Nationally Known Religious Leader to Visit Allegheny

The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, retired global leader for the Metropolitan Community Churches and a renowned leader in the LGBT Christian community, will visit the Allegheny College campus in March for a 10-day residency.

Rev. Wilson, a 1972 graduate of Allegheny, will be the keynote speaker for a workshop titled “Ministry With Trans Persons” from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 10, in the Tippie Alumni Center. The workshop will focus on the subject of transgender persons becoming more visible in society and in churches and how to better provide ministry for – and with — them. The workshop is open to the public, but registration is required.

On Thursday, March 8, at 12:15 p.m., Rev. Wilson will speak on “Faith and Climate Change” in Carr Hall Room 238. On Sunday, March 11, Rev. Wilson will be the guest preacher at an 11 a.m. interdenominational service in Ford Memorial Chapel. Her sermon title is “When Thoughts and Prayers Are Not Enough: Let the Children Lead!” Both the talk and the service are free and open to the public.

The Rev. Wilson also will be co-teaching with the Rev. Dr. Jane Ellen Nickell a short course titled “Queer Folks and the Church” during her visit. “With Chaplain Jane Ellen Nickell, I will be presenting a perspective on the continuing challenge of actually welcoming queer people into our faith communities, and the rich diversity and history of the queer faith movement — not only here, but around the world,” Rev. Wilson said.

Rev. Wilson served as global leader in the Metropolitan Community Churches position from 2005 until her retirement in 2016. She was the second person, and the first woman, to serve in that role since MMC’s founding in 1968.

In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Rev. Wilson to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and in 2012 she was the only openly gay clergy to participate in the Inaugural Prayer Service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. In 2014, Rev. Wilson was named as one of the spokespeople for Blessed Tomorrow, a team of 21 top ecumenical and interfaith leaders in the United States to spearhead an effort to mobilize religious communities to address environmental concerns.

In May 2014, Rev. Wilson was one of four honorees to be recognized by Intersections International for her humanitarian work in the area of social justice. In honor of International Women’s Day in 2014, the Huffington Post selected Rev. Wilson as one of the 50 “powerful religious leaders … making change in the world.”

Rev. Wilson has published numerous articles and the books, including “Outing the Bible: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Christian Scriptures;” “Outing the Church: 40 Years in the Queer Christian Movement;” “Our Tribe: Queer Folks, God, Jesus and the Bible;” and “I Love to Tell the Story, 100+ Stories of Justice, Inclusion and Hope.”

For more information or to register for the March 10 workshop, call (814) 332-2800 or email