Dr. Bernard Schlager, PSR’s Associate Professor of Historical and Cultural Studies and Executive Director of the Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion (CLGS) along with David Kundtz, psychotherapist and writer who holds a doctoral degree in pastoral psychology from the Graduate Theological Union, have updated and revised their book Ministry Among God’s Queer Folk: LGBTQ Pastoral Care, originally written in 2007.
This practical pastoral care handbook, written by two self-described queer people of faith, covers the basic skills that religious caregivers and ministry students need in order to be effective, enlightened, and supportive pastoral care providers to LGBTQ persons in congregational and other community settings. Authors Schlager and Kundtz distinguish pastoral care from pastoral counseling: while the latter is reserved for those with special training in the practice of therapy, the former can be developed by ministers and lay people with sufficient education and practice.
“My contributions to this co-authored book – both the first and now the second editions – reflect my work of almost 20 years at PSR’s Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion (CLGS),” said Schlager. “More specifically, what I have written in this practical handbook for pastoral care is based on my own ministry with the Center’s Bay Area Coalition of Welcoming Congregations and also comes from my work as Director of the CLGS OutFront Workshops, a two-year project that brought weekend trainings on LGBTQ pastoral care to congregations and college campuses across the country.”
This book requires of the reader no previous experience with LGBTQ communities and treats the following topics: the definition and functions of pastoral care; effective care in challenging times; coming out of the closet; creating communities of care; and caring for a wide variety of LGBTQ relationships. The authors provide case studies throughout the book to ground and illustrate their theology of pastoral care.
“In this book my co-author David Kundtz and I write from the conviction that there is still very much an urgent need for compassionate and reality-based pastoral care for the many LGBTQ people who strive to embrace their gender identity, their sexual orientation, and their commitment to a spiritual life in a faith community—all in equal measure,” said Schlager. “No longer content to hide in the shadows of church or synagogue life, we queer people of faith are standing up in increasing numbers and claiming our rightful place as children of God who are called to full membership in our communities of faith. This book is very much the product of what I have learned as a faculty member at PSR and as a staff member of CLGS. It has been a privilege for me to be a co-author of this revised and updated second edition!”