Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Our Project Director

Stephen V. Sprinkle is Director of Field Education and Supervised Ministry, and Professor of Practical Theology at Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, Texas, a post he has held since 1994. An ordained Baptist minister, he is the first open and out Gay scholar in the history of the Divinity School, and the first open and out LGBTQ person to be tenured there.

Sprinkle, M.Div. Yale University Divinity School, and Ph.D. Duke University Graduate School, is the author of three books and numerous articles on theology, church polity, LGBT and Queer studies. His current research focuses on the stories of LGBTQ hate crimes murder victims in the United States, and the formation and character of queer community. His most recent book, published in 2011 by Resource Publications, and imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers, is entitled, Unfinished Lives: Reviving the Memories of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims. He is a member of the Association of Theological Field Education, the Academy of Religious Leadership, the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, is a trainer for the Welcoming Church Program of the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, and holds a seat on the national Board of Directors of the Alliance of Baptists. Sprinkle also serves on the Military Chaplains Forum of the Servicemembers’ Legal Defense Network.  In 2008 he received the prestigious Catherine Saylor Hill Award for Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship, and Service by vote of his colleagues at Brite. He is the only Field Educator ever to receive the award.  In 2009, Sprinkle was chosen as one of ten academics in the nation to participate in the Carpenter Foundation’s LGBTQ scholarly program, “Beyond Advocacy.” He received Brite’s Award for Creative Teaching and Scholarship in 2010, and was named “Hero of Hope” by Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, where he currently serves as the congregation’s first Theologian in Residence.

A widely sought speaker, panelist, and lecturer, Sprinkle has spoken and taught in 28 states as well as the United Kingdom and Canada. Most recently, he has presented The Unfinished Lives Project in Dallas, Arlington, Fort Worth, Austin and Houston, Texas, to the Polk County (Florida) PFLAG, to the GLBT Center at NC State University in Raleigh, NC, at the Grief and Loss Seminar in Wilmington, NC, at the annual meeting of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy, to youth at the National Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, and to Alabama Against Hate in Birmingham. He served as Hate Crimes Panelist at the 2008 and 201o Equality Texas State-of-the-State Conference at the Texas State Capital Building in Austin. A coalition of Texas human rights organizations called him to keynote the state “Hope-Not Hate” Conference commemorating the 10th anniversary of the deaths of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr.  He is a regular contributor to the Human Rights Campaign’s Out in Scripture project, and a participant in the 2007 and 2009 Clergy Call Lobby Day efforts on Capitol Hill.  Sprinkle and his life-partner, Rob Rodriguez, live in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex with their English bulldog, Winston.


  1. A parishoner from my parish (St. Luke and St. Simon Cyrene Episcopal) in Rochester NY just sent me your piece on Matthew Shepard. It is very powerful and a true Christian statement of belief. I wanted to express my thanks for your thoughts.

    My brother in the Mercy of God Community , Brian Ammons, tells me he knows Steve — even better. I feel very connected to you and your work.

    Comment by Br. Donogh Allan MGC | October 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. Dear Steve, Just looking over your blog. Wow. Incredible work. Unbelievable content. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again… it’s a difficult read, yet a much needed reminder to become vocal one way or another. Dinner soon. XXOO Charlie

    Comment by Charlie Rose | January 3, 2009 | Reply

  3. Steve,
    A pleasure to cross paths yesterday at the Cathedral of Hope. And then today cross paths just by chance again, due to your passionate website. Wish you much success in your endeavor to get the word out. Everyone needs to hear this message. Stay strong.

    Comment by Bill Fenson | September 16, 2010 | Reply

  4. Dr. Sprinkle,
    I found this website by following a link from comments posted on Arianna Huffington’s fb page. While I am not LGBTQ, I have friends who are. I wanted to say thank you for standing up for this group of people, esp. from a religious standpoint. I tend to make some people mad when I defend my friends saying that God loves ALL of us, not just a FEW of us. I even have people who no longer speak to me because of my viewpoint. I feel for them & pray that God will open their hearts and minds so they can accept people for who they are. (Kind of hard here for them here in SW Louisiana!)
    Again, thanks for all you do! May God bless you abundantly! 🙂

    Comment by Barbara Reichard | October 12, 2011 | Reply

    • God bless you for your witness to justice and your hard work, especially in SW Lousiana, Barbara.

      Comment by unfinishedlives | October 12, 2011 | Reply

  5. I’ve just found this site, and I too am not LGBTQ, but I have a few friends and family who are, and it always upsets me when I hear “Christians” down-talking those who are LGBTQ, and telling them that God will not accept them. I’m so glad to see that you’ve made quite a few waves in the world of religion, especially when it deals with LGBTQ. You are an inspiration, and I hope that there will be more ministers like you somewhere! I do not attend church because I refuse to go to a church where not everyone is welcome — hopefully someday I will find one. Again, thank you!

    Comment by Alex | November 14, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you for the encouragement and support, Alex! Keep up the search!

      Steve @ Unfinished Lives Blog

      Comment by unfinishedlives | November 15, 2011 | Reply

  6. […] and throughout the world remains to be seen, but the results could be inestimable, according to Unfinished Lives Project Director, Dr. Stephen Sprinkle. “Today, Secretary Clinton served notice on all who perpetrate violence […]

    Pingback by Hillary Clinton to the World: “Gay Rights are Human Rights” « Unfinished Lives | December 7, 2011 | Reply

  7. […] Christian, it still had local rabbis teach the Hebrew Bible courses. When it offered the first Christian theology from gay and lesbian perspectives, it set itself apart from other institutions in the city. I also felt that I had an advantage over […]

    Pingback by A Muslim, a UU Minister and a Humanist Walk Into a Dialogue…(and the rest is no joke) - United Cor | January 25, 2016 | Reply

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