Advisory Commitee

Advisory Committee, 2010

Advisory Committee members & staff at May 2010 meeting

Dr. James Anderson is Professor Emeritus of Library and Information Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Anderson earned his masters and doctoral degrees at Columbia University. He chaired the National Information Standards Organization committee to revise the U.S. standard for indexes and related information retrieval devices. His book Information Retrieval Design was published in 2005. He was national communications secretary of Presbyterians for Lesbian and Gay Concerns (later named More Light Presbyterians) for twenty years and editor/publisher of its journal from 1980-2003.

Gabriel Blau is the founder of the God & Sexuality Conference at Bard College and has spoken and written extensively on homosexuality and Judaism. Gabriel holds a B.A. in theology from Bard College and spent a year studying at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He is editing and writing for the upcoming volume Homosexuality and the World Religions: Traditional Views and Modern Responses.

Angel Collie serves as the coordinator of the Archive and Oral History Project of the Metropolitan Community Churches. He is a student and spends most of his time pursuing social justice through activism and social change. He believes that the key to navigating our future is understanding our past, which is what fuels his passion for history.

Rev. Dr. Neil W. Gerdes is Library Director and Associate Professor of Bibliography at Chicago Theological Seminary and Meadville/Lombard Theological School. He received masters degrees from Columbia University and the University of Chicago, an S.T.B. degree from Harvard Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry degree from University of St. Mary of the Lake.

Nancy E. Krody is managing editor of the Journal of Ecumenical Studies at Temple University. Krody has worked and served in various capacities at the national, Association, and local levels of the United Church of Christ and was one of the original leaders of the UCC Gay Caucus (now Coalition for LGBT Concerns) in the early 1970s. Krody has been a leader in several Philadelphia area organizations addressing religion and LGBT or women's issues.

Dr. Joel L. Kushner is the first Director of the Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation (IJSO) at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he also heads the Jeff Herman Virtual Resource Center. Dr. Kushner works with students, faculty and alumni of HUC-JIR, consults with a variety of Jewish organizations, locally and nationally and frequently lectures on LGBT inclusion and Judaism across the country. He is the senior editor of a new book, Kulanu: A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Inclusion Guide for Congregations published by the URJ Press.

Dr. J. Gordon Melton is Director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, California. He earned his masters degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary and a doctoral degree in the history and literature of religion from Northwestern University. Melton has authored more than 25 books on American religious history and cults and new religions.

Dr. Kenneth Rowe has recently retired as Professor of Church History and Senior Librarian of the Methodist Archives and History Center at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He received a doctorate from Drew University and a M.L.S. from Rutgers, The State University. Member of American Academy of Religion, American Society of Church History, American Theological Library Association and many other organizations. Co-editor of Perspectives on American Methodism (1993) and The Methodist Experience in America (2000).

Rev. Dr. Emilie M. Townes is the Carolyn Williams Beaird Professor of Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and an American Baptist clergy. She is the author of several books and is currently engaged in study of structural evil.

Dr. Heather R. White is a scholar of American religious history with a Ph.D. in religion from Princeton University. Her doctoral thesis investigates the histories of lesbian and gay communities in the U.S. and the influential support of liberal Protestant leaders for the early gay rights movement from the post-war period through 1980. Heather's book based upon this research is (tentatively) titled Mainline Protestants and the Rise of Gay Rights.

Dr. Melissa M. Wilcox is a sociologist and historian of religion who specializes in gender studies and sexuality studies. She is author of Coming Out in Christianity: Religion, Identity, and Community (Indiana University Press, 2003) and co-editor of Sexuality and the World's Religions (ABC-CLIO, 2003); she has also written numerous articles on LGBT studies in religion. She is currently working on a new book, tentatively entitled Spirituality and Sex in the City: L.A. Identities in Practice and Theory, which focuses on the spiritual and religious identities of lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women in Los Angeles. Dr. Wilcox teaches in the Religion Department and Gender Studies program at Whitman College in Washington State.