Have you come out as LGBTQ+ but feel there's still a spark missing?
... that sexuality still feels compartmentalized from spirituality?
... and that your faith isn't as alive, as embodied, as dynamic as you think it could be?
Recover from shame & purity culture, integrate your sexuality and your spirituality, and live even more boldly into both
Here's what you'll get when you enroll today
Registration Closes In
We're going to cover:
Working through shame + Rediscovering ourselves, our bodies, and our desires
Our bodies and our sexualities are a gift, but we’ve been told lies and separated from our goodness. We’re gonna learn some new lessons & skills
The Nuts & Bolts of Creating A Sexual Ethic, Part 1
Tools and tactics for uncovering your values, desires, and boundaries
The Nuts & Bolts of Creating A Sexual Ethic, Part 2
Discovering and articulating an overarching ethic (and what that means for you and your relatonships)
Seeing And Creating Sacred Connections In Sex
How our sexuality pairs with the Gospel, enriches our understanding of it, and can be a faithful way of living into it
Does any of this sound familar?
We've been there too...
Growing up, the church was a huge part of my life. But the more that I realized I liked guys, the less comfortable I felt there. Eventually, I got comfortable enough to come out and I thought that would be it.
I thought I could squeeze my gayness into the same exact faith I’d always had. It’s a well-intentioned thought, one that I know lots of LGBTQ+ Christians have. We don’t want to overhaul our faith just because we’re queer, that’s understandable.
What I found though, is that the faith framework for approaching sex just didn’t work. No matter how small I made my queerness, there still wasn’t enough room. More than that though, the ideas about sex that too many of us are taught — by conservative Christianity, for sure, but also by mainstream secular culture in general, aren’t healthy or helpful.
Neither the messages I heard at church nor the ones I heard in love songs or saw in rom-coms were serving me. So I went back to the Bible, I turned to see how other Christians approached this, and I looked to science for support, too.
Developing a Faithful Sexuality is a multi-step process. It starts with identifying toxic messages and unhelpful thoughts and counterproductive actions. We then move to learning not only what the Bible really says about sex and sexuality, but also what science and psychology says. From there, we build practices that (re)connect us to our bodies and our desires. As we begin to get back in touch with ourselves, we can forge sacred connections between sex and spirituality that lift both to even higher heights.
Sex is not only a natural part of being human for most people, it can also be a pathway for healing, for connecting with others, and for understanding the divine.
How could I start to make healthy decisions about sex when I still had so much shame from growing up in purity culture? Rules that universalized all of sexual practice started to feel constricting. Lists of “this is okay” and “this isn’t” left so much out.
At first I simply tried to do what I had always done: No sex before marriage, masturbation was wrong, try not to think lustful thoughts. But more and more that didn’t seem like enough. I wanted to find an ethic that could grow with me.
And more than that, I didn’t want my faith to be on one side and my sexuality to be totally divorced from faith. I wanted to live an integrated and whole life. Body, mind, and soul. Sex and Spirituality.
It took a lot of years and a lot of trial and error before I realized I could figure out an ethic that made se
nse, that integrated my life, and that grew with me. This course will save you the years of trial and error and get you “closer to fine” faster.
– Fr. Shay
We’ve spent the past 15 years in LGBTQ Christian activism & education: from going toe-to-toe with police and homophobic Christian administrators to helping queer Christians start QSAs on their campus to supporting LGBTQ Christians as they’ve come out and dealt with unaffirming family. From studying theology at Union Theological Seminary to becoming the first openly trans priest in the Old Catholic Church to sharing the queer gospel at colleges and conferences around the country (and once in Prague!). Fr. Shay is an ordained priest and Brian is a certified relationship coach.
We’ve seen a lot.
But you know what: you’ve seen a lot, too. And there is a prophetic word waiting inside of you. When you can integrate your sexuality and your spirituality, everything changes. For you and for those around you.
We’re so excited to share everything we know reconnecting with our bodies, developing a life-giving sexuality, and reigniting our faith so that you can see and understand this holy message, too.
