Showing God’s wonderful design and purpose
“I have the freedom to teach creation, showing God’s wonderful design and purpose in His plants and animals. The students are my ministry,” said Dr. Margene Ranieri, a member of the biology faculty at BJU. Her mission is “to train students to think like scientists.”
God’s leading to BJU
For her, teaching at BJU is a ministry, rather than a job. Before she came here, she studied at California State University, Chico, where she had a Christian roommate and a professor who also was a believer. They both shared the Gospel with her, and that is how she was saved. She was hired as a research plant geneticist for the United States Forest Service in Mississippi.
In 1979, at a Bible study, she met Dr. Kathleen Crispin, former head of the nursing department. They established a friendship before Dr. Crispin moved to BJU for a job she accepted in 1981.
With the support of the U.S. Forest Service, Dr. Ranieri received her PhD at the University of Florida and then continued her work with the U.S. Forest Service. God placed BJU on her mind, and she started to read a copy of the BJU Catalog.
“At the time, teaching positions were very hard to come by, but I started praying about teaching at BJU,” said Dr. Ranieri. “Not knowing of this desire, Dr. Crispin called me 3 weeks later and said that BJU needed a botany professor.
Seeing God’s power and majesty
Dr. Ranieri wants her students to leave her classroom “seeing God’s power and majesty in His Creation.”
“His wisdom is in all of His creatures, plants and animals,” she said.
In her spare time, Dr. Ranieri enjoys being with her husband and 2 daughters, cooking, hiking, star/satellite-gazing and meteorology. Her favorite Scripture passage to meditate on is Exodus 33:11a: “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend.”
“I like this verse because God considered Moses a friend and actually spoke to him face to face,” she said. “We have this same privilege with His Son Jesus Christ who has said, ‘I have called you friends.’ This is wonderful to meditate upon!”