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Home » Called to This: Voices of Trans and Nonbinary Students Preparing for Religious Leadership » Called to This: Voices of Trans and Nonbinary Students Preparing for Religious Leadership

Join the students of CLGS’s Trans Seminarian Leadership Cohort for a panel discussion that will address the joy and challenges of religious leadership for trans and nonbinary leaders.

With today’s increasingly hostile attitude toward trans and nonbinary people, it is vital that we lift up the voices of those who are doing the work of trans liberation and religious leadership. This webinar will be facilitated by Rev. Jakob Hero-Shaw, a faculty member of the Trans Seminarian Leadership Cohort.

Jenny Alexander-Allen (she/they) is a full-time student at United Lutheran Seminary, Gettysburg, and an entranced ELCA candidate for Word and Sacrament. She was a public school teacher for almost a decade and a youth program coordinator for five years. Jenny is a writer and identifies as a demi-nonbinary trans woman. Her focus is as a trans-queer theologian and an advocate for the transgender, gender expansive, and queer community. She and her wife live in the DC/Metro area and have two cats who alternate between the three primary emotions: sleepy, hungry, and zoomy. Her writing can be found on her substack, Transitional Wisdom and Wellness, and in the poetry anthology When We Become Weavers: Queer Female Poets on the Midwestern Experience.

Seth Anderson-Matz (he/him) is an interfaith practitioner, theologian, and organizer based in Minneapolis, MN. Seth is currently pursuing his M.Div in Interreligious Chaplaincy and M.A in Religion & Theology from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. His scholarship and ministry centers queer & trans divinity/mysticism/hermeneutics, interfaith dialogue, public theology, radical hospitality & mutual aid, spiritual formation, youth mentorship, pastoral care, ceremonial & spiritual arts, and healing modalities. He intends to pursue chaplaincy board certification, as well as fellowship & ordination as a Unitarian Universalist minister. He recently served as Religious Education Program Coordinator at First Universalist Church of Minneapolis and has also served as an advisor and organizer with national queer & trans organizations including GLSEN, the Trevor Project, Advocates for Youth, and the National Equality March.

Tayden Haile aka Pastor Tay (he/him) is a father of seven adopted kids, husband, athlete, and veteran. He attends Chicago Theological Seminary and is in the third year of his Master of Divinity program. Some fun facts about Tayden are that he is an avid outdoorsman. He loves camping, hiking, rock climbing, fishing, horseback riding, and just sitting by a campfire talking about life.

Joelle Henneman (she/her) is a ridiculous runner, a various musicophile, and a pacifist veteran. Joelle serves as the senior pastor of the United Methodist Church for All People in Columbus, Ohio where all people are loved by God, just as they are, no matter what. Joelle’s passion for ministry is to draw the circle of God’s love large enough to include people often excluded by the church. While in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she created a worshiping community with people experiencing homelessness called “Community of Hope.” She is a social justice warrior who serves as a leader with Central Ohio’s Faith and Public Life, the Ohio Progressive Faith Advocacy Table, and chairs the West Ohio Conference’s Just Mission team. Joelle graduated with her M.Div. from Brite Divinity School in 2009 and is working on her Doctorate of Ministry, focusing on expressions of transgender ministry, at Pacific School of Religion.

Jayce Koester (they/them) is a teacher, chaplain-in-progress, and Hebrew College rabbinical student currently living on Wampanoag and Massachusett land. Prior to moving to Boston for rabbinical school Jayce taught kiddos, was an active street medic, and ran a program for LGBTQIA+ Jews on Dakota and Anishinaabe land in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Jayce loves learning Torah with all ages and is an enthusiastic singer, eager Talmud student, and lover of all things that grow (people included. They’re always excited to talk about Jewish ritual, science fiction, what they’re cooking this week, and how cute their two cats are.

LaTayna Purnell (she/they) lives in Houston, Texas, with their wife and two sons. Before moving to Houston, they called Massachusetts home for over a decade. After over 25 years of working in education and nonprofits. They are pursuing their Doctorate of Ministry at Pacific School of Religion. They are a graduate of the University of Texas with a Kinesiology and Health degree. They received their master’s from the University of Maine in counseling education with a concentration in student personnel administration. They welcomed their doctorate from Indiana University in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a concentration in Gender and African American studies. They are passionate about addressing racial injustice, systemic racism, and LGBTQ+ issues.

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