Q & R:Depressed and isolated … held hostage

Here’s the Q:
I just finished ‘A New Kind of Christianity‘, and I felt myself amen-ing the whole time I was reading the book. I’m a progressive gay Christian getting a ministry degree from a conservative Pentecostal college. I have major differences with their theology, but I feel like I don’t have many options. I’m out to my friends and family, but I’ve been somewhat ‘forced’ back into the closet to attend this school. It’s making me depressed and isolated, and I feel like I’m being held hostage by what I consider bad theology in order to get my degree. Any advice for me?
Here’s the R:
I’m glad A New Kind of Christianity has been helpful, and I’m sorry you’re in this tough situation. I’ve learned it’s not wise to offer specific pastoral guidance from a distance like this, so here’s what I can offer. First, find a pastor or counselor in your area (harder in some places than others, I know) who welcomes gay people … often, these will be UCC or Episcopal, sometimes Presbyterian, DOC, Lutheran, or Methodist. It might take a little detective work and a few phone calls. Second, meet with this pastor and counselor and explain your situation. They’ll help you keep your sanity while there and decide if that’s the place to stay until graduation. Third, if you do decide to leave, consider meeting in private with a college official and explain why you’re leaving. Don’t expect their approval … just let them know your story. You’re in my prayers today, and I imagine many folks who read this blog will be praying for you too.