2020 Recipients

Betty Marlin

Elizabeth Mary "Betty" Marlin, DUCTS, DD, CCCS

Order of St. Stephen's College

Elizabeth Mary “Betty” Marlin is honoured with the Order of St. Stephen’s College in recognition of her life-long commitment to the vision of justice and compassion in the vocation of diaconal ministry in the United Church of Canada.  Diaconal ministry is a ministry of education, service, and pastoral care: for Betty, the core vision of justice and compassion was part of all three elements.  Throughout her life, Betty has had a major influence on the diaconal community, particularly in the western Canadian provinces.  Early in her ministry, Betty was part of a small group of diaconal ministers who pushed for the formation of a diaconal association.  This led to the establishment in 1984 of the association of practitioners of diaconal ministry, known as “Diakonia of the United Church of Canada” (DUCC).  In the late-1980s and early 1990s, Betty was instrumental in both establishing and coordinating the Western Field-Based Diaconal Ministry Program, which was sponsored by St. Stephen’s College (1989–1996).  This work in western Canada was followed up by four years in Zambia where she taught at the United Church of Zambia Theological College, contributing to the training of students studying for ordained and diaconal ministry.  Throughout her life, she has been an active member of the United Church of Canada, working and/or volunteering in various capacities in both Alberta and Saskatchewan.  Notably, as Conference Staff in Social Ministry, Betty was active in the development and training of the Sexual Abuse and Harassment Committee, in education and advocacy for the LGBTQ2+ community, and in the promotion of language and action that builds gender equality in church life and beyond.  Betty has previously been recognised with a Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) from St. Andrew’s College (1999) and as a Companion of the Centre for Christian Studies (2006).