Adrian Marlin

Marlin Adrian

Assistant Professor of Religion

Dr. Marlin Adrian was appointed to Salem in 1998. At the time, Dr. Adrian’s wife wanted to stay in the North Carolina/Virginia area where she is from. He said jobs were scarce but Salem had posted a job and he applied. “They chose not to fill the position, but asked me to adjunct, so I drove two nights a week to teach here. When they reopened the search the next year I applied again and, much to my surprise, got the job.”

Dr. Adrian started his teaching career at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas. He later taught at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and Averett College in Danville, Virginia. He has been involved in department and committee leadership at Salem. He serves as chair for the Religion and Philosophy Department and was previously division director of Humanities. Dr. Adrian has also been part of numerous committees, including Curriculum, Tenure and Promotion, Academic Council, Admissions Committee, and Faculty Advisory Board. 

Some of the courses Dr. Adrian teaches include The Religious Dimension, Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, Introduction to the New Testament, Western Religious Traditions, Eastern Religious Traditions, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Religion and Ethics, and Women and Religion. Much of his research and publications have been about the Mennonite denomination.

Dr. Adrian’s family includes wife Marie Clark, a physical therapist at Baptist Hospital, and daughter Stephaine (Zeke) Adrian, a social worker and future drug counselor. The Adrians have two pets—Cyrus, a cat of “remarkable intelligence and prowess,” and the family dog, Charley, a graduate of the Guilford County prison program, who Dr. Adrian describes as his “personal trainer.”

Advice to prospective religion students: “Religion majors are the most interesting people at every party they attend, and can choose from a wide variety of paths after graduation.”

Favorite Books

  • A Canticle for Leibowitz
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  • The Jesus Incident

Favorite Movies

  • Blade Runner
  • Ghost in the Shell 2 Innocence
  • Apocalypse Now

Favorite Quotations

  • “Sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn’t.” ~Old Lodegeskins in Little Big Man
  • “A knower of the Truth
    travels without leaving a trace
    speaks without causing harm
    gives without keeping an account
    The door she shuts, though having no lock, cannot be opened
    The knot she ties, though using no cord, cannot be undone.”~Tao te Ching
  • BA, University of Kansas; MA, Mennonite Biblical Seminary; MA, PhD, University of Virginia