Asbury United Methodist Church, Prairie Village, KS (courtesy Triposo.com)
From September 18-21, 2013, The Reformation Project will host our first leadership conference for 50 Christians who support the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the church. The conference will be held at Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. Applications for the 50 spots were due on May 1, 2013. We have recently issued our decisions for the conference and plan to publish them on our website by mid-July.
In June, we will send preparatory materials to those we select to be a part of our inaugural class of reformers. These will include several hundred pages of academic reading materials about the Bible and homosexuality as well as two full-length books on the subject. If selected, applicants must be able and willing to devote a significant amount of time from June through September to studying these materials and participating in weekly discussions about them on a message board that we will set up.
The preparatory materials will not be light reading. Most are written at the college or graduate level. Preparing for this fall’s conference will be equivalent to taking a semester-long undergraduate or seminary course. If this type of study, reading, and discussion is not your strong suit, there will be countless other opportunities for you to get involved in The Reformation Project’s efforts down the line. If this type of work is appealing to you but you do not have sufficient time to devote to it this summer, there will be similar conferences in later years for which you can apply.
The conference itself will consist of three full days of sessions on the following subjects:
- The history of homosexuality in the biblical world
- Genesis 19 (Sodom and Gomorrah)
- Leviticus 18 and 20
- Romans 1
- 1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Timothy 1
- The theology of marriage and celibacy
- Transgender Christians
- Leadership, organizing, and public speaking skills
Esteemed seminary professor Dr. Jim Brownson will lead several of the teaching sessions. Brownson is a professor of New Testament at Western Theological Seminary and the author of the new book Bible, Gender, Sexuality.
We will also be hosting Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, who will screen his new film God Loves Uganda for us at an evening event. The film documents the influence of American missionaries on the LGBT community in Uganda, offering a real-world snapshot of the consequences of biblical interpretation on homosexuality.
The goal of the conference will be to make you a more informed, articulate, and effective spokesperson for your theological position in discussions and debates with other Christians about LGBT issues. You will have to work hard, but you will also get to meet and befriend 49 other amazing Christians who are committed to LGBT equality in the church.
What We Look For In Attendees
- You must be 18 years or older, live in the U.S. or Canada, and agree with our statement of faith.
- We are looking for diversity in age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, geography, nationality, and denomination, among other characteristics.
- Passion for Jesus Christ and for LGBT equality.
- A clear vision for the reforms you hope to make.
- Availability to attend the entire conference from Wednesday, Sept. 18 to Saturday, Sept. 21.
How To Apply
Applications for this fall’s conference are now closed. In order to see the requirements for applying, click here.