Bishop Lanette Plambeck, a Morningside alum and former campus chaplain, was elected on the third ballot at the 2022 North Central Jurisdictional Conference earlier this month.

Bishops are elected for life, but each quadrennium, bishops can be reelected to their area, or to a new area. Bishop Plambeck’s term serving the Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area starts Jan. 1, 2023. She previously served as the Iowa Annual Conference assistant to the Bishop and Director of Clergy and Leadership Excellence.

“If you had asked me a year or even six months ago if I would be running for the Episcopal office, I would have given you a strong, ‘Absolutely not,’” Bishop Plambeck said. “I had served as the assistant to the Bishop and the director of leadership development in the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church and absolutely loved the ministry that I was engaged in, but I had not planned to become a Bishop.”

Though not her plan, Bishop Plambeck credits her Morningside education and the University’s mission with not only helping shape her character, but for equipping her to take on her work and the journey of life.  

“I feel sure that as a student I wasn’t thinking ahead to how the mission statement shaped the education I received, but I do know that Morningside’s dedication to civic responsibility and shaping ethical, moral leaders is about transformation. I certainly see the ways I have lived out that missional Morningside promise,” shared Plambeck. “Things I did on campus ranging from Bible studies to classes to service trips not only equipped me academically, but gave me opportunities to interact with people dealing with very real spiritual issues, mental health issues, homesickness, and other life challenges. It was excellent preparation for working within a multi-generational church environment and being able to tend to wounds of all kinds.”

Bishop Plambeck earned a B.A. in religious studies and political science at Morningside. She also completed her Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis on evangelism at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City. In 2013, Bishop Plambeck received a Doctor of Ministry in church leadership excellence degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

In addition to receiving her undergraduate degree from Morningside, Plambeck served as chaplain and taught on campus. She was also the lead pastor at Broadway United Methodist Church in Council Bluffs, Iowa; First United Methodist in Atlantic, Iowa; Manning United Methodist Church in Manning, Iowa; and Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Granger, Iowa.