to take some of his classes and gain from his wisdom.
“I remember one time he taught us about intentionally taking the lower place and I believe that he lives that out so well,” Jaramillo said. “His witty and engaging classes are the ones that I will remember most years from now.”
Lane Luttrell, a third-year of Masters of Divinity and Harris’ current grad assistant, said his very favorite memory of Harris in the classroom is when they are going to wrap up, but there is always a 10-minute check-in with how each other is doing.
“Harris is personable, he is easy to talk to, and he is so wise to all,” Carr said.
The word “wise” has been used to describe him by three students, which is a testament to his lifestyle and teaching.
“Dr. Harris is just one of those professors who have ‘mic-drop’ moments in class,” Jaramillo said. “He would say something so profound that you would just want to immediately write what he just said so that you don’t forget it.”
Harris said ACU has been everything he could have hoped for.
“I love the people I work with and ACU has provided me with a constant stream of wonderful young adults to teach and do life with,” Harris said.
Randy Harris has made an impact on Abilene Christian University that will never be forgotten.
“There are more good memories than I can count,” Harris said. “Teaching freshman Bible majors has been a joy, our annual senior blessing experience where we go spend a day with majors getting ready to graduate is always amazing, and being in a covenant group with young men of all majors seeking to live out the Sermon on the Mount has been deeply moving.”