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 presented workshops at conferences including The Reformation Project Conference, the Why Christian? Conference, and The Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, and has led retreats with organizations including Q Christian Fellowship, and Reconciling Ministries Network. Austen is especially passionate about working with colleges and universities, and has recently spoken at the University of California Davis, General Theological Seminary in New York, and Calvin College in Michigan. He often spends his Sunday mornings running ally trainings and LGBTQI2A education sessions during coffee hour at churches in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. He is currently taking requests for panels, workshops, lectures, and retreats.
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: 60 minutes
Pull up a chair and learn about all of the identities represented in the LGBTQI2A 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 learn about what all those letters mean, who uses what pronouns, how sexuality is different from gender, and why any of this matters if we agree that love for our neighbor is the bottom line. Come build a framework that will help you better understand your LGBTQI2A siblings in Christ!
Advanced LGBTQ+ Ally Training: Action Steps for Affirming Our Queer Siblings in Christ
Time: 60 minutes
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: Diverse Sexualities and Gender Identities in the Bible
Time: 90 minutes
Have you ever heard someone say that being gay is a sin, or that it’s not possible to be transgender and Christian? Do you have questions about the verses in the Bible that talk about things like clothing and gender roles? Not sure how to hold on to your faith and love your queer family member? In this session we'll take a closer look at the "clobber passages" used against LGBTQI2A 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!
Meeting Our Gender-Diverse Siblings
Time: 90 to 120 minutes
Wondering about how to support the transgender, nonbinary, agender, and gender-fluid people in your community? Not even sure what all those words mean? Don’t worry—we’re going to learn together. This lecture combines gender identity basics, scriptural analysis, and action steps into one powerful experience. The longer, 120 minute version of this event includes time for directed Bible study and community planning.
LGBTQI2A Allyship for Faith Leaders
Time: 90 minutes
This specialized workshop is devoted to those who guide our communities, whether they be ordained leaders, youth leaders, camp leaders, or parachurch professionals. What do you do when a teen in your youth group comes out? How do you create liturgy to commemorate a name change? Do the songs you sing include language that could be alienating for people in your congregation, and if so, how do you decide to change them? This lecture also includes a dive into biblical passages related to sexuality and gender, and how to use them in a pastoral context.