Alumni/ae Council

Rev. Dr. Debra Haffner (DMin ’16)

Rev. Dr. Debra Haffner received her D.Min. from PSR in 2016. She is currently serving as the Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston, VA, after nearly three decades serving as the executive director of not for profit organizations. During her first two years in Reston, membership in the church has increased 40% and she created the first Pride Festival ever in her community. Rev. Haffner was the President of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States for twelve years and cofounded and led the Religious Institute (on Sexual Morality, Justice and Healing) from 2001 to 2016.

Rev. Haffner co-created the Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice and Healing, which has been endorsed by more than 8000 clergy across the United States. She has led national initiatives for religious support for marriage equality, safer sex practices in congregations, and sexuality training for religious professionals in seminaries. She is the author of co-author of 8 publications for congregations on sexuality issues, including publications on bisexuality, sexuality education in religious institutions, and sexual health in congregations. Rev. Haffner has been an adjunct professor at PSR, Union Theological Seminary, Yale Divinity School, and Meadville Lombard. She has worked closely over the years with the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at PSR.

Rev. Haffner is the author or co-author of seven books, including “From Diapers to Dating,” which has been translated and published in twelve countries. She has served on the national boards of directors of such organizations as the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists; the World Association of Sexology; the National Leadership Coalition on AIDS; and the National Council on Responsible Philanthropy. She served six years on the UUA’s Ministerial Fellowship Committee which credentials new ministers. Her work has been honored by diverse organizations, including receiving the highest alumni honors from Union Theological Seminary and the Yale School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, as well as an honorary doctorate from Widener University. Her papers are archived at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard.

In addition to her doctorate from PSR, Haffner earned a M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary, a MPH from the Yale School of Medicine, and her B.A. from Wesleyan University.