Nadia Bolz-Weber

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Nadia Bolz-Weber
Nadia Bolz

1969 (age 49–50)
Spouse(s)Matthew Bolz-Weber (1996–2016)
ChurchEvangelical Lutheran Church in America
WritingsPastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People, Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television
Congregations served
House for All Sinners and Saints

Nadia Bolz-Weber (born 1969) is a Lutheran minister and public theologian. She served as the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Denver, Colorado, until July 8, 2018.[1] She is also a two-time New York Times bestselling author.[2]

Bolz-Weber is known for her unusual approach to reaching others through her church.[3] Heavily tattooed, she is considered a "performative pastor".[3] Her work in the church is considered part of "a new Reformation" by scholar and writer Diana Butler Bass.[4]


Bolz-Weber grew up in Colorado Springs with a fundamentalist Christian family.[5]

In 1986, at age 17, Bolz-Weber started getting tattoos, and the ones on her arms mark the liturgical year and the story of the Gospel. Bolz-Weber briefly attended Pepperdine University before dropping out and moving to Denver.[6] She says that she became an alcoholic and drug abuser and often felt like one of "society's outsiders".

By 1996, after 10 years, Bolz-Weber became sober and, as of 2016, has remained so for twenty years.[5] Prior to her ordination, she was a stand-up comedian and worked in the restaurant industry.[7]

Bolz-Weber felt that she heard the call to service in 2004 when she was asked to eulogize a friend who had committed suicide.[8] In 2008, Bolz-Weber was ordained as a pastor.[7] She started her own church, the House for All Sinners and Saints, which is often shortened to just House.[8] One third of her church is part of the LGBT community, and she also has a "Minister of Fabulousness", Stuart, who is a drag queen.[6] Her church is also very welcoming to people with drug addiction, depression, and even those who are not believers of her faith.[9] Bolz-Weber spends nearly twenty hours each week writing her weekly ten-minute sermon.[7]

In 2018 she called for women to send her their purity rings to be melted down into a vagina sculpture as part of healing the psychic damage of the purity movement of the 1990s.[10] At the Makers conference on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2019, Bolz-Weber gave the sculpture to American feminist and political activist Gloria Steinem.[11]

Bolz-Weber speaks at religious conferences and is a guest speaker at other churches.[12][8]

Books and writings[edit]

Bolz-Weber writes for Christian Century and Sojourners.[13] In addition her books include Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television, reviewed in Christian Century[14] and The Daily Sentinel (TX),[15] and Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint reviewed in Publishers Weekly,[13] Booklist,[16] and Sojourners Magazine.[17][18] In 2015 she released Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People.[19]


  • Salvation on the small screen? : 24 hours of Christian television. New York : Seabury Books, 2008. ISBN 9781596270862, OCLC 221174864
  • Cranky, beautiful faith : for irregular (and regular) people, Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2013. ISBN 9781848255319, OCLC 856200505
  • Pastrix : the cranky, beautiful faith of a sinner & saint, New York ; Boston ; Nashville : Jericho Books, 2014. ISBN 9781455527076, OCLC 868044878
  • Accidental saints : finding god in all the wrong people. Convergent, 2016. ISBN 9781601427564, OCLC 934193175
  • Shameless: A Sexual Reformation. Convergent Books, January 2019. ISBN 978-1601427588.

Media coverage[edit]

Bolz-Weber was profiled in a 2014 article in More magazine written by Julia Duin, an article which received a Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council.[20][21]

In January 2019, an interview of Bolz-Weber was released by NPR to promote her new book Shameless: A Sexual Reformation.[22]

In February 2019, she and her new book Shameless: A Sexual Reformation were profiled by the New Yorker.[23]


  1. ^ Suderman, Brenda (2013-09-28). "Sinner and a saint". Winnipeg Free Press (MB), September 28, 2013, p D15 Abstract: Call her cranky, call her a sinner, but please don't call Lutheran minister Nadia Bolz-Weber "pastrix".
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Green, Emma (3 September 2015). "Why Every Church Needs a Drag Queen". The Atlantic. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  4. ^ Sentilles, Sarah (5 March 2012). "My Take: Five Women In Religion to Watch". CNN. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  5. ^ a b O'Connor, Colleen (10 September 2015). "Nadia Bolz-Weber, Tattooed 'Pastrix,' Ministers to Sinners and Saints". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  6. ^ a b Little, Jane (6 July 2015). "Nadia Bolz Weber: A Pastor For America's Outsiders". BBC News. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Draper, Electa (April 23, 2011). "Pastor turns heads by blending tradition and irreverence: Guided by Resurrection, and a dose of insurrection". Denver Post. Denver, Colorado: Digital First Media. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c Michelle Boorstein (2013-11-03). "Bolz-Weber's liberal, foulmouthed articulation of Christianity speaks to fed-up believers". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
  9. ^ Gross, Terry (17 September 2015). "Lutheran Minister Preaches A Gospel Of Love To Junkies, Drag Queens And Outsiders". NPR. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  10. ^ Mouser, Jessica (November 29, 2018). "Pastor to Make Controversial Sculpture Out of Purity Rings". Church Leaders.
  11. ^ Kuruvilla, Carol (14 February 2019). "Feminist Pastor Unveils Vulva Sculpture Made Of Old Purity Rings". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
  12. ^ Preyss, Jennifer. "Revelations: Nontraditional 'Pastrix' preaches to reporter", Victoria Advocate (TX) October 11, 2013
  13. ^ a b "Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint", Publishers Weekly, 7/8/2013, Vol. 260 Issue 27, p83
  14. ^ "Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television", Christian Century, 2/10/2009, Vol. 126 Issue 3, p43
  15. ^ Jim Miller. "Review: Author gives her opinion on merits of TBN", The Daily Sentinel, Friday, March 27, 2009 (Source: Ebsco Masterfile Complete)
  16. ^ "Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint", Booklist, 9/15/2013, Vol. 110 Issue 2, p6
  17. ^ "Misery Loves Comedy", Sojourners Magazine. Sep/Oct2013, Vol. 42 Issue 9, p49-49. (Source: Ebsco Masterfile Complete)
  18. ^ "Nadia Bolz-Weber". Sojourners magazine. Sojourners. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  19. ^ Raushenbush, Paul Brandeis (11 September 2015). "Accidental Saint: The Passion Of Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber (All Together Podcast)". Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  20. ^ Julia Duin (2014). "From Rebel to Reverend". More. Archived from the original on 13 April 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  21. ^
  22. ^ Bolz-Weber, Nadia. "Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber Gets 'Shameless' About Sex". Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  23. ^ Griswold, Eliza (2019-02-08). "The Lutheran Pastor Calling for a Sexual Reformation". ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2019-02-08.

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