Dr. Rich Melheim

Dr. Rich Melheim

Dr. Rich Melheim grew up on the plains of North Dakota but never did own a pickup with a gun rack.

An entrepreneur, author, semiotician, cartoonist, comedian, speaker, publisher, playwright, songwriter, family counselor, business systems consultant, amateur complexity theorist, log cabin builder, preschool designer, and student of the human brain, Melheim has written and produced 7 musical comedy stage plays, authored two dozen books, produced 24 music albums, created an international preschool education project with 535 songs, taught in 1000 cities on five continents, and appeared on 50 network television news shows from WNBC-NY to KTLA to CNN consulting on family issues.

With a BA in Journalism (UND – 1977), an MDiv in Theology (Luther Seminary – 1981) and a doctorate in Semiotics and the Future (George Fox – 2013), Rich has invested his life in creating education systems that pull parents into the core of children, youth and family systems “every night in every home.”

Rich is the founder and initiating force behind:

• RICH Learning Global & the RICH Learning International Foundation (www.richlearning.com
• Faith Inkubators & the Faith Inkubators Foundation (www.faithink.com
• FAITH5 (www.faith5.org
• The Cross+Gen Movement (www.crossgenconference.com)
• Luther the Rock Opera (www.lutherstudy.com)
• New Silk Road Studios & Baby Silkworm (www.babysilkworm.com)

• Amazing Grace Experience 2020 (www.agx2020.com)

His latest books include:

Mandarin RICH Learning: Brain-Based Learning on Arts-Based Platforms (Translated and updated)

Let’s Kill Sunday School (and birth the Cross+Gen Movement), Volume 3

Luther: The Graphic Novel & Rock Opera

Let’s Kill Sunday School (and birth Cross+Gen Ministries), Volume 2

RICH Learning: Brain-Based Learning on Arts-Based Platforms

Let’s Kill Sunday School (before it kills the church), Volume 1

Holding Your Family Together: 5 Simple Steps to Keeping Your Family Closer to God and Each Other

And coming in 2020
The Meaning of Meaning in a Post-Gutenberg/Neo-Google World


Richard Alan Melheim

Born: Bottineau, ND, 10/10/55

Early Elementary: Fargo/Moorhead Area

Jr./Sr. High School: Williston, ND (Graduated in 1974)

BA/Journalism: Grand Forks, UND (Phi Beta Kappa, Outstanding Journalist 1977)

Masters: MDiv, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN (Graduated in 1981)

Doctorate in Semiotics and Future Studies, George Fox, Portland, OR (Spring 2013)

Served Ministries in: Trinity, Owatonna, MN (1981-89), Trinity, Stillwater, MN (1990-93) , Specialized Ministry Call/St. Paul Area Synod (ELCA)/Lutheran Leadership Institute (1993-94) , Specialized Ministry Call/St. Paul Area Synod (ELCA)/ Faith Inkubators (1993-2018)

Founder: Faith Inkubators (1994 - Present); Faith Inkubators Endowment (2004 - Present), Faith Inkubators Foundation (2005 - Present), The Preschool Incubators Project (2008 - 2012) , The FAITH 5 (2009 - Present); RICH Learning (2014 -Present)

Co-Founder: Salt Lick Productions, LLC: A film and media company (2005 - Present) , He Qi Arts, LLC: An art company for Dr. He Qi's www.heqigallery.com (2004 - Present)

Writing: Humor for Doubleday Mainstreet Books, Children's Books for Creative Outlet; Dramas and ministry articles for Group Publishing, The Clergy Journal & Lutheran Partners , Curriculum for Concordia Publishing and Faith Inkubators ; Marketing/Business Writing for various publications

Musical Stage Plays Written & Produced: Luther (2017); This Christmas Morning: A Comedy of Christmas Tragedies (1992), The Best: A Comedy on Suicide (1988), Restless (1986), A Little Bit Touched (1984), A Tap On The Window (1982), The Journey of the King (1980)

Satellite TV: Head to the Heart Telecast Series

Videos Produced: Sex, Drugs & Fast Cars - Your Body's a Temple, Faith Incubators Teacher Training Series, Faith Stepping Stones , Bald Arnold & the Fiendish Plotling, Conformation (sic!) Is Dead

Awards: Youth Specialties Outstanding Youth Ministry Innovator - Jack Young Award (1998), Ben Franklin Humor Award - Publishers Marketing Assn. (1994) , Stillwater Jaycees Outstanding Young Man of the St. Croix Valley (1994), International History Week Literary Achievement Award (1993).


NPR-Morning Edition, CNN , Donahue, Montel, Rolanda, Leeza , The Osgood Files , 50 network news shows from WNBC - New York to KTLA - LA.


In his speaking life, Rich teaches and counsels parents and teens how to survive adolescence, educators how to rethink education systems, and business leaders how to survive and thrive on change.

Melheim's speaking style is described as 1/3rd stand-up comedy, 1/6th brain science, 2/9ths systems theory, 1/4 pithy, practical, applicable and directly to the point, 1/12th shouting, 3/16 chaos theory applied to intellectually challenging your audience, and whatever is left over is dedicated to making you laugh, cry and think.

Melheim is a regular keynoter and teacher at business, education, church, and family conferences and seminars. His favorite speaking topics include:

A. Business and Educational Keynotes

1. Teaching the Way the Brain Learns Best (RICH Learning: Brain-based learning on Arts-based platforms).

2. Designing with the Young Mind in Mind (Destroying Your Concept of Education and Starting Over with Something Fun that Actually Work)

3. Rethinking Stinking Systems (Systems Theory and How Not to Kill Each Other in the School or Workplace)

4. Making a Living or Making a Life?

5. Complexity Theory and How the Worst Things that Happen to You Can Turn Out to Be the Best

6. Rethinking Preschools on a Performance Arts Platform (How to translate "watch me, mommy!" into the foundation for all learning)

B. Church Conferences Keynotes

1. Cross+Gen Ministry (Connecting the Wisdom of the Elder and the Wonder of the Child every week in every church)

2. FAITH5 (Five simple steps to keeping your families together in a world that can tear them apart)

3. The Life of the Mainline after the Death of the Mainline

4. The Fifth Church (Reengineering the Institutional Church for the Postmodern World)

5. Conformation (sic!) is Dead (Rebuilding a Confirmation Ministry that Retains Both the Kid and the Information)

6. Music, Bible, Muscles & Memory (How to Teach God's Word at a Cellular Level so Kids will Never Forget It)

7. How to Be a Senior Pastor Without Being a Jerk

8. How to Kill the Pied Piper Youth Worker Before the Pied Piper Youth Worker Kills You

C. Marriage, Parenting and Teens Keynotes

1. Sex, Drugs & Fast Cars (Your Body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit)

2. The Secret Formula for Surviving Adolescence

3. Working on the Dream (How to Create a Dream Relationship with your Teen)

4. The Cow & the Haystack (How to Become Your Child's Impact Adult and Faith Mentor)

5. God and Science (How can there be a God? And how can their not be a God? And it this God the God of the Bible?)

6. Marriage Without Murder


Since his heart stopped and they had to pound him back to life on June 29, 2007, Rich's time is limited (Hey, so is yours!) He now only takes a handful of speaking engagements each year, but he would be happy to consider keynoting your conference or seminar if time, schedules and strategic interests align. Contact ajmelheim@faithink.com or call 1-888-55FAITH (553-2484) for a request for dates and rates.