Education and Designation
SACReD Congregations proclaim
Reproductive liberation for everybody and every body
SACReD Congregations create and hold space for courageous conversations free from shame, judgment, and stigma. We equip people to weave together their faith story with their reproductive story.
Inspired by the culture change created by organizations and denominations committed to radical inclusivity for LGBTQIA+ people in faith communities, SACReD Congregations seek to extend that work to include our reproductive decisions, including abortion.
We know many leaders have not been trained to deeply consider faith and reproduction connected to social justice. That’s why our multi-faith team of clergy, academics, and activists representing different genders, races, and sexualities has developed this congregational education and designation program for transformation.
SACReD calls on faithful people across the country to join us. It’s time to become a SACReD Congregation.
SACReD Curriculum Facilitators
Religious Traditions and Denominations
Congregational Education and Designation
The SACReD Congregations designation process proceeds through informal discussion, education, critical reflection, congregational action, and public commitment phases. As a multi-faith organization, we begin by training leaders from congregations, who then teach our core curriculum to a group within their institution, adapting as appropriate to their specific faith setting. After a period of study and contemplation, the small group can invite the congregation into the larger designation process. While we have a structure and there are key accomplishments for formal designation, we expect congregations will move through the process in their own ways, on their own time. We consider all participants, at whatever stage, to be members of our beautiful alliance.
Begin with informal discussion of Reproductive Justice principles & racial justice alongside congregational values
- What is the congregation’s starting point with its justice-resonant values?
- Where are the existing understandings of reproductive issues and intersectional justice?
Equip congregation for compassionate care and justice for sacred bodies throughout congregational and community life
- Core SACReD curriculum is a requirement
- Other educational supplements are engaged as needed to enhance core curriculum and/or equip particular areas of ministry, before and/or after designation
Articulate beliefs/principles/values and moral commitments within the congregation’s faith tradition that are compatible with those of liberation ethics and reproductive justice
Officially vote as a congregation
Live out what congregation has been equipped to do
- Pastoral and community care
- Political and community action work with local organizations
- Worship integration of resonant theology
- Programming for ongoing education and discussion
Engage with SACReD program team for mutual evaluation and growth
Every 3 years
The curriculum is guided by a tradition-spanning orientation to liberation ethics and built around 3 primary principles and 3 key commitments. Content includes academic lectures, journal and discussion prompts, exercises, healing rituals, and more. Congregational groups work through the material deliberately, taking care to approach it holistically.
7 Curriculum Modules:
- Foundations for SACReD Principles and Commitments
- Sacred Bodies, Sexualities, and Reproductive Journeys
- The Truth Will Set You Free
- Reproductive Realities and Moralities
- From Judgment to Justice
- Parenting Takes a Village
- Spiritual Activism
- Reproductive Dignity
- All humans are endowed with dignity by our creator, and that value is shared across religious traditions. We are taught to respect the dignity of every human being, which includes respecting their moral agency when making reproductive decisions.
- Everyone should be able to make decisions, including all reproductive decisions, with dignity throughout their life.
- There is no moral consensus within or among religious traditions, nor outside of them, as to which reproductive actions are right or wrong in particular circumstances.
- There are clear, measurable outcomes of suffering and oppression associated with lack of access to a full range of reproductive healthcare services.
- Reproductive Justice Framework
- In 1994, twelve Black women who recognized the need to lead a national movement to uplift the needs of the most marginalized women, families, and communities, developed the framework. From the beginning, Reproductive Justice has unified sexuality and spirituality.
- The framework combines reproductive rights, social justice, and human rights through the lens of Black feminism.
- Defined by four tenets
- The human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy
- The human right to have children
- The human right not to have children
- The human right to parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities
Grounded in the justice principles that are at the heart of our religious traditions, we are committed to equity, dignity, and holistic well-being for all people. We recognize that reproductive issues are integral to social justice and cannot be exiled from our sphere of moral concern if we are to fully live out our commitment to human flourishing. Similarly, as reproductive concerns are inherently tied to intersecting systems of oppression, particularly those of patriarchy, racism, and poverty, we know we cannot isolate a narrow reproductive interest from a broader justice agenda. We acknowledge that as religious communities we have a particular responsibility to promote healing, bring new understanding, and make changes as religion has contributed to trauma, faith alienation, and afflictions of mental health related to reproduction.
- All creation is good and includes a beautiful diversity of sacred bodies, sexualities, and reproductive journeys.
- The embodied dignity and the moral agency of all people deserve respect, including the bodily autonomy and agency of women, queer people, gender diverse people, people with disabilities, immigrants, indigenous populations, and people of color who have often been denied this respect.
- Pregnancy can be unintentional, but parenting is a sacred responsibility that requires intentional discernment. Prayerful decisions to have children, to not have children, or to end a pregnancy are equally moral.
- Creating loving, justice-seeking faith communities that honor diverse reproductive decisions and journeys, free from shame, judgment, or stigma
- Supporting the work of parenting and the healthy growth of children in safe, sustainable, nurturing communities.
- Advocating for equitable access to the full spectrum of comprehensive reproductive healthcare as a moral and social good, and supporting fulfillment of reproductive moral agency and holistic flourishing for all.