The Leadership Development Cohort consists of twelve weeks of in-depth, online study about the Bible and LGBTQ inclusion as well as four daylong virtual gatherings to reinforce learning and build relationships among participants.
The cohort equips Christians who love God, love the Bible, and love the church with the tools and theological knowledge they need to be effective advocates for LGBTQ inclusion in the non-affirming church. The program is designed for those who are interested in engaging non-affirming Christians in their community by serving as a local ambassador of The Reformation Project.
As a Bible-based, Christian organization, we are committed to LGBTQ inclusion in the church because, first and foremost, we are committed to the church. That’s why we’re looking for applicants who are passionately aligned with our Statement of Faith and values and whose Christian faith is the driving force in their lives. We particularly encourage straight Christians to apply, as they are often uniquely positioned to reach non-affirming believers.
The cohort will be all-virtual. Participants will need to be available for four daylong online gatherings throughout that period: March 26, April 23, May 21, and June 25 (all Saturdays). Applications are due on January 22, 2022. Selection decisions will be made by February 18, 2022.
March 16 - June 25, 2022
Frequently Asked Questions
There is a one-time, non-refundable fee of $225 for participants. This fee covers the cost of participation in the cohort as well as one license for our new video curriculum, The Biblical Case for LGBTQ Inclusion.
Additionally, while most course materials will be provided at no charge, participants will be expected to purchase four books. The total cost of these books ranges from about $45 (e-book versions) to $65 (paperback versions).
The cohort’s 12-week study program is focused on the theological debate about the Bible and LGBTQ inclusion. It is designed similarly to a college course, and participants will read and respond to both affirming and non-affirming writings in order to develop a well-rounded understanding of this theological conversation.
But more than simply gaining theological knowledge, participants will also grow in their understanding of many foundational beliefs and concerns of non-affirming Christians, allowing them to become more effective and persuasive communicators. The cohort curriculum will also foster deeper learning around our organizational values of monogamy and covenant and diversity and inclusion, and it will equip participants for effective and sustainable leadership moving forward.
On average, participants should expect to spend 12-15 hours each week reading the course materials, writing responses, and engaging with other cohort members in online discussions. Weeks start on Wednesdays, with responses to course materials due on Tuesdays. There will be two weeks off during the three-month period: April 20-26 and May 25-31.
Participants must also be available for daylong online gatherings on four Saturdays throughout the program: March 26, April 23, May 21, and June 25. The gatherings will run from 10am-6pm Central.
After completing the Leadership Development Cohort, cohort members are eligible to serve as local ambassadors of The Reformation Project. The primary role of ambassadors is to be a resource and guide for Christians who are working through their beliefs about LGBTQ inclusion in the church.
There is no set time commitment for ambassadors; the time investment will vary based on your capacity and how many people reach out for support in your area or interest area. All active ambassadors must affirm that they are passionately aligned with The Reformation Project’s Statement of Faith, mission, vision, and values (love for God, love for the Bible, love for the church, monogamy and covenant, and diversity and inclusion).
Ambassador terms last one year, after which ambassadors can recommit for additional one-year terms based on continued alignment, capacity, and interest.
No. Given limited resources, we will select only those who are personally committed to working toward greater LGBTQ inclusion in the non-affirming church by serving as a local ambassador of The Reformation Project.
Yes. That said, depending on where you live, it’s worth considering time zone differences for the four daylong virtual gatherings, which will take place from 10am-6pm Central (U.S.) time. For those farthest away from the United States (like Asia or Australia), we can make certain accommodations like recording portions of the gatherings for them to watch later, but it will still be important for them to attend the majority of each of the gatherings.
What Cohort Alums Have to Say
Hear from some of our past cohort members about the impact the program had on them.
“The Leadership Development Cohort was a life-changing opportunity for me. I am better able to demonstrate that LGBTQ inclusion is not only biblically-based, but a necessity for Christianity. I am now using my experience to develop a ministry for LGBTQ college students who are dealing with the complexities of their sexuality, gender, and faith.”Vanessa LyonsMurray, KY
“The cohort was an incredible opportunity to dive into the history and theology behind the conversation of the LGBTQ community and the church. More importantly, the cohort introduced me to a wonderful group of Christians from around the world who love God, seek to adhere to the Bible, and reflect God's love for the marginalized and persecuted.”Rafael HurtadoSan Diego, CA
“The cohort was such an impactful experience to my development as an LGBTQ Christian and a community leader. I was able to receive top-level training in affirming theology while building lifelong friendships with like-minded individuals as we all work toward a better future within the church. It was a game-changer when I needed it most.”Kenny UngLos Angeles, CA
“Through TRP's focus on the Bible and having a direct relationship with God, I was able to find my center and stay rooted in my core Christian beliefs. The cohort has prepared me to be an effective leader, and my cohort experience has made me happier and more self-aware than I’ve ever been.”Tammi Terrell MorrisLos Angeles, CA
“It was one thing to be told I was not alone in this struggle between faith and gender identity. It was a whole other thing to dig deep into the Scriptures with others who share my passion for understanding this important topic and who, like me, have a personal stake in what we find. It was truly life-giving.”Laura Beth BuchleiterIndianapolis, IN
“The cohort gave me a renewed understanding of how to approach the Scriptures, and it equipped me with the confidence, knowledge, and skills I need to lead others in church inclusion efforts.”Alejandro UgarteAtlanta, GA