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 specifically for those who are interested in engaging non-affirming Christians in their community through starting or taking a leadership role in a local TRP chapter.
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 firmly aligned with our values and whose passion for their 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, and participants will need to be available for four daylong online gatherings throughout that period: March 27, April 24, May 22, and June 26 (all Saturdays). Applications are due on January 5, 2021. Selection decisions will be made by the end of January.
March 17 - June 26, 2021
Frequently Asked Questions
There is a one-time, non-refundable fee of $175 for participants. 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 (all paperbacks).
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 21-27 and May 26-June 1.
Participants must also be available for daylong online gatherings on four Saturdays throughout the program: March 27, April 24, May 22, and June 26. The gatherings will run from 10am-6pm Central.
TRP chapters work to help local Christians and churches shift from non-affirming to affirming on LGBTQ inclusion. Chapters pursue that goal through visibility and dialogue, education, and community support, and they always lead from a posture of relationship and respect.
To start a local chapter, prospective chapter leaders must first complete the Leadership Development Cohort. In the months after the cohort ends, we will work with cohort graduates to assess their readiness to start a chapter and help them lay the groundwork to do so.
No. Given limited resources, we will select only those who are personally committed to working toward greater LGBTQ inclusion in the non-affirming church.
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 as much of the gatherings as possible.
What Cohort Alums Have to Say
Hear from some of our past cohort members about the impact the program had on them.
“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 of my local chapter, 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 through starting a local TRP chapter.”Alejandro UgarteAtlanta, GA