Synergy is the completion of a dream birthed in the heart of Doctor Mike Harrison in the early 1980s. At that time, Doctor Mike was the Pastor of a local church called Agape Church. It was his heart’s desire to see strong leaders in congregations in the community and around the world. Doctor Mike started Agape Bible Institute, which trained leaders from across the region, for over twelve years. Dozens of churches and para church ministries came out of this Bible College. He also helped to form several successful Bible Schools in other places as well.
In 2006, Doctor Mike moved his ministry headquarters to Palm Desert, California where he began building a powerful church. This church demonstrates a shift in Doctor Mike’s understanding of church-planting. The church has exploded to over 400 people in only two and a half years through this newfound model of leadership. He is focused on a new generation.
After partnering with his pastor, Doctor Stephen Vickers, Doctor Mike felt a stir to launch a school of ministry, not only in Palm Desert, California, but in local churches across the globe. Going after the new generation is a key factor in his new successful church plant; therefore, the decision was made to consult the new generation about changing the name of the school. Everyone settled on “Synergy.”
Synergy means, “two or more things working together to accomplish something that otherwise couldn’t be attained alone.” The idea of Synergy is profound. One horse can pull around 2,000 pounds. Another horse in the same stable can also pull about 2,000 pounds. But if you hook them up side by side, they feed off of each other’s energy and work as a team to pull around 8,000 pounds. It has yet to be seen what can happen if we attain real Synergy in the greatest force on the earth - the Church!
Mike Harrison | President of Palm Desert Campus
Dr. Mike Harrison, with his wife Stephanie Harrison, have been in ministry for more than 34 years. They have planted numerous churches and bible schools. Mike has acted as church planting coach for several new churches and has been a consultant for Christian educational institutions. Mike is a 1980 graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. He holds Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. He also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Southern California Christian College for his accomplishments in church planting, Christian education, and leadership training. The Harrisons have held leadership seminars, marriage conferences, and bible teaching classes abroad. Mike is an adjunct professor at Oral Roberts University teaching public speaking classes at both the masters and doctoral levels. Mike and Stephanie have recently planted a new church called Church212° in Palm Desert, CA. They have been married since 1975; they have four children and seven grandchildren.
Chris Harrison | President of Cullman Campus
Pastor Chris was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1977. He knew from the early age of five that there was a calling upon his life with a passion to reach people for Christ. Chris graduated from Agape Bible Institute in 1995 and entered full-time ministry shortly thereafter. Chris has served in several different capacities including; worship leader, Christian Education Director, Evangelism Director, Executive Pastor and Senior Pastor of the Rock Christian Center in Sylacauga, Alabama. Chris and Heather were married in 1996 and have three daughters, Anna, Natalie and Melody. Their lives have been filled with many miracles and God has transformed them into the people they are today. God uses their testimony of miraculous restoration to bring a message of hope to marriages everywhere. Chris is the Lead Pastor of Church212º in Cullman, Alabama as well as being the Executive Director for Agape Ministries, a church planting and missions organization based in Indio, California, President of Synergy School of Ministry, Cullman Campus, and Missions Mobilization Director for Harvest Churches International.
Shana Howard | Director of Admissions of Palm Desert Campus
Shana has been passionately serving in ministry for the past eight years. She has a real desire to see people connected with Jesus, each other and the Word of God so they can live the life God intended. Her ministry has ranged from creating small group DVD series, assisting in the publication of two Christian books, collaborating on a team for a Christian TV show and co-hosting a local radio show. Shana is the Small Group Pastor at Church212º Palm Desert and Director of Admissions for Synergy University School of Ministry, Palm Desert Campus. She is an exciting speaker and a passionate Bible teacher. Shana has a B.S. in Communications from Cal Poly, Pomona and a School of Ministry degree from Synergy University. Shana has one son, Evan. Together, they are serving God joyfully.