Discussing Doctrine

Franklyn Schaefer photo

The Rev. Franklyn Schaefer

The Annual Wesley Lecture

by Aleksandra Syniec '18

The Rev. Franklyn Schaefer, who was defrocked for officiating his son’s same-sex marriage, will present the annual Wesley Lecture at Dickinson College, “An Indictment of the United Methodist Anti-Gay Doctrine,” on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Stern Center Great Room.

Schaefer is a United Methodist pastor, chaplain and author. In 2013, a complaint and judicial charges were filed against Schaefer in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church for officiating his son’s same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, in violation of church doctrine. Following a church trial, he was found guilty and defrocked. After an appeal in 2014, he was reinstated into the clergy. Schaefer has since become a national advocate for human rights while also leading the restart of University United Methodist Church in Isla Vista, California. The parish describes itself as a community organization of faith that welcomes the diversity of human family and is accepting of all people unconditionally. Schaefer authored Defrocked, a book in which he recalls these events.  

The Wesley Lecture grows out of the historical relationship between Dickinson College and the Methodist Church, which has its roots in the 19th century. The lecture highlights contemporary conversations and controversies in faith communities and in higher education about the importance and role of community, commitment and service for the education of the citizen-scholar.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Center for Service, Spirituality & Social Justice with special thanks to the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church. It is also co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund and is part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Learn more

Published October 23, 2017