LGBTQ+ Discernment Guide
Welcome! In 2018, the Center for Church and Community Impact (C³I) was generously gifted a congregational discernment research grant (CD grant) from the Eula Mae Baugh Foundation. The research study examined the processes of discernment congregations nationwide are engaging in to determine their stance on LGBTQ+ inclusion. The term discernment is used to suggest processes that clarify values and practices based on God’s leadership.
In their research, the C³I aimed to discover the decision and discernment processes of congregations, identify resources available to congregations, and create a guide to provide future congregations with possible practices for these difficult conversations. The goal was understanding, not advocating for a particular process or decision. The C³I recognizes the differing views that may be prevalent among ministers, congregations, and denominations over the interpretation of scripture and the position of the church in response to LGBTQ+ visitors and members, particularly with respect to leadership and marriage. The C³I worked with congregations who decided not to have the conversation and with congregations who had the conversation and made different decisions.
The findings resulted in numerous journal articles being strategically published in open-access journals for easy access by mental health professionals as well as clergy. These articles can be accessed on our website.
In addition, the C³I created evidence-based LGBTQ+ Inclusion Discernment materials for congregations desiring to walk through a process of discernment related to decisions to be more inclusive in their practices and policies specific to LGBTQ+ persons. The full materials include: Stepping Stone, Pre-Assessment, Pathway, Backpack and Food for the Journey.
Individuals or congregations interested in consultation and resources may contact the Center for Church and Community Impact (C³I). (254) 710-4440 • C3I@baylor.edu
To learn more, we invite you to download a sample of the WALKING ALONGSIDE: LGBTQ+ INCLUSION DISCERNMENT GUIDE.
Thank you for your interest in the work of the Center for Church and Community Impact (C³I), which we believe has the potential to transform both individuals in our congregations and in our communities. We are deeply indebted to the Eula Mae & John Baugh Foundation for their commitment to creating inclusive and caring congregations that impact communities.