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Sexuality and Christianity MCC Online Course, Fall 2011 Instructor Rev. Chris Glaser, M.Div. Dates Dec. 3 & 17, Jan. 7, 14, 21, & 28 Noon-2:00 PM ET Six Saturdays In Christian tradition, all Christians are ministers. This course is intended to equip ministers with language, background, and familiarity with the diverse expressions of sexuality and gender vis a vis Christianity. This course fulfills the sexuality and ministry requirement for MCC clergy, but it may assist every Christian in understanding the interface of sexuality and spirituality, ethics, and congregational health. Objectives: • Increase knowledge and comfortability talking about a variety of sexuality issues. • Assess personal sexual health in ministry, preventing sexual misconduct/abuse. • Familiarity with the Christian tradition’s teaching/texts on sexuality and denominational and congregational policies related to sexuality. • Reflect theologically on sexuality and spirituality. • Consider the impact of race, class, gender, and heterosexism on sexuality issues in ministry. • Acquire skills related to pastoral counseling, preaching, and educating on sexuality. Required technology, installed and practiced before first session: PC or Mac Web camera High speed internet access An individual e-mail account Skype, free at Required Texts: NOTE: Previously owned books are available at for a fraction of the cost of new books. As My Own Soul: The Blessing of Same-Gender Marriage, by Chris Glaser (New York: Seabury Books, 2009), ISBN: 978-1-59627-118-0.

Body and Soul: Rethinking Sexuality as Justice Love, edited by Marvin M. Ellison and Sylvia Thorson-Smith (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2007), ISBN: 978-1606080328. Ministry among God’s Queer Folk: LGBT Pastoral Care, by David J. Kundtz and Bernard Schlager (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2007), ISBN: 978-0829817065. Other texts are available on the internet and will be listed with the given sessions. See the bibliography at the end of the syllabus for supplemental texts. Course Requirements: This class will be offered on a pass/fail basis. Passing the course requires reading the recommended texts for each session, participation in all of the online meeting sessions, and timely completion and submission of all online assignments. By midnight (your time) on Thursday before each Saturday class, e-mail your responses to to the following questions about the readings for the week. Please do not answer the question for each reading, but for the collective readings of each session! Brevity is requested; no extra credit for long, involved answers!  Please put your responses in the body of the e-mail—no attachments, please! 1. What most intrigued, surprised, pleased, or challenged you and why? 2. With what did you most strongly disagree or find problematic and why? 3. What did you least understand? 4. What was “the big idea” you got from the readings? 5. What scriptural text would you use to convey one of your answers to 1-4? 6. What story could you tell in a sermon that illustrates that answer? This could be a personal story or a story you have heard or read. Special requirement for MCC clergy: A 5-10 page double-spaced homily/sermon reflecting on some of the content covered in the course. I’m looking for how you would interpret the material to your present congregation. Due on Tuesday, January 24 via e-mail. (Class ends Jan. 28.) Session One: Let’s Get Started Saturday, Dec. 3, Noon-2:00 PM ET Readings +Johanna W. H. van Wijk-Bos, “How to Read What We Read: Discerning Good News about Sexuality in Scripture,” in Body and Soul, pp. 61-77. +Mona West, “The Bible and Homosexuality,” found at +Don Eastman, “Homosexuality: Not a Sin, Not a Sickness,

