Before coming to Canberra, from 1987 to 2003 he was Professor and Head of the School of Theology at Griffith University in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Professor of New Testament Studies and Principal at Trinity Theological College, Brisbane, and Dean and President of the Brisbane College of Theology.
From 1985 to 1987 he was Uniting Church Parish Minister in Darwin, Australia, and lectured at Nungalinya College, Darwin, the ecumenical college for Aboriginal Ministry training and research in Australia.
Prior to that, he served, from 1972 to 1985, as Minister and Theological Lecturer and Professor in Halmahera, Indonesia, as a Missionary and Minister of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and a Minister of the Evangelical Christian Church in Halmahera, Indonesia. Since 1985 until the present he has been Visiting Lecturer and Visiting Professor at the Theological College of the GMIH (STT-GMIH) and the University of Halmahera (Universitas Halmahera). He has also been Visiting Professor in the Postgraduate Programme of the Christian University of Indonesia at Tomohon, Sulawesi, and in the South-East Asia Graduate School of Theology (SEAGST) during those years. He continues to be a Minister of the Halmahera Church, in addition to being a Minister of the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA).
He served as national President of the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) from 2000 to 2003, and was Chairperson of the National Heads of Churches of Australia, also from 2000 to 2003. He served as President of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) from 2003 to 2006.
Professor Haire has been active in ecumenism, and was from 1992 to 2004 Co-Chair of the National Dialogue between the Uniting Church in Australia and the Roman Catholic Church in Australia. Since 2002 he has been a member of the Joint International Commission between the Vatican and the World Methodist Council (MCRIC). He was one of twenty theologians from the Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed traditions invited to the Vatican to discuss the “Harvesting the Fruits” document with the Roman Catholic Church )(Pontifical Council for the Promoting of Christian Unity,PCPCU) in 2010. From 2005 to 2010 he was a Member of the Executive, General and Personnel Committees of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA). He was a Delegate from the Uniting Church in Australia to the Fifth Conference on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches at Santiago de Compostelo, Spain, in 1993, and a Delegate from the Uniting Church in Australia to the Uniting General Council (UGC) of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, in 2010. He gave a D.T. Niles Memorial Lecture as Keynote Speaker at the CCA Assembly in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2005. He also was a Main Speaker at the Maramon Convention in India in 2005, and an Official Guest at the Ninth Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2006.
He has been involved in inter-faith dialogue in both Indonesia and Australia, and has spoken extensively at inter-faith conferences internationally, including being a Keynote Speaker at the Fifth Asia Pacific Regional Interfaith Dialogue hosted by the Governments of Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and The Philippines in Perth, Australia in 2009. Among other things, he has lectured at the State Islamic Institute (Sekolah Tinggi Agama Islam Negeri (STAIN)) in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, and has engaged in inter-faith dialogue with His Excellency K. H. Abdurrachman Wahid (Gus Dur), former President of the Republic of Indonesia. He was also involved in peace and reconciliation discussions between Christians and Muslims in the Molucca Islands, Indonesia, between 2001 and 2005, after the violent communal conflict there. In 2009 he was involved with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in the conference related to the commissioning of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. He became a Presidential Friend of Indonesia in 2010, at the invitation of His Excellency Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia.
Professor Haire was born and brought up in Northern Ireland, and was a Member and Minister of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, before he became a Minister of the Uniting Church in Australia in 1985. He has also been a Minister of the Evangelical Christian Church in Halmahera, Indonesia (GMIH) since 1972.
He was a Scholar at the University of Oxford (Worcester College)(First Open Exhibition in Classics), and graduated with Honours and Masters degrees in Theology (BA Hons, MA) from Oxford (where he also rowed). He did postgraduate work in Leiden, the Netherlands (GradDipMiss, Hendrik Kraemer Instituut), and graduated with a PhD in Theology from the University of Birmingham. He received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Divinity (DD honoris causa) from the Presbyterian Theological Faculty Ireland/Queen’s University, Belfast in 1999, the Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University (DUniv honoris causa) from Griffith University, Australia in 2000, the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt honoris causa) from The University of Ulster, UK in 2006, and the Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University (DUniv, honoris causa) From the Australian Catholic University in 2011. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College, The University of Queensland in 2011. He became a Knight of St John (KSJ) in 2000, and a Rotary Honorary Peace Ambassador in 2001. He was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal by the Australian Government in 2003, and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2006.
He has been on the Advisory Boards of six international theological journals, based in Scotland, Ireland, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia and the United Kingdom. He was Editor of Colloquium from 1990 to 1992. He has been a Member of the Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI) at Princeton, USA since 2009. He has been an examiner for PhDs and DrTheol degrees, and an assessor for university academic promotion, in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Indonesia and The Netherlands. He has published widely internationally, in monographs, Festschriften, book chapters and theological and other academic journals, in English, Dutch and Indonesian. In 2010 he was appointed by the Government of Victoria, Australia, as a Member of the Panel to assess a proposal for a new specialist university in Victoria.