Have you ever wanted to read the Bible without leaving your queerness behind?....
... and not just that, but to see queerness in scripture?
Queering the Bible
Uncover the ways Christianity has always been queer, find yourself in Scripture, and tell your own queer, spiritual story
Queering The Bible is one-part Bible study, one-part seminary crash course, one-part storytelling intensive
Over the course of six weeks, you'll explore queer themes in six different passages, learn to find queerness in almost any passage of the Bible, and complete your very own queer spiritual story in written, video, or audio form
The queer Bible story only YOU can tell...
Every year, at the end of Queering The Bible, we host a call for everyone to share the queer Bible story they’ve been working on.
Every year, I (Brian) snap my fingers and pump my fists and sometimes even shed a tear.
Something magical happens when we discover ourselves in the Bible.
We don’t mean that in a “make the Bible say whatever you want it to say” sort of way.
We mean that in a there are so many facets of the Divine and so many messages within the Bible, when you show up with your full self to the text, when you hold your queerness and the Bible in conversation with each other, you can hear a prophetic new message.
Even though we are looking at passages you may have read dozens of times, something new unlocks when you bring a queer lens to the Bible. There is a fabulous queer insight tucked in the pages of the Bible, waiting for you to uncover it.
Here are some other examples of what we’re talking about. Take a look and be inspired!
Registration Closes in
A Peek At What's Possible...
The process of going through this project has just blown the lid off of what the Bible can mean and be. I just used to have so much pressure on me reading the Bible.
I’ve had a really hard time trying to re-read parts of the Bible, without all these things I was taught by other people distorting what I reading instead of just reading it for what it is. But just now, I was able to just look at it and just see so many other things I’ve never, ever seen before. It was really cool.
I’ve never come to the Bible with all of myself before and though that feels super vulnerable, I think this is the first time all of me has really sat with the Bible and with Jesus — not having to section anything off. Which is pretty impressive. So I’m really appreciating that.
One of the best parts of this course is how Brian and Shay really make space for everyone. It’s encouraging to hear diverse voices and I am grateful for the space to share. Brian and Shay reminded us throughout the course that no theology takes place in a vacuum. Whenever I read the Bible, it’s me. And this course does a good job highlighting some of the ways we can bring ourselves to it while still being true to who we are as people.
Having knowledge about the Bible, about my connection to the Bible, being able to see myself in the Bible — that’s been huge.
I studied religion in my undergrad and it was always very distant because it was, “We’ve got to use the Historical Method” or whatever other type of method, and we’re going to use our textbooks to try do it in an “official” way. I’m seeing in this course that I am an expert in my own way: so reading the Bible in a more personal way rather than a distant way and it’s been really nice.
After Queering the Bible, I am finding that life as a queer Christian means reclaiming myself from feeling evil and sick and unholy. And that reclaiming oneself on a spiritual level is also an act of reconsecration. I find that I can be at peace. Perhaps not out in the world, but inside of myself. That is a big gift that this course gave me.
In the 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 (he/him)
Reading the text from the point of view of someone who is marginalized/queer, having the text affirm, include, and strengthen queer individuals, has helped me read it with gratitude and faith, not anger.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Here's what you'll get when you enroll today
Meet Your Instructors
(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. I was taught to love the Bible but it was always on someone else’s terms. Someone else had all the answers — I was supposed to just take notes. When I thought I might be queer, I turned to the Bible for answers. What I found — nestled in the lesson boxes of my Teen Study Bible — was, again, someone else’s ideas.
I see you: you’ve come out. You know that being LGBTQ is a good thing. That it’s OK. But you haven’t quite figured out exactly how queerness and Christianity go together. Or you don’t quite have the words to describe how your faith can compliment your gender and sexuality. Or you don’t have a group to study the Bible with who really sees you.
You know that there is more. That the Bible should offer a liberating and life-saving word for LGBTQ Christians. And more than that: that queerness can unlock something profound in scripture.
Queerness was a crack that caused me to question so much of what I used to believe. I found that the faith I had been given didn’t quite fit anymore. So, I took it apart — I deconstructed my faith.
But that wasn’t enough.
That wasn’t enough for me, either.
“I know they are wrong!” wasn’t satisfying or healthy for me when I didn’t have my own answer for what I believed and why.
If queerness was the crack, it was also the glue that helped me to put my faith back together. Queerness helped me see the Bible with new eyes and to realize that it’s as alive and relevant as ever. That the Gospel is GOOD NEWS for LGBTQ+ Christians. And that our experience as queer Christians can be a blessing to the Church and the world if we know how to harness it.
You’ve read all the same articles as us: this exegesis of Leviticus, that analysis of Romans, this other story about David and Jonathan. But you’re still craving more. I get it, I was too. I needed to marry my head with my heart and discover a faith that was intellectually rigorous but also emotionally engaging. And it needed to be relevant to my life!
– 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!).
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 queerness with your understanding of the Bible, everything changes. For you and for those around you.
We’re so excited to share everything we know about queering the Bible with you so that you can see and understand this holy message, too. And if you’re up for it, to begin telling your own queer Bible stories!
This course will transform your faith and change your life in ways big and small. We hope to see you inside soon.
Reunion Call/Pride Worship Experience
Over the course of Queering The Bible, you won’t just learn about queerness in the Bible, you will uncover it through telling your own queer, spiritual story.
The course ends with a special pride-themed worship service featuring the projects of everyone involved. This could be a story, a video, a sermon, or even a song or poem. (Don’t worry: we walk you through creating this step-by-step!)
You get an extra week after the course officially ends and then we’ll reconvene on June 12 to share what we’ve created!
3 Month Sanctuary Collective Membership
As the world opens back up and we return to “normal” post pandemic life, we want to keep a little safe space for folks to continue to grow, share, and connect. We want to make our online community, Sanctuary Collective, accessible to you.
In addition to connecting with other Queering The Bible students, you’ll also be able to engage with the wider Sanctuary Collective community — over 300 amazing people from around the world.
You also get access to the other premium resources inside of Sanctuary Collective: our popular workshop on the clobber passages and one on reading the Bible within context. 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.
Soul Safe: a 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 Sunday 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 6 weekly Coaching calls. Those happen Sundays at 5pm EDT starting with a kickoff call on April 24th. 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 coaching calls 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 coaching calls. 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. Additionally, there will be a closing worship experience featuring all the final projects on Sunday, June 12th, time TBD.
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 6 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 totally new to the Bible you can get something out it. We’re going to be walking you through several passages as well as helping you to make connections between your own story and the text. But we’re not going to throw you into the deep end without a life preserver! Even if you don’t know much about the Bible, if you enter in with an open heart and a willingness to read the text you’ll be just fine! (And if you are interested in diving deeper into the Bible, we’ve got an intro course on that too that you’ll get if you stick around in Sanctuary Collective!)
We have worked with many seminarians and long-time working, ordained ministers 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 a master’s degree in theology (that’s part of the point of this!), we also created it with the specific intention to supplement and support seminary education and even be valuable to working ministers. 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.
We also take boundaries and community dynamics very seriously. You’re here to learn and grow not to feel unduly responsible for others growth.
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 queering theology is important for straight folks too 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 Queering The Bible 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, you can cancel at any time but still retain lifetime access to Queering the Bible. We will send a reminder email before your bonus membership runs out and your standard membership begins.