The board of trustees of a Lutheran
seminary in Pennsylvania has fired the school's president after it
came to light that she worked for a group that promoted therapies
that attempt to alter the sexuality or gender identity of lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay
On Wednesday, the United Lutheran
Seminary voted to end the Rev. Theresa F. Latini's tenure as
According to PennLive,
United Lutheran Seminary is the result of a merger that took effect
this fall between seminaries in Gettysburg and Philadelphia. Latini,
47, was its first president.
Philadelphia Inquirer first reported that Latini helmed One
By One, a New York-based organization, from 1996 to 2001.
According to the report, the Rev. J.
Elise Brown, who chairs the board, was aware of Latini's work at One
By One but failed to disclose that information with the board's
The revelation angered students and
staff, leading to the resignations of eight board members, including
While Latini has renounced her work at
One By One, she also told PennLive in an email that she has been
“scapegoated by a historically divided institution.”
“I profoundly regret my work in this
organization,” she wrote in a letter to the school community. “I
celebrate the beauty and diversity in God's creation, including all
sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.”
“For the past twelve years, I have
advocated for the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ persons in the church
and academy in my teaching, advising, writing and administrating. I
will continue this now and in the future,” she
Bishop James Dunlop, of the Lower
Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has
been named acting president.