This course will transform your faith and change your life in ways big and small. We hope to see you inside soon.
And so have others...
“I must say that this in that transition period [between going to an unaffirming church and finding a new church home] the courses and community here became, in my mind, the real manifestation of the Body of Christ for me. This space will forever remain in my heart as the place where I learned that I deserved more than tolerance, and could ask God for more grace as manifested in a community ‘in real life’”
– Jon Carl
After years of rejecting Christian scripture because of narrow, imperialist interpretations, Queer Theology has helped me reclaim it as a tool for making meaning in my life.
I joined hoping to find a place to go deeper in my explorations without having to apologize for either my queerness or my Christianity or even my doubts about the divinity of Christ.
It has been all that and more. Truly the community I’ve been searching for. We explore and question together. We celebrate one another’s joys and share in each others tears. And we always know we have a safe place where our whole self is welcome.
"Tricky Questions About Sex" Workshop
This online workshop teaches what the Bible says about sex and gives you a framework for answering questions about specific sexual practices such as masturbation, premarital sex, and pornography.
Whether you’re trying to figure out “how far is too far” or what ethical porn consumption looks like, we’ve got it covered!
You can get off the hamster wheel of “but what about…” and “but I was taught…” and start really living your life and integrating your faith and sexuality.
3 Month Sanctuary Collective Membership
We know the world is a weird place right now and many of us our unable to be in physical community so we want to make our online community, Sanctuary Collective, even more accessible to you.
In addition to connecting with other Faithful Sexuality students, you’ll also be able to engage with the wider Sanctuary Collective community — over 150 amazing people from around the world.
You also get access to the other premium resources inside of Sanctuary Collective: a monthly digital magazine, an LGBTQ Christian Guide to Self Care, a collection of digital books, and our extensive library of on-demand workshops. With more added regularly!
Dedicated Discussion App
A dedicated app (Slack) keeps you connected to our growing community. We’ve got dedicated discussion channels for reading the Bible, prayer requests and mental health support, creativity, and more; plus s a general channel for just being in community, getting to know each other, and sharing life together. This is the heartbeat of our community and you will always have trusted and understanding friends and mentors you can turn to share life’s struggles and joys as we grow together.
Resurrecting Faith is part Fr. Shay’s personal story and part activities, ideas, and prompts to guide you moving beyond “deconstruction” so that you can build a faith that fits you and brings you a full and fulfulling life.
An LGBTQ Christian Guide to Self Care
We know that it can be tough if those closest to you don’t fully accept your LGBTQ+ identity—we’ve been there. That’s why we put together this guide to equip and empower you to take care of yourself around friends, family, and/or a church community that isn’t affirming. It’s got video + written lessons, workbooks, printable reminders, journal prompts, guided meditations, and even a Spotify playlist.
Walking Toward Resurrection: A Transgender Passion Narrative
Walking Toward Resurrection looks at the passion of Christ stories through a transgender lens and in doing so reveals a deeper meaning for all Christians, while providing a new framework for understanding the trans experience. You’ll finish inspired to find queerness in other parts of Scripture…
… and you’ll be able to do just that with Claiming Your Spiritual Story, a companion journal that guides you through reflections on the text and helps you begin to identify the threads and touchstones of your own spiritual story.
SPIT & SPIRIT a digital magainze
Our lives are not so easily divisible:
soul & body // sacred & profane // righteous & sinful
The 13 issues of Spit & Spirit seek not just to uncover whether it’s ok to be gay/bi/trans but also to illuminate what LGBTQ+ people have to bring to the table of faith and spirituality. Our lives are complex, complicated, messy even. This is especially true for LGBTQ+ Christians as we seek to sort out the difference between what the spirit tells us and what society tells us — for better or for worse — about our lives, loves, bodies, faith, and humanity.
