This Friday, the Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church elected the Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto to the office of Bishop. This marks an historic moment in the history of the United Methodist Church since the denomination forbids ordaining “practicing, self-avowed homosexuals.”
Rev. Dr. Oliveto has long-standing ties to Pacific School of Religion, beginning with earning her Master of Divinity at the seminary in 1980. She has since served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and as an adjunct faculty member in the area of United Methodist Studies. PSR’s Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion honored Rev. Dr. Oliveto with a Leading Voice award this May.
Rev. Dr. Oliveto currently serves as senior pastor of Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco. She was recently a lead author of the #CalledOut letter, in which more than one hundred United Methodist clergy came out as LGBTQ.
Rev. Dr. David Vásquez-Levy, President of Pacific School of Religion, noted: “We are delighted by the news of the election of the Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto to serve as a Bishop in the United Methodist Church. Having had the opportunity to be instrumental in her preparation for ministry and to partner with her in the formation of leaders for the United Methodist Church, the PSR community celebrates this moment of hopefulness for the church. The Rev. Dr. Oliveto brings to the office of Bishop the leadership, vision, and courage that are critical to this moment for our world and our church. Our prayers are with her, the community at Glide where she has served faithfully, and with the broader church as she responds to a call that will also demand much from her. We pray also for wisdom and God’s guidance for the church in the days ahead, that we may be able to celebrate the calling of someone whose gifts are so evident and needed.”
Building on a long tradition of boldness, PSR is committed to the preparation of leaders for the church and to resourcing congregations as they faithfully engage the world. Explore our website to learn more about our work and explore the resources of PSR’s Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion.