The Rev. Dr. Patrick S. Cheng is a theologian, seminary professor, attorney, and ordained minister. He is the Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is also a contributor to the Religion and the Gay Voices sections of the Huffington Post.
Cheng is the author of Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology (2011), From Sin to Amazing Grace: Discovering the Queer Christ (2012), and Rainbow Theology: Bridging Race, Sexuality, and Spirit (2013). He is also a contributor to The Queer Bible Commentary (2006) and the second edition of Sexuality and the Sacred: Sources for Theological Reflection (2010).
Cheng has served as a member of the American Academy of Religion’s Committee on the Status of LGBTIQ Persons in the Profession. He has also served as a mentor to doctoral and advanced master’s degree students with the Human Rights Campaign Summer Institute.
In 2011, Cheng delivered the Fourth Annual John E. Boswell Lecture at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. In 2012, Cheng delivered the Sixteenth Annual Gilberto Castañeda Lecture at Chicago Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois.
Cheng has given talks and led workshops at educational and religious institutions around the country. Some of these institutions include Bates College, Boston College, Brite Divinity School, Denison University, General Theological Seminary, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York Theological Seminary, Trinity Wall Street, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, and Wellesley College.
Patrick was born in Hong Kong and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Baptized and confirmed as a Roman Catholic, Patrick moved to the East Coast to attend college at Yale University, where he received his B.A. summa cum laude in English Language and Literature (1990) and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He then attended Harvard Law School, where he received his J.D. magna cum laude (1993) and served as an executive editor of the Harvard Law Review.
In 1998, Patrick was received into the Episcopal Church. In January 2001, Patrick was ordained a minister in the Metropolitan Community Church. He has served as Assistant Pastor for Congregational Life at MCC New York, as staff clergy at MCC Boston, and as regional staff for the Rev. Elder Diane Fisher.
After clerking for a federal appellate judge in Los Angeles, California, and practicing at two New York City law firms, Patrick received his M.A. (2001), M.Phil. (2009), and Ph.D. (2010) in systematic theology from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York under the direction of Dr. James H. Cone. He successfully defended his dissertation, "Rethinking Sin and Grace for LGBT People Today: Four Christological Models," in December 2009 before Dr. Cone, Dr. Mark D. Jordan of Harvard Divinity School, Dr. Kwok Pui-lan of Episcopal Divinity School, and Dr. Christopher L. Morse of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. While working on his theology degrees, Patrick served as an in-house lawyer for a national agency of the Episcopal Church.
He is the founder and coordinator of Queer Asian Spirit, an international and interfaith network of LGBTIQ people of Asian descent and allies who are interested in religious and spiritual issues. He is a member of the Emerging Queer Asian Religion Scholars group (EQARS), and he has also spoken at the 2009 and 2012 national conferences of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA).
For more information about Cheng, please see his website at http://www.patrickcheng.net.
(This biographical statement provided by Patrick Cheng.)
Biography Date: March, 2010
Episcopal Church | Asian | Author/editor | Clergy Activist | Theology