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VDS Concentrations:

Religion, Gender, and Sexuality

See concentration video HERE.

This concentration allows students to explore the complex intellectual, historical, and practical interactions between religion, gender, and sexuality.

Learning Goals:

  • To prepare students with the intellectual and practical tools to work effectively on these issues with communities of faith.

Current Steering Committee: Ellen Armour , Stephanie Budwey , Phillis Sheppard , Annalisa Azzoni 

Required Courses: None. However, we do anticipate requiring students to take one course in textual study (typically biblical studies) or historical studies, one course in theology or ethics and society, and one course in religion, psychology and culture. We will designate each semester specific courses that would count toward the concentration. 


Praxis Options: 

For MDiv students, typically by field ed. For MTS students, field ed would be one option, but other options could include other kinds of practice (an art exhibit or musical performance based on religion, gender, sexuality, a curated archive of historical or contemporary resources, etc.) that are integrated into one of the designated courses. These should be approved both by the Concentration Convener and the course professor. 


Course Projections:

Fall 2020:

7127 SFT Liberation Ethics 


Spring 2021:

5412 Budwey Survey of Congregational Song 

6715 Budwey Images of Mary in Christian Thought and Practice 

6859 Armour Theology, Visual Culture, and Media 

7053 RogersVaugh Men, Psychology, and Religion


Courses that treat these topics are typically offered every semester and updated on the Carpenter website. Examples include but are not limited to:

Feminist/Womanist Theology ( Armour or Schneider), Queer Theology ( Armour or Schneider), Feminist/Womanist Ethics ( S. Floyd-Thomas ), Black women’s Literature and Ethics ( S. Floyd-Thomas ), Women’s Bodies, Politics, and Policy Making ( S. Floyd-Thomas ), Butch, Femme, and Queer Ethnographies and Narratives ( Sheppard ), Womanist Thought in Religion and Psychology ( Sheppard ), Ancient Goddesses ( Azzoni ), Marriage at the Beginning ( Azzoni ), Sexuality in the Bible and the Ancient Near East ( Azzoni ), Seminar in Shame and Guilt (Flesberg), Sexuality: Ethics, Theology and Pastoral Practice (Flesberg).

In keeping with longstanding practice for the Certificate, we anticipate allowing students to take one course that is not designated for the Concentration and, with the instructor’s and convener’s permission, focusing their graded work on religion, gender, and sexuality as they pertain to the course’s subject matter.