HRC Foundation Mentorship Program: Summer Institute for Religious and Theological Study

Filed under: Religion & Faith

HRC Scholarship and Mentorship Religious and Theological Studies

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation LGBT Mentorship program for Religious and Theological Study seeks to encourage and promote the dialogue on LGBT issues and religion in seminaries and, by extension, in our congregations and communities by investing in the next generation of LGBTQ and allied scholars. This project is made possible in part through a generous grant from the E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.


About the Program

Beginning in 2010 through a generous grant from the E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation and in partnership with Vanderbilt Divinity School, HRC launched an annual seminary scholarship and mentorship program to nurture and promote promising religious scholars and theologians interested in LGBTQ studies. Working in partnership with participating seminaries, schools of divinity and universities we helped build welcoming learning environments where intellectually and spiritually groundbreaking work at the intersections of religious studies, sexuality, gender identity and justice work could flourish.

Each of the past four years, the program has brought together 15 graduate and post-graduate students for a week long intensive program to encourage and promote dialogue on LGBTQ issues and religion in seminaries and universities, and, by extension, in congregations and communities.  We have done this by an intensive investment in the next generation of LGBTQ and allied scholars. The program enabled participants to 1) learn about the process of writing and publishing on LGBTQ religious and theological subjects; 2) interact with leading and new scholars in the field and 3) join HRC’s growing network of LGBTQ scholars and teachers.


2014 Summer Institute Conference

Building on the four-year success of the Institute and on our deepening understanding of the relationship of LGBTQ identities and religion, the HRC Foundation is now planning a reunion conference that will include a detailed assessment of the role the Summer Institute has played in LGBTQ scholarship and activism.



To successfully create a reunion conference, we will be taking a year’s sabbatical from the Summer Institute.  Please check in here in early fall for updates on the next Summer Institute in 2015.  You can also contact us at for more information.

To learn more about the important catalyzing work of HRC's scholarship and mentorship program read reflections from past Summer Institutes:


Sponsoring Institutions

Our sponsoring institutions have either financially supported this project or support faculty who have volunteered their time to be part of our advisory committee. 

Sponsoring and Host Institution

Additional Sponsors


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