+Chris Glaser, “Homosexuality and the Bible,” + Religious Institute, from A Time to Seek: Study Guide on Sexual and Gender Diversity, “Definitions,” “Prevalence,” “Science on Sexual and Gender Diversity,” “Marriage and family,” and “Youth,” in, pp. 7-26, found at +Kundtz and Schlager, from Ministry Among God’s Queer Folk, “Coming Out” and “Sexual Rating Scales,” pp. 131-158, 216-235. December 10 – NO CLASS! Session Two: Sex and the Body of Christ Saturday, Dec. 17, Noon-2:00 PM ET Readings +Chris Glaser, from As My Own Soul, “Chapter Two: Deeper than Scripture—Taboo, Shame and Sex-Negativity, Biblical, Cultural, and Visceral Responses,” pp. 23-46; and “Chapter Five: Sex and the Body of Christ,” pp. 101-124. +Sylvia Thorson-Smith, “Becoming ‘Possessed’: Toward Sexual Health and WellBeing,’ in Body and Soul, pp. 232-50. +Treasure in Earthen Vessels: An Exploration of Sexual Ethics, Open Hands, Vol. 13, No. 4, Please read articles by Glaser, Spring, Ballew, Spencer, Robb, Ziegert, Fortune, Ellison, Wolfe, Helminiak, Farley, and “Prayers of the Body” (p 29). +Anne Underwood, “Clergy Sexual Misconduct: A Justice Issue,” in Body and Soul, pp. 300-315. +Religious Institute, in A Time to Build: Creating Sexually Healthy Faith Communities, “Religion and Sexuality” and “Sexually Healthy Religious Professionals” found at +MCC Clergy Code of Conduct, found at: No classes Dec. 24 & 31! Session Three: Sexual Diversity Saturday, Jan. 7, Noon-2:00 PM ET Readings +Bisexuality: Both/And Rather than Either/Or, Open Hands, Vol. 14, No. 1, Please read articles by Roe, Goss, UdisKessler, Bardelaben, Riley, Kate, John and Mary, Brink, Wolfe, Aude, Roe (and test your own “Bi-Q”), Cook, and McComas. +Susan Halcomb Craig, “Bisexuality: Variations on a Theme,” in Body and Soul, pp. 114-28. +Kelly Brown Douglas, “Black Body/White Soul: The Unsettling Intersection of Race, Sexuality, and Christianity,” in Body and Soul: pp. 99-113.

+Patrick S. Cheng, “Jesus, Mary, and the Beloved Disciple: Towards a Queer Asian Pacific American Christology,” found at iple.pdf +Chris Glaser, “Sexuality and Aging: ‘Young Love’ and ‘Old Love,’” in Body and Soul, pp. 129-139. +Debra Haffner, “Teens and Sex: Just Say What?” in Body and Soul, pp. 140-156. +Advocates for Youth, Growth and Development on sexual development, Session Four: Gender Diversity Saturday, Jan. 14, Noon-2:00 PM ET Readings Gender Identities and Our Faith Communities, found at You may wish to review the whole document as a future teaching tool in your congregation, but please read, “Step Two: Developing a Vocabulary around Transgender Issues,” pp. 39-42; “Gender Identity and the Bible,” pp. 42-45; Gender Identity and Jewish Tradition,” pp. 46-48; “The Gifts of Transgender People,” pp. 49-54; and “Part Two: Essays,” pp. 64-124. Session Five: Preaching, Worship, Education, and Pastoral Care Saturday, Jan. 21, Noon-2:00 PM ET Readings +Carter Heyward, “We’re Here, We’re Queer: Teaching Sex in Seminary,” in Body and Soul, pp. 78-96. +Kundtz and Schlager, from Ministry Among God’s Queer Folk, “The Pastoral Care Relationship,” “The Functions of Pastoral Care, “Pastoral Care in the Tough Times,” and “Caring for Relationships,” pp. 1-130, 177-215. +Religious Institute, from A Time To Build, “Pastoral Care,” “Education for Youth,” and “Adult Education,” “Worship and Preaching,” found at +Chris Glaser, “For the Bible Tells Me So” Study Guide. You do not have to read this in detail, just look over the material for possible use with your congregations. Found at: +REVIEW ALSO: Annotated Bibliography of Sexuality Education Curricula, found at Educational Resources of the Institute for Welcoming Resources, found at

