Friday, August 29, 2008

No homo

My (entirely unchosen) sexual orientation has, as many readers will already know, barred the fulfillment of two of my great ecclesiastical dreams: to study at Nashotah House, and to become a member of the Society of the Holy Cross (though there's always the Society of Catholic Priests).

It seems, though, that my seminary options are even more limited than I previously understood. Nashotah is far from the only no-fly zone for gay seminarians. One individual went so far as to declare: "Your only option is Trinity College." My parish priest, herself a Wycliffe alumna, tells me: "I don't think you could survive Wycliffe." Another priest said: "I think Wycliffe would drive you nuts." (Perhaps he simply meant the habitual guitar masses? Wycliffe is not a place where they believe that "Praise Bands Annoy God," as the Facebook group is titled). Annoyingly, a gay but archconservative friend remarked to me: "Wycliffe teaches the faith, Trinity the doubts." But apparently learning the faith isn't an option for me, though as a Trinity student I could take courses at Wycliffe. (For reference, here is Wycliffe's Statement of Moral Vision - scroll to bottom of page).

Another gay but archconservative friend, who grew up in the West Indies, warns me that the social climate there rules out Codrington College. And my English friends warn me that St Stephen's House, Oxford, once a hotbed of seminarian fraternization, has really tightened up the reins since the principalship of David Hope. All of which is beside the now exorbitant cost of studying in the UK for non-Europeans.

All of this has brought Trinity to the top of my list, though I may apply to a couple of American schools, like Berkeley-Yale and the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in New York. I have nothing against Trinity (and I relish the opportunity to apply to Massey), but I rather resent having the decision made for me by default, because of a personal (possibly even biological) characteristic I can do nothing about.

9 comments:

aaronorear said...

Wycliffe is full of gay students - more than Trinity, I hear tell. They're mostly deeply closeted, but they're there in numbers. Why is beyond me.

Geoff said...

I find that strangely fascinating...

Davis said...

Don't go somewhere that you have to be deeply closeted. It's one thing to set your orientation to one side, but to suffer the indignity of being preached at, well, it's not worth what it will do for your self worth. General and Yale are both excellent places.

Davis said...

ps - SSC? I can't think of any straight members, but I'm sure there are some...

Isaac Thorpe said...

Why not Huron....

Geoff said...

In fact, it is on my list, along with Montreal Dio and Waterloo Lutheran.

Hoosierpalian said...

Having watched several episodes of Corner Gas on WGN America, I am guessing that it's a no go for
Emmanuel & St. Chad's? They offered a summer course for gay and lesbian Anglicans, but there's that notorious issue of Saskatoon's climate.

Seriously though, all the smart young Catholics are going to General.

JC said...

VST is a good school, though many have warned others that is far, far on the left side of the theological spectrum. Churchmanship-wise, it is liberal and low-church. My friend once said that they never recite the Creeds in worship.

Patrick Cook said...

I think Sewanee is an option (it's where Rt. Rev'd V. Gene Robinson went), Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts as of course is the General Theological Seminary.

Best of luck, and may God be with you.