Leaving a Forever Home: Dr. Marian Plant

As Defiance College says goodbye to Dr. Plant after 17 years of employment, she speaks about her background in ministry and her time at the college.

Dr. Marian Plant is the Professor of Religious and Ministry Studies and also Schauffler Chair of Christian Education.

Her role at the college is widespread and diverse. “I’m in charge of the whole religion program. I do most of the courses that relate to what we might be doing in the local church for ministry studies.”

In this program, there are two majors, Religious Studies and Ministry Studies. Dr. Plant teaches a variety of classes. “I teach the old testament, new testament, church history, foundation of Christian education, leadership and group work, program design, curriculum resourcing, theology class, and the fieldwork for juniors and seniors.”

Before Dr. Plant accepted the position at Defiance College, she worked in various areas to build her experience. “I was ordained in 1977, as soon as I finished college in Seminary. I worked in the local church parish, in small parishes, in a big multi-staffed church, and in a medium-sized church.”

Her experience started in Ohio where she then left to pursue a position in one of the Chicago suburb churches. During her time there she discovered her love for teaching.

She explained, “I was really feeling drawn to, to prepare the next generation for doing what we were doing.” Dr. Plant took a leap of faith by leaving her full-time position and pursued a Ph.D. program, which later landed her the job at Defiance College.

When Dr. Plant first arrived at the college, there was another full-time religious professor. At that time she stated, “We would split down the middle in terms of what classes we were teaching. I also ran an online program for nontraditional students just in religious education. So, I had a colleague up until seven or eight years ago when that position was moved to a different department, and then I have inherited all of these classes since.”

Post-retirement plans are already set in stone for Dr. Plant, as she continues to pursue her passion in Christian Education. “I have been a consultant at the regional level and somewhat on a national level in our domination. I want to continue to work with those groups, partially because I was trained and matured through those groups at the same time I was getting all the advanced education.” She ended saying, “This is my passion, so I’ve been doing it as I could while I was here, but that needs to stay in my life.”

Her shares her best wishes to everyone in the religious program. “That leads me to my wish for this program and any program that develops within the religious program to be the best because there’s a reputation out there and some of us are living proof of it that it really makes sense to be the best at the undergrad level.”

Written by Kenzie Hall

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