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Dr. Sarah Leer (she/her/hers) is a native Arkansan who served Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations in Texas and in Northwest Arkansas. Sarah is a graduate of Wake Forest University, Columbia Theological Seminary, and the Clinton School of Public Service. Sarah holds a Doctor of Educational Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary. She is a practical theologian who is living into her call to deconstruct systems and disrupt the status quo in order to seek liberation, justice, and belonging in solidarity with those living on the margins.

Contextual. Creative. Collaborative.

A lifelong Presbyterian, Sarah has served as a Young Adult Volunteer in New Orleans, as the Moderator of the Young Adult Volunteer Alumni Council, as the Adult Co-Moderator for the Youth Advisory Team and on CPM for the Presbytery of Arkansas, and on the board of the Presbyterian Youth Workers’ Association. Sarah enjoys singing Broadway songs in her car, random road trips and adventures, geeking out over pop culture, traveling the world with friends, hanging out with her family, board games, watching SEC college football, and attending youth conferences that include energizers.

Focused On Three Main Areas

Youth & Young Adult Ministry
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I served non-profit organizations since 2011, always working with youth and children. For 8 of those years, I worked with young children, and their families in faith communities. As a youth worker, educator, and practical theologian, I know youth and young adult ministry is always evolving and changing. I believe strongly in sharing power with and elevating the voices of youth and young adults. I love to work with faith communities as they assess how they can better serve the current (and future) young people in their midst.

Facilitations, Conversations, Speaker, & Trainings for small groups and ministry leaders
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Whether it is facilitating a difficult conversation, a Board Training or a Keynote for your youth retreat, I will work with your leadership to establish what best fits your ministry. I know every faith community is different, so I will take the time to customize what works best for your community and in your context. I believe that the Holy Spirit moves in authentic, grounded conversations. Sometimes all it takes is an facilitator who is an outside voice, helping to bring new insights to the surface. I love working with colleagues to determine what will help move your ministry forward. And if you are looking for leadership for your event, Keynoting and Speaking at youth retreats or conferences is one of my favorite things to do!

Affirmation, Welcome, and Belonging
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I believe youth can lead their communities into solidarity with LGBTQIA+ siblings in Christ. Even within the same denomination, faith communities are not in one particular place in terms of affirmation and belonging; I will meet your community where it is. Because I believe in this work so strongly, I am excited to work with communities of all shapes and sizes, including campus ministries, colleges/universities, camps, regional and mid-Council bodies, and congregations. 

For those communities looking to engage in deep work of LGBTQIA+ affirmation and belonging, the following is from my doctoral abstract: 

My doctoral work centered on an affirmation of queer human flourishing in the life of the church. I developed a Youth Ministry Framework centered on eight distinctive themes. The framework outlines how youth workers can share power with youth as adaptive, transformational leaders and co-conspirators in justice. My theological grounding is a communal, embodied practical theology rooted in liberatory educational praxis. It is to live out God’s abundant love through celebrating LGBTQIA+ people and prepare faith communities to welcome better Beloved children of God, who already belong.

Sarah Leer’s Press and Interviews

Young people voice their hopes for what they want the church to become

Published April 9, 2024

Youth Power Sharing & Queer Youth

Published April 4, 2024

Models for Confirmation 

Published November 7, 2023

Gift Giving Tips for Youth and Volunteers

Released November 7, 2023

God Is Dancing At The Gay Bar

Published December 8, 2022

Synod of the Sun podcast, Season 2, Episode 4

Published February 23, 2022

The Performative Allyship of Peter

Published January 23, 2021

Take Another Route Home

Published January 23, 2021

Centering the Sacred” Podcast, Episode 2

Released June 21, 2020

Stuck in the Middle

Published 2019