As a young boy growing up in Hamilton, Aren Plante watched his dad wake up every day and head to city hall where he worked as a public servant in local government. Hoping one day to become a pastor, Plante had no idea that his decision to study at Redeemer would divert his path right back to the one he had seen displayed in front of him his whole life through his dad.
Compelled by some transformative conversations with Redeemer professors Vreugdenhil, Koyzis and Flatt during a campus visit day, Plante decided — despite his determination to move away from his hometown to pursue post-secondary education — he couldn’t help but be a part of what was happening at Redeemer.
In 2015, Plante’s journey at Redeemer began. But what he thought was his clear path to a career in pastoral work quickly diverted that summer when he took a job as a summer student with the City of Hamilton. It was here that he found his vocation and calling: local government.
“During this life-changing season I became determined to serve my community as a public servant,” says Plante. “I realized how essential the government closest to the people is in providing public services.”
From here, Plante’s excitement for local government only grew, impacting each decision he’d make thereafter. From declaring a major in history and political science and a minor in English literature, to participating in the Oxford Study Programme, each step brought him closer to the unique work to which God was calling him.
After graduating with honours in 2019, Plante received several offers to study at graduate schools across the country, including the University of Western Ontario where he ultimately received his masters of public administration. Thriving in his studies, Plante received the Andrew Sancton Academic Award for achieving the highest GPA in his program.
During this life-changing season I became determined to serve my community as a public servant.
“Winning the award is really a testament to how well Redeemer prepared me for graduate-level studies since I had over 50 students in my program, many of whom were already senior leaders or experienced professionals in municipal government,” shares Plante.
Today, Plante spends his days doing what he loves in his work as a legislative coordinator in the clerks and by-law department of Norfolk County. And though his role leads him to esteemed tasks like administering municipal elections and performing civil marriages, his greatest joy remains his ability to live out God’s call given in Jeremiah 29:7, to seek the peace and prosperity of the place where he lives.
“I see municipalities as agents for God’s common grace. Christian and non-Christian residents benefit from public services like good roads to drive on, safe parks to take their kids to, and clean drinking water to enjoy. As a public servant in the neo-Calvinist tradition, I see the square inch I am called to work in is developing good public policy, which benefits all members of a political community.”