Stephen V. Sprinkle

Brite Divinity School educates and inspires people to serve God's diverse world as leaders in churches, the academy, and public life.

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Stephen V. Sprinkle is Emeritus Professor of Practical Theology. A native of North Carolina, and educated with a B.A. from Barton College, an M.Div. from Yale University Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Duke University Graduate School, he is an ordained minister of the Alliance of Baptists.  Dr. Sprinkle was named 2010-2011 Hero of Hope by the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas for his advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community, and currently serves as Theologian-in-Residence for the Cathedral. He holds professional memberships in the Academy of Religious Leadership, the Association of Theological Field Educators, and is a member of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy. Dr. Sprinkle is a human rights advocate, a widely sought speaker, and an internationally recognized authority on anti-LGBTQ hate crimes. In 2021, he was named Director of the Carpenter Initiative on Gender, Sexuality, and Justice.

Dr. Sprinkle is the author of many articles and chapters in books, and of three academic books, Disciples and Theology (1999) and Ordination (2004), both published by Chalice Press, and Unfinished Lives: Reviving the Memories of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims (2011) by Resource Publications.  Unfinished Lives won the International Silver Medal in Gay/Lesbian Non-fiction, given by the Independent Book Publishers Awards (the IPPYs) in 2012. In 2013, his book was translated into Korean and published in the Republic of Korea under the title, Who Trampled Down the Rainbow Flag?: Remembering the Death of Victims of Hate Crimes Against the Sexual Minority (Seoul, South Korea: Alma Publishing Co. Ltd.).  Dr. Sprinkle is the founder and webmaster of, and an official blogger for the Huffington Post.

Throughout his career, Dr. Sprinkle has been involved in the life and witness of the church. He has served five congregations on their ministerial staffs, including three in North Carolina, one in Connecticut, and one in Texas. The Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas called him to the honorary position of Theologian-in-Residence from 2011 to 2017. Complementing his service at Brite, Dr. Sprinkle serves since 2020 as Theologian-in-Residence at the Episcopal Church of St. Thomas the Apostle in Dallas.


Ph.D., Duke University Graduate School, 1997
M.Div., Yale University Divinity School, 1977
B.A., Barton College, 1974


Alliance of Baptists


  • Introduction to Ministry Studies
  • Ministry in the LGBTQ Community
  • Supervised Ministry I
  • Supervised Ministry II
  • The Church's Mission and the Minister's Vocation
  • Minister as Practical Theologian
  • Eschatology and Ministry in Uncertain Times


  • Who Trampled Down the Rainbow Flag?: Remembering the Death of Victims of Hate Crimes Against the Sexual Minority (Seoul, South Korea: Alma Publishing Co. Ltd., 2013) [Korean edition of Unfinished Lives]
  • Unfinished Lives: Reviving the Memory of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims (Eugene, OR: Resource Publications, 2011)
  • Ordination: Celebrating the Gift of Ministry (St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2004)
  • Disciples and Theology: Understanding the Faith of a People In Covenant (St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 1999)

Journal Articles, Book Chapters and Book Reviews

  • “Teacher, Martyr, and Exemplar: Vibia Perpetua Writes Her Own Account of Christian Faith and Martyrdom,” in Alphonetta Wines, ed., I Wish Someone Had Told Me: Equity for Women in the Church (Monroe, LA: Equity for Women in the Church, Inc., 2020), pp. 85-91.
  • “Beyond Queer Fear?: Turbulent Times for Supervision in Ministry,” in Reflective Practice: Formation and Supervision in Ministry, Vol. 39, Spring 2019, pp. 22-30.
  • “Love Letter,” in Ellin Jimmerson, ed., Rainbow in the Word: LGBTQ Christians’ Biblical Memoirs (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2017), pp. 65-68.
  • “Teaching Religious Leadership in the LGBTQ Community: An Exercise in Theological Formation for Ministry,” in Journal of Religious Leadership, Vol. 16, No. 1, Spring 2017, pp. 57-88.
  • “The Broken Silences of Thomas Merton,” in William Oliver Paulsell, ed., Merton and the Protestant Tradition (Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2016).
  • “Gender, Identity, and Inclusive Leadership,” in Sharon Henderson Callahan, ed., Religious Leadership: A Handbook, 2 vols., (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Reference Publications, 2013), vol. 2, pp. 409-416.
  • “Until the Subject Changes: Reading and Telling the Stories of Our Murdered LGBTQ Ancestors,” in Cody J. Sanders, ed., Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Resource for Congregations on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,” Second Edition (Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, and the Alliance of Baptists, 2013), pp. 125-128.
  • “Hate Knows No Fences,” Guest Columnist, The Dallas Voice, March 8, 2013.
  • “Standing Together: The Murder of Lesbians and the Martyrdom of Saints Perpetua and Felicity,” in Aliou Cissé Niang, and Carolyn Osiek, eds., Text, Image and Christians in a Graeco-Roman World: A Festschrift in Honor of David Lee Balch (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Press, 2012), pp. 199-217.
  • “How It Got Better for an Ordained Christian Minister,” in Dan Savage and Terry Miller, eds., It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living (New York: Dutton Books, 2011).
  • “A God at the Margins?: Marcella Althaus-Reid and the Marginality of LGBT People,” in Journal of Religious Leadership, Vol. 8, No. 2, Fall 2009, pp. 57-83.
  • “Queer Fear: Ministry Made Strange by the Fear of the Sexual Other,” in Reflective Practice: Formation and Supervision in Ministry, Volume 28, May 2008, pp. 103-121.
  • “In the Market of the Cupid Vendors: Foucauldian and Post-Foucauldian Critiques of Ecclesial Power and Leadership,” in Journal of Religious Leadership, Vol. 6, No. 2, Fall 2007, pp. 75-102.

Professional Affiliations

Association of Theological Field Education
Disciples of Christ Historical Society
Academy of Religious Leadership