Session Six: Marriage Saturday, Jan. 28, Noon-2:00 PM ET Readings +Rita Nakashima Brock, “Marriage Troubles,” in Body and Soul, pp. 352-374. +Marvin M. Ellison, “Setting the Captives Free: Same-Sex Domestic Violence and the Justice-Loving Church,” pp. 284-297, in Body and Soul. +Chris Glaser, from As My Own Soul: “Chapter Three: Traditional Family Values: Marriage, Procreation, and Family,” pp. 47-72; “Chapter Four: The Sacred Source of Marriage: Holy Origins and Sacramental Dimensions,” pp. 73-100; “Chapter Six: As My Own Soul: Marriage as a Spiritual Discipline,” pp. 125-148. +Daniel T. Spencer, “Keeping Body, Soul, and Earth Together: Revisioning Justice-Love as an Ecological Ethic of Right Relation,” in Body and Soul, pp. 319-333. Supplemental Reading (Not required for Course) A Time to Heal: Protecting Children & Ministering to Sex Offenders, by Rev. Debra Haffner (Fort Wayne, IN: LifeQuest, 2005), ISBN: 1-8932-70-31-9. Coming Out as Sacrament, by Chris Glaser (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998), ISBN: 0-664-25748-8. (Note also liturgies in the final chapter, “Rites for the Soul,” which include new words to hymns.) Coming Out to God: Prayers for Lesbians and Gay Men, Their Families and Friends, by Chris Glaser (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1991), ISBN: 0-664-251765. (Note handy indexes for scripture references and topics in the back of the book.) Courage to Love: Liturgies for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community, edited by Geoffrey Duncan (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2002), ISBN: 9780829814682. Counseling on Sexual Issues: A Handbook for Pastors and Other Helping Professionals (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2005), ISBN: 978-0829816181. Equal Rites: Lesbian and Gay Worship, Ceremonies, and Celebrations, edited by Kittredge Cherry and Zalmon Sherwood (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), ISBN 978-0664255350. Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology, by Patrick S. Cheng (New York: Seabury, 2011), ISBN 13:978-1-59627-132-6. Reformation of the Heart: Seasonal Meditations by a Gay Christian, by Chris Glaser (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001), ISBN: 0-664-22306-0. Meditations from Advent through Epiphany, Lent, and Holy Week. (Note handy scripture index in the back of the book.)

Same-Sex Marriage? A Christian Ethical Analysis, by Marvin M. Ellison (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2004). ISBN: 0-8298-1560-0. The Other Side, May-June 2001, Four essays on transgender spiritual concerns by Ramsey, Swenson, Paige, and Shanor, available at Sexuality and the Sacred: Sources for Theological Reflection, edited by James B. Nelson and Sandra P. Longfellow (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994), ISBN: 0-664-25529-9. Sexuality and the Sacred: Sources for Theological Reflection (Revised version of the above which retains some essays of the original as well as providing new ones), edited by Marvin M. Ellison, Kelly Brown Douglas, James B. Nelson (Louisville: KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010), ISBN: 978-0664233662. Take Back the Word: A Queer Reading of the Bible, edited by Robert E. Goss and Mona West (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2000), ISBN: 978-0829813975. Theology and Sexuality: Classic and Contemporary Readings, edited by Eugene F. Rogers, Jr. (Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers LTD, 2002), ISBN: 0-631-21277-9. The Queer Bible Commentary, edited by Deryn Guest, Robert E. Goss, Mona West, and Thomas Bohache (London: SCM Press, 2006), ISBN: 978-0334040217. The Word Is Out: Daily Reflections on the Bible for Lesbians and Gay Men (formerly subtitled: The Bible Reclaimed for Lesbians and Gay Men), by Chris Glaser (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994), ISBN: 0-664-25820-4. (Note handy scripture index at the end of the book.) Transgendering Faith: Identity, Sexuality and Spirituality, edited by Leanne McCall Tigert and Maren C. Tirabassi (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2004), ISBN: 9780829814941.

Syllabus for sexuality course  

Chris Glaser Sexuality Course syllabus

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