Speaking

Think you'd like to have Austen come speak at your church, school, or other organization? Feel free to fill out the contact form here, and he'll get back to you as soon as possible.

In the past, Austen has spoken on panels at The Reformation Project and led workshops for The Gay Christian Network, The Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, and The Wild Goose Festival. He often spends his Sunday mornings running ally trainings and LGBTQ+ educations sessions during coffee hour at churches in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. He is currently taking requests for panels, workshops, and lectures within the continental USA.

Austen tailors every ally training session or lecture to each specific audience, and works with members of the inviting community in order to tease out the biggest questions the community may be asking. A few of the sessions Austen has taught in the past include...

  • LGBTQ+ Ally Training 101
    Time: 1 hour
    Number of attendees: No limit
    Style: 40 minute lecture, 20 minute Q&A session
    Pull up a chair and learn about all of the identities represented in the LGBTQ+ acronym! Whether you're part of the LGBTQ+ community, or learning about marginalized gender identities and sexualities for the first time, this lecture session is for you. We'll go over some basics of sociological "queer theory," while also engaging in theological questions about the way our faith and our identities inform each other. Come build a framework that will help you better understand your LGBTQ+ siblings in Christ!

  • Advanced LGBTQ+ Ally Training: Action Steps for Affirming Our Queer Siblings in Christ
    Time: 1 hour
    Number of attendees: No limit
    Style: 40 minute lecture, 20 minute small group discussions
    How can you use your privilege for good, as an individual? How can your church create safe spaces and work for justice, as an organization? Join in this workshop devoted to answering these questions, and building an authentically welcoming community. Let's get together to move our theology from the hypothetical to the practical, and to make full inclusion of all God's children a reality.

  • Seeing Ourselves In Scripture: LGBTQ+ Identities and the Bible
    Time: 90 minutes
    Number of attendees: No more than 30
    Style: 40 minutes lecture, 10 minute break, 40 minutes group Bible study
    Have you ever heard someone say that being gay is a sin? Ever read an article or blog post that argues against same-sex marriage or protections for transgender students, and then realized it was written by a Christian? In this session we'll take a closer look at the "clobber passages" used against LGBTQ+ folks, and also dig into stories of biblical characters who didn't fit the mold when it came to sexuality and gender identity. Let's get together and read scripture with open eyes and open hearts, and see where the Spirit leads!