Mark Bowman has been involved in the development of LGBT-RAN since its founding in 2001. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Boston University School of Theology. He first became active in Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns in the late 1970s. He was instrumental in the formation of the Reconciling Congregation Program (United Methodist) and the magazine Open Hands and headed these programs for fifteen years. He played a key leadership role in initiating several cooperative ventures in the ecumenical “Welcoming Church” Movement, including the historic, massive Witness Our Welcome (WOW) Conference in 2000. He was also one of the original members of the National Religious Leaders Roundtable of the National LGBTQ Task Force.
Jess Delegencia, MA, MDiv, a citizen of both the United States and the Philippines, is currently the executive director of World Bridges, an Oakland-based non-profit serving young adults of color affected by US urban poverty. He is also a PhD candidate in Organizational Leadership at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA, where his research is focused on Filipino leadership and LGBT advocacy in Christian organizations. Jess was a full-time minster with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for over 12 years, serving as Area Director (2002-2004), Regional Program Director for the Global Urban Trek program in the Philippines and Asia (2004-2008), and a national diversity consultant (2002-2008) in API leadership development and ministry.
Jess is the co-founder of Kapwa, a Filipino American para-church organization in Berkeley, CA. He is also a sought after speaker and teacher, having preached or facilitated workshops in Mexico, Thailand, South Africa, Canada, United Kingdom, and the Philippines. Jess has travelled to over 50 countries in all regions of the world, having lived, studied or worked in southern Africa, southeast Asia, India and Mexico.
Deseree Fontenot earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature from the University of Southern California. During her four years as a student organizer, she worked to expand diverse and thoughtful programming as the director of the GLBTQ student assembly at USC. She formerly served as the Administrative Assistant at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, a think tank focused on advancing critical thought in the field of sexual orientation law and public policy. She has also volunteered with sustainability and spirituality focused organizations in South America. She is thrilled to be a part of an organization working towards social change for GLBTQ communities. Deseree is also a practicing yoga instructor and completed the Integral Health Fellowship Yoga Teacher Training with Niroga Institute in Berkeley.
Rev. Carla Roland Guzmán was raised in Puerto Rico and is ordained in the Episcopal Church. She serves an inclusive, bilingual, and multicultural congregation in New York City. Rev. Roland has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Cornell University; Master’s of Divinity from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific; Master of Arts in Church History from the Graduate Theological Union; and is currently finishing her PhD in Theology form the University of Exeter (UK) and Hartford Seminary.
In the early 1990s she was involved with the LGBTQ community while at Cornell University, and the work done at that time led to the creation of the LGBTQ Resource Center, one of the earliest in the country. She recently served one year on the board of the Cornell University GALA. Her current interests lie in bringing the voices of people of color to LGBTQ institutions, as well as, bringing LGBTQ voices to the Latin@/Hispanic Community, including Churches.She has been a member of the CLGS Latino/a Roundtable: Fe, Familia, Igualdad since its inception.
Jakob Hero received his MDiv, MA, and Certificate in Sexuality and Religion from Pacific School of Religion in 2011. He holds a Graduate Diploma in Christian Theology and Spiritual Direction from Cardiff University in Wales, and a BA in Religious Studies with an emphasis on Christianity and Islam, from the University of South Florida. Jakob has led trainings on human rights and participated transgender advocacy throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Central and Eastern Europe. Currently living in Tampa, Florida, Jakob is the Director of Education and Programs at the Metropolitan Community Church of Tampa.
Reverend Floren“Tino” Cordova, M.Div., BA, CSR, CIPS: was ordained through the denomination of Metropolitan Community Churches and dually affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He currently serves as the Pastor of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Watsonville, California. He is also a Human Rights Campaign – “A La Familia” trainer, board member of the Northern California Council of Churches – Impact Board, and a member of ALPHA which is a Hispanic ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Northern California/Nevada Conference.
His current work in Watsonville includes creating a faith community that heals the divisions of racism between neighbors, reconciliation, ministries of justice, reengaging the youth, and learning to live into the open and affirming church status. They are partnering with other congregations, building relationships with key community leaders, police department, and introducing programs such as the Teatro del Espiritu-Theatre of the Spirit so youth can bring their truths of their experiences through artistic expression. The church is striving, once again, be a church that is “part” of the community, not “apart” from the community.
Rabbi Jane Rachel Litman is the Rabbi of Coastside Jewish Community, a diverse and welcoming congregation in Half Moon Bay, California. Prior to joining CJC, she served as the Rabbi of LGBTQI outreach congregations Sha’ar Zahav and Kol Simcha. Rabbi Litman has been a consultant on religious education for alternative families for the Metropolitan Community Church and National Council of Churches. She was a lecturer at California State University Northridge, where she co-founded the Queer Studies Institute. An LGBTQI and AIDS activist for over twenty-five years, including serving on the Board of the March on Washington and Freedom to Marry, Rabbi Litman is widely published in the fields of feminism, trans and queer theory, and is the co-editor of the award winning Lifecycles series. Her latest piece is the chapter on Judaism in Struggling In Good Faith, a multifaith look at religion in American from an LGBTQI perspective.
Justin earned his M.Div. degree at Harvard Divinity School and his Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. His dissertation was published in 2003 by Pilgrim Press as Transgendered: Ministry, Theology, and Communities of Faith and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award that year. That book was also the first in the CLGS book series. He has also contributed chapters to the Queer Bible Commentary and Take Back the Word: A Queer Reading of the Bible. An artist and photographer, Justin has had a lifelong passion for the arts. His scholarly interests include the theology expressed by LGBT visual artists, which is the focus of his PhD studies here at the GTU.
After receiving his PhD from Yale University in the history of Christianity and teaching on the East coast, Bernie became one of the original staff members of the Center when it opened its doors in the fall of 2000. Since then he has held a number of positions at CLGS, including Program Director and Interim Deputy Director, before becoming Executive Director in July 2009. In addition, he directs the development and advancement work of the Center, teaches in the Certificate of Sexuality and Religion Program (CSR) at Pacific School of Religion, and serves as an editorial consultant for the CLGS/Pilgrim Press Book series.
Rev. Roland Stringfellow earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Master of Science degree in Counseling from Indiana University. He later earned a Master of Arts degree in Ministry from Grace Theological Seminary and in 1990 became a licensed minister in the Baptist Church. In 2005, Roland was ordained with the Metropolitan Community Church and in 2006 he earned his Master of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion with a certificate in Religion and Sexuality. In 2011, Roland became licensed with the United Church of Christ and The Fellowship churches, a predominately African-American denomination with an outreach to LGBT individuals. He has worked as a pastor in Indiana and California. In addition to all his work within church contexts, Roland also worked in the field of education in a variety of capacities – teacher, guidance counselor, college advisor, and vice-principal. Roland is currently based in Detroit, Michigan.