Mary Garman
Professor of Religion

Mary Garman describes herself as, “a Church Historian who is fascinated by current events.” Her research with students has taken many forms, including the Quaker Almanac, a series of audio segments highlighting important people and events from Quaker history. In addition to courses in religion, Mary regularly teaches writing courses for first-year students.

A Quaker, Mary says of teaching at Earlham, “I want to continue to make a contribution to our shared project: preparing students for the world as it is, and the world as it could be and should be.”

Contact Info

Campus Mail
Drawer 64



337 Carpenter Hall


  • Religion
  • African and African American Studies
  • Quaker Studies
  • Women's, Gender, Sexuality Studies


  • Ph.D., Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • M.Min., Earlham School of Religion
  • B.A., Kalamazoo College

When not engaged in full-time teaching I focus my research on friendship as a factor in theological discernment. I also research and write about Quaker women in the past and present. My other project [somewhat related] is the history of College Avenue, the street that runs along the edge of Earlham's campus.

I am primarily a Church Historian who is fascinated by current events. I teach Quakerism by inviting students to study 'Blogs to Bonnets to Blogs.' That means that we focus on current and global issues in Quaker lives, and seek to understand the origins and the futures of those issues. I also teach a course called World Faiths, World News that focuses on the roles of world religions in current events. I have participated in Earlham's writing program for first-year students — my current offering in that area is 'Believing' in America — which looks at the communities of faith in our national past, and also considers the reasons that people 'believe in America' and some of the consequence of those beliefs.

Recent Publications

Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America
Oxford Handbook of Quaker Studies

American Academy of Religions
Friends Association for Higher Education

I came to Earlham because, as a Quaker, I wanted to play a role in Quaker higher education. I was attracted to the mission of the college, and to the students and faculty and staff who are committed to social justice and peace as well as excellence in education. I want to continue to make a contribution to our shared project: preparing students for the world as it is, and the world as it could be and should be.

If there is such a thing as a 'world-wide-student-culture' then I think our students can be placed along a 'continuum of participation' in that culture. Some are involved only slightly in the prevailing fashion, fads, music, values and trends, and some participate more fully in the activities that are related to the youth culture. Almost none of our students are located at the heart of the prevailing youth culture — most of them are, in one way or another, mavericks within their own generation. This is one reason I love teaching here: even the more 'mainstream' students are full of questions about their identities and their futures. They are funny, kind, spontaneous, smart, compassionate and creative.

A group of 4 students and I created the Quaker Almanac, which consists of 3-5 minute audio clips that describe one important Quaker person or moment. It is linked to the Newlin Quaker Center website, and changes each week.

Choral singing. Gathering with friends. Spending time with family. Knitting.

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