Restore Dialogues: Courageous Conversations on Faith, Sexuality, and Gender Identity create opportunities for Christians with deep theological differences on sexuality and gender identity to move toward one another with deeper compassion and joy.
The purpose of these events is to model, encourage, and elevate thoughtful perspectives on faith, sexuality, and gender identity across theological perspectives in hopes that we all can (1) invite the fruit of the spirit to infuse our conversations on faith, sexuality, and gender identity; (2) learn to befriend folks we typically fear in conversations on faith, sexuality, and gender identity; (3) grow in empathy and understanding of viewpoints with which we don’t typically interact; (4) articulate what we believe and why in compassionate and productive ways in our own communities; (5) create the context through which reconciliation with self, others, and God at the intersection of faith, sexuality, and gender identity becomes possible.
Join us for an evening of dialogue as we explore how to cultivate courageous, productive conversations on these important topics, helping Christians with deep theological differences to move toward one another with deeper compassion and joy. Whether you identify as LGBT+, same-sex attracted, or heterosexual, traditional, conservative, progressive, or liberal, you are welcome and wanted in the conversation.
Upcoming Restore Dialogue Events
Planning for future offerings of our Restore Dialogue Events is in-process. Sign up for our mailing list to receive updates or e-mail us to request more information on hosting a Restore Dialogue in your community.
Past Restore Dialogues
Our first Restore Dialogue event was held in Cincinnati in November 2016 and featured a panel of noted voices across the theological, gender, and sexuality spectrum. Learn more about our conversation partners at our first Restore event and watch the recording below.
Mark Yarhouse, Psy.D., is the Rosemarie S. Hughes Endowed Chair and Professor of Psychology at Regent University. Dr. Yarhouse was named Senior Fellow with the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities to conduct a study of students navigating sexual identity concerns at Christian colleges and universities. He has been a consultant to the National Institute of Corrections to address issues facing LGBT+ persons in corrections, and he was part of a consensus panel from the American Psychological Association on sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts that convened to provide input to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in Washington, DC. Dr. Yarhouse is currently the Chair of the task force on LGBT+ issues for Division 36 (Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) of the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Yarhouse has published over 80 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and is author or co-author of several books, including Understanding Sexual Identity: A Resource for Youth Ministers. His most recent book is titled Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture.
Julie works for restoration within communities that hope to learn from those on the margins. She has served as an advisor to sexual minorities at Christian colleges during a time of tremendous cultural transition, and she’s been transformed by the youth she’s served in low-income communities. Julie connects with those seeking a fresh vision for community as we become more diverse (and often more divided). She speaks with humor and candor in a variety of settings, including universities, LGBT events, women’s events, and leadership conferences. Sometimes conversations about sensitive topics are more fruitful in smaller settings, so Julie also consults regularly with Christian leaders and college administrators to discuss practical ways organizations can nurture the kinds of communities where everyone feels wanted.
Avery Belyeu is a transgender educator, suicide prevention practitioner, and aspiring theologian. Avery received a Bachelors in Science Degree from Appalachian State University and studied Higher Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. They are currently a 2nd year Master in Divinity student and Haggard Legacy Fellow at Brite Divinity School, in Fort Worth Texas. They’re a national expert on LGBTQ youth, suicide prevention, and youth homelessness. Their professional experience includes working in suicide prevention in a university setting, serving as the Education Director for The Trevor Project, and starting in 2014, working as National Partnerships Associate at the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Avery currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center, a federally funded center, as an expert on LGBTQ youth homelessness and they also serve on the advisory board of Trans Lifeline a suicide prevention lifeline serving the needs of the transgender community in the United States and Canada.
Taylor Zimmerman is a theology and counseling student at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY. His research interests include theology of the body, virtue ethics, attachment theory, and identity formation. He is passionate about forming Christian communities that embody deep friendships with the Other and that pursue justice for the sake of the Kingdom of God. He holds to a sexual framework based on the work of Thomas Aquinas and is a celibate gay man. He has written for Seedbed and Level Ground.