Issues include PRIDE (SHAME), SEX (BODIES), TRUTH (POWER), COMMUNITY (ISOLATION), and more
There’s so much more to Sanctuary Collective than we could ever capture with words and numbers, but we’ve tried. In addition to everything you see here, we also have pop-up events like monthly video group discussions and spiritual direction coaching, a book club, a space to discuss the week’s podcast, and weekly discussion prompts.
We are also constantly adding new resources to increase the value you receive. But more than “resources,” Sanctuary Collective is about growth, community, and transformation. We’re here to celebrate with you, grieve with you, and support you in building a faith that fits and a life that you love.
Some Common Questions You Might Have
The weekly video lessons and accompanying workbooks are on-demand (a new one comes out every Wednesday morning) and you can watch on your own schedule.
We’ll send you a reminder email and post an announcement in the discussion app (Slack) whenever new materials are available.
There are 4 weekly Office Hour calls. Those happen Sundays at 6pm EST starting February 14. You can pre-submit questions and they are recorded so that you can still participate even if you can’t attend live. In past courses, about a quarter of the folks attended the Office Hours live. We designed the course so that it can still be interactive even if you can’t or don’t want to attend the live office hours. And for it to still be valuable even if you don’t want to interact at all. Some people prefer to go through everything privately.
There are also 2 “Community Calls” that are more conversation focused. One is on Sunday February 7 at 6pm EST, the other is TBA. Like the Office Hour calls, both Community Calls will also be recorded.
We designed the course so that you can go through it at your own pace and with as much depth as you’d like. Some folks spend just an hour or two with the materials each week. Some “go slower” and spread out going through everything over longer than the 4 weeks of the official course (you have lifetime access to it).
If you can have one block of 45 minutes to watch the weekly lesson and then two 30-minute blocks (or one hour-long block) of time to go through the workbook, that’s enough to get something out of it.
If you’ve got that plus an extra hour (2.75 hours) each week, you’ll REALLY get a lot out of it. Of course, you can dive in much deeper if you want.
There’s also a dedicated channel for the course in our Sanctuary Collective online community app (Slack). That’s where a bunch of discussion happens throughout the week. You can connect with other participants, ask questions about the materials, share your work, and more. You can also take advantage of all the other channels. It’s an awesome group of folks!
The course is setup so that most of the interaction happens in our Sanctuary Collective Slack app so that you can pop in to the discussion whenever you’re available.
People are in and out of there around the clock and you can easily catch up on anything that’s been posted since you were last online (it’s kinda like a message board meets a group chat!).
We’ve designed this course so that even if you’re just coming out you can get something out it. We’re going to be walking you through exercises as well as helping you think deeply about your own story and ethics. But we’re not going to throw you into the deep end without a life preserver! Even if you are still figuring things out, if you enter in with an open heart and a willingness to do the exercises you’ll be just fine!
We have worked with many folks who’ve been out for a long time and in long term, committed relationships over the years who have gotten a lot out of the materials and community. While we’ve put the course together keeping in mind that not everyone has the same starting point (that’s part of the point of this!), we also created it with the specific intention that people who are farther along in their sexual/spiritual journey will still have a lot to learn and contemplate. The feedback from alumni of past courses and current members says it’s doing that and more. So there will definitely be more than enough for you to chew on.
Straight, cis folks who are asking this question are the exact ones we want to be taking this course! (no thanks on ppl barging in and throwing their privilege around) We think that sexual ethics are important for straight folks too and that queer/trans folks have a lot to offer because we’ve had to think so deeply about these issues and so we would absolutely love to have you. We have had straight, cis people participate in the past and it’s been a positive experience for everyone. If you bring the same sort of mindfulness to the space that you’re bringing to this question and to consideration of this course, you’ll be in a great spot.
Your registration for Faithful Sexuality also comes with a 3 month membership to Sanctuary Collective — our online community and extensive resource library. That’s where the discussion for this course will happen too.
If you don’t wish you to continue on in Sanctuary Collective after the course is over, you can cancel at any time but still retain lifetime access to Faithful Sexuality. We will send a reminder email before your bonus membership runs out and your standard membership begins.