Click here to register for this online PSR/CLGS Event!

Join us on Zoom on Wednesday, 12 June 2024, at 4pm Pacific Time for Pacific School of Religion’s Annual Pride Celebration in partnership with CLGS!

Tthis event will feature recent PSR graduate Jessie Ratcliff (MDiv’24) and faculty member Rev. Dr. Kristin Stoneking. 

Ratcliff, an alum of CLGS’ Transgender Seminarian Cohort, will share his personal journey of growing up as a Black transgender, nonbinary individual in Oakland and how his love of nature led him to environmental activism and seminary. Ratcliff emphasizes the intertwined struggles of environmental and social justice, advocating for inclusive solutions that address the unique challenges faced by transgender people of color and other marginalized communities and highlighting the healing power of nature in fostering mental health and community resilience. 

Dr. Stoneking, who joined PSR’s faculty this spring, will introduce herself and share her decades-long advocacy for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the United Methodist Church. Her fight began in 1998 with a refusal to answer anti-LGBTQ+ questions during her ordination process. In 2016 she worked with a team to organize a mass coming out of queer United Methodist clergy, which led to the founding of the Queer Clergy Caucus, and in 2024 she was at the UMC General Conference helping to shepherd the historic removal of discriminatory policies. 

The Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion (CLGS) is the country’s oldest seminary-based LGBTQ center, founded in 2000. CLGS serves three distinct but overlapping constituencies: the world of academic religious scholarship; faith communities; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender people and organizations. For each of these constituent groups, CLGS is committed to providing programming and support for research, resources, education for leadership, and community-building/advocacy. All programming is devoted to carrying out the Center’s fundamental mission:

To advance the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and to transform faith communities and the wider society by taking a leading role in shaping a new public discourse on religion, gender and sexuality through education, research, community building and advocacy.

Jessie Ratcliff is a proud Oakland native who embraces both she/her and he/him pronouns interchangeably. He recently graduated from Pacific School of Religion with a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Social Transformation. He was awarded the Marcella Althaus-Reid Award in Queering Religion and Theology at Graduates Chapel on May 7th, 2024. With a background in criminal justice, Ratcliff found her calling in ministry as a means of rehabilitation and is dedicated to aiding individuals in need. As an activist and suicide counselor, she champions mental health awareness and a true advocate for diversity and inclusion. Ratcliff has attended Pride annually since the age of 17, embodying the spirit of acceptance and celebration.

Rev. Dr. Kristin Stoneking is a scholar, pastor, educator and innovator whose ministry has focused on the intersection of social justice, revitalized faith communities and organizations, faith formation, and interreligious engagement. An ordained elder in the California-Nevada annual conference of the United Methodist Church, she has served as a local church pastor, district superintendent, and campus minister. She joins the PSR faculty in their commitment to making their discipline and theological education more widely accessible and impactful; bringing faith to bear on the creation of a world where all can thrive; and a research agenda that centers the wisdom and needs of historically marginalized communities.