Lesbian clergy today face a multiplicity of challenging issues. In Out in the Pulpit, author Dr. Pamela Pater-Ennis utilizes the intersecting concepts found in social work and theology as an interpretive framework to dissect and discuss these issues.
Pater-Ennis addresses the questions of the theoretical constructs of the social identity theory, ecological theory, and the anti-oppressive theory. She’s compiled the data from interviews, utilizing modified grounded theory and listening guide methodologies to give “voice” to the lesbian clergy and the challenges they faced because of their religious, spiritual, and sexual identities.
Out in the Pulpit, a qualitative study, offers new insights into the current debate about the inclusion or exclusion of lesbian clergy in four Protestant, mainline denominations: The Reformed Church in America, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church in the United States, and the United Church of Christ. While lesbian clergy remain marginalized in each of these denominations, this study reveals the positive contributions made to the church and society by those who remain active in their denominations and utilize their abilities to benefit their congregations. It is an encouraging book of redemption for lesbians and their allies who have struggled to find their place in the church.