News & Updates

The Religious Institute offers its prophetic moral voice to the public discourse at the intersection of religion, sexuality, gender, and reproductive health. Below you will find our most recent updates & press releases. For press inquiries or further information about the Religious Institute, please contact Drew Konow at 203-222-0055 or Please click here to join the Religious Institute Press List.

We’re ready to keep fighting

December 21, 2016

In the coming year, your support will be crucial. We are likely to face challenges to sexual, reproductive, and LGBTQ rights from every angle imaginable—from federal and state governments, from those who claim the mantle of religion, and even from our neighbors. Like you, I am worried about these threats. But I know that we are strong, and […]

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Grief, Commitment, and Justice After the 2016 Election

November 9, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Drew Konow,, 203-222-0055 November 9, 2016 This morning, many of us woke up to a reality we never imagined. This grueling campaign season has ended, and it has ended with President-Elect Trump. This does not embody the moral vision so many faith leaders stood up to articulate. This election season […]

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Religious Institute to Host AAR Panel on Sexuality in Theological Education

November 2, 2016

On November 19th, the Religious Institute will host a panel on addressing sexuality in graduate theological education at this year’s meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) in San Antonio, TX. In the past seven years, since the publication of Sex and the Seminary, graduate theological schools have made enormous strides toward addressing sexuality […]

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Saying Their Names: Mourning the Loss of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott

September 23, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Drew Konow,, 203-222-0055 September 23, 2016—As we continue to see violence enacted by the police on Black men, we at the Religious Institute say their names and mourn their deaths. Terence Crutcher. Keith Lamont Scott. Once again, we proclaim that when Black people are targeted by racist systems that perpetuate […]

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Congratulations to our President & CEO on Her Ordination

August 31, 2016

On Saturday, August 27, 2016, Religious Institute president and CEO Rev. Marie Alford-Harkey was ordained as a pastor in the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC). The Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson, Moderator of the UFMCC, performed the Rite of Ordination. The Rev. Dr. Debra W. Haffner, President Emerita of the Religious Institute, spoke […]

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Announcing “Sexuality: From the Seminary to the Sanctuary”: Our Newsletter on Gender, Sexuality, and Graduate Theological Education

August 16, 2016

Sign up today to receive “Sexuality: From the Seminary to the Sanctuary,” the Religious Institute’s newsletter on gender, sexuality, and graduate theological education. This month, the Religious Institute is releasing the first edition of “Sexuality: From the Seminary to the Sanctuary,” our newsletter on gender, sexuality, and graduate theological education. The newsletter will share Religious Institute […]

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Op-Ed: Rediscovering God in Our LGBTQ Siblings

August 15, 2016

In response to the event, Religious Institute president and CEO Marie Alford-Harkey penned an op-ed for the Huffington Post called “Rediscovering God in Our LGBTQ Siblings.” She makes the case for why, as people of faith, we must hold those with power accountable for their words and actions while working to create a just world.

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A Call to Action in Response to Deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

July 7, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Drew Konow,, 203-222-0055 July 7, 2016—Religious Institute president Marie Alford-Harkey released the following statement in response to the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. “Today we awoke to the news of another police officer shooting and killing a black man. As an organization committed to seeking the ideal of wholeness for […]

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Religious Institute Celebrates Supreme Court Decision on Abortion Access

June 27, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Drew Konow,, 203-222-0055 June 27, 2016—This morning, the United States Supreme Court issued a 5-3 decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, ruling that the restrictions in Texas’ HB2 law place an undue burden on abortion access and violate the U.S. Constitution. Commenting on the decision, Religious Institute president Marie […]

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Religious Institute Welcomes Kentina Washington

June 16, 2016

The Religious Institute is delighted to welcome Kentina Washington, M.Div. as our new Program Director for Reproductive Justice and Sexuality Education! Kentina has a love for justice and education and extensive experience in pastoral care and chaplaincy. She is passionate about helping communities of faith be thoughtful, courageous, and responsible in the care of their […]

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