Eric Thomas (motivational speaker)

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Eric Thomas
Dr. Eric Thomas.png
Eric D. Thomas

(1970-09-03) September 3, 1970 (age 52)
Alma materOakwood University (B.A.)
Michigan State University (M.A.)
Michigan State University (Ph.D.)
OccupationMotivational speaker; consultant; coach; author; minister
WebsiteEric Thomas Website

Eric D. Thomas (born September 3, 1970[1]) is an American motivational speaker, author, consultant, and minister. Speeches by Thomas are popular on YouTube.[2][3][4]

Early life[edit]

Thomas was born in Chicago, IL and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He was born to a single, teenage mother. After various arguments with his parents and aunts, he dropped out of high school and lived homeless on the streets of Detroit for two years.[5][6][7][8][9][10]

While he was homeless, he met a preacher who inspired him to go back to school and eventually change lives.[9] He also took a job at an Olive Garden on the westside of Detroit.[10] Around this time, Thomas met his wife, De-De Mosley, at the Detroit Center Seventh-day Adventist Church.[10] They then moved to Huntsville, Alabama, attended Oakwood University, and they were married as college students.[10]

Thomas spent twelve years working toward an undergraduate degree at Oakwood and graduated in 2001.[11] While in Huntsville, Thomas preached and set up a program to help underprivileged youth.[10]


Michigan State University[edit]

In 2003, Thomas took a job with Michigan State University (MSU) along with a fellowship to attend MSU to complete his master's degree in K-12 Administration with an emphasis in Educational Leadership. He worked as an academic advisor to disadvantaged students at MSU.[10] At MSU, he helped develop an undergraduate retention program called The Advantage with fellow academic advisor and motivational speaker DeAndre Carter which targeted academically high-risk Black and Latino students. He also served as senior pastor at A Place of Change Ministries (APOC Ministries) in Lansing, Michigan.[12] Thomas attained a master's degree from MSU in 2005, and a PhD in Education Administration in 2015.[13]

Motivational speaker[edit]

After becoming known as a preacher and motivational speaker, Thomas founded a company to offer education consulting, executive coaching and athletic development. Thomas has given motivational talks to collegiate and professional athletes.[14][15][16] Thomas has appeared on Fox News to discuss his work,[17] and portions of his sermons can be heard on the track "Intro" of deep house producers Disclosure's 2013 debut album, Settle, Hip-hop/R&B artist Foster's track "Hard Times" in 2016, and on the intro track "Wins and Losses" to rapper Meek Mill's 2017 album of the same name. In 2020, he reunited with Disclosure to speak on the song "Energy", which was released as the lead track from their third album Energy.


  • The Secret to Success (2011)
  • Greatness Is Upon You: Laying the Foundation (Kindle Edition, 2014) ASIN B00NTGO41S
  • Average Skill Phenomenal Will (2016)
  • You Ain't the Boss of Me (2019)
  • You Owe You (2022)


  1. ^ "Eric Thomas". Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  2. ^ Sarumi, Ahrif (2014-07-17). "Eric Thomas and Tobe Nwigwe Are Mastering Motivation for Youth Culture". Huffington Post. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  3. ^ Toren, Adam (2015-08-11). "6 Must-See Motivational Videos on YouTube". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  4. ^ Lombardi, Matt. "Video: Eric Thomas' Motivational Speech To NC State's Football Team Will Make You Want To Run Through A Wall". College Spun. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  5. ^ Allen, Christopher. "Eric Thomas – Hip Hop Preacher". On The Grind Coach. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  6. ^ Hayes, Princess (2015-07-30). "Eric Thomas 'the hip-hop preacher'". Michigan Chronicle. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  7. ^ Woodyard, Eric. "Motivational speaker Eric Thomas challenges Burton Bentley students to reach for greatness". Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  8. ^ Rose, Lisa. "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: THE TRUTH OF ERIC THOMAS". emPower Magazine. Archived from the original on 22 August 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Eric Thomas Motivational Speaker – Best Quotes, Speeches & Videos!". Fearless Motivation. 2015-05-16. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Rexrode, Joe. "Eric Thomas goes from YouTube sensation to motivating Michigan State teams, and others around the world". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  11. ^ Leebove, Laura. "Building Success". The State News. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  12. ^ "APOC Ministry". Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  13. ^ "Dr. Eric Thomas talks sacrificing "Good" for "Greatness"". WGN Radio. 2015-06-08. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  14. ^ Gribble, Andrew. "Alabama brings in another big-name motivational speaker on off day". Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  15. ^ Slovin, Matt. "Motivational speaker Eric Thomas builds rapport with Hoke, Gardner". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  16. ^ Linafelt, Tim. "Thomas Motivates, Teaches Noles To 'Breathe'". Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  17. ^ DiPiazza, Daniel (2015-09-09). "Stop Calling 20-Somethings "Entitled." It's Not True". HuffPost. Retrieved 28 September 2015.

External links[edit]