Administrative Team

Staff of the Jefferson Educational Society



Parris  Baker, Ph.D.

Parris Baker, Ph.D.


Parris J. Baker, PhD., MSSA, Associate Professor & Director, Social Work, Mortuary Science, and Gerontology Programs, Department of Criminal Justice & Social Work, Gannon University. He received his undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in social work from Gannon University, Case Western Reserve University, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, and the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work respectively. In 2011 Dr. Baker became the first African American tenured professor at Gannon University. He most recently became Jefferson Education Society Scholar-In-Residence and Harry T. Burleigh & Beyond Fellow.


An ordained elder, Dr. Baker is the senior pastor of Believer’s International Worship Center, Inc., and founder and director of Men of Valor Ministries, Inc., the Abba Fathers Program. Presently, Baker is a consultant with Strategic Consulting Partners charged with conducting a 'diversity, equity, and inclusion' assessment of the City of Erie administration, police and safety, public works, City Council, and City of Erie Stakeholders.


Research interests pursued by Dr. Baker include fathering and fatherhood, community and teenage violence, childhood poverty, cultural diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Baker has co-authored fatherhood curricula: Foundations of Fatherhood, Long Distance Dads, and the Abba Fathers Program. The Fathers Workshop curriculum has been used by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Erie Community Corrections Center (Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance), New Life City Mission, and father support groups across the country.