Nadia Bolz-Weber

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Nadia Bolz-Weber
Born Nadia Bolz
1969 (age 47–48)
Nationality American

University of Colorado

Iliff School of Theology
Occupation Pastor
Spouse(s) Matthew Bolz-Weber (1996-2016)
Church Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Ordained 2008
Writings Pastrix: 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 serves as the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Denver, Colorado.[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 "perfomative 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.[6] Bolz-Weber briefly attended Pepperdine University before dropping out and moving to Denver.[7] She says that she became an alcoholic and drug abuser and often felt like one of "society's outsiders".[6]

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.[8]

In 1996, Nadia married Matthew Bolz-Weber, whom she had met while in recovery. They divorced in 2016. Together, they have two children, a daughter and a son.[6]

Bolz-Weber felt that she heard the call to service in 2004 when she was asked to eulogize a friend who had committed suicide.[9] In 2008, Bolz-Weber was ordained as a pastor.[8] She started her own church, the House for All Sinners and Saints, which is often shortened to just House.[9] 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.[7] Her church is also very welcoming to people with drug addiction, depression, and even those who are not believers of her faith.[10] Bolz-Weber spends nearly twenty hours each week to write her weekly ten-minute sermon.[8]

Bolz-Weber speaks at religious conferences and is a guest speaker at other churches.[11][9]

Books and writings[edit]

Bolz-Weber writes for Christian Century and Sojourners.[12] In addition her books include Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television, reviewed in Christian Century[13] and The Daily Sentinel (TX),[14] and Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint reviewed in Publishers Weekly,[12] Booklist,[15] and Sojourners Magazine.[16][17] In 2015 she released Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People.[18]

Media coverage[edit]

Bolz-Weber was profiled in a 2014 article in More magazine written by Julia Duin, which received a Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council.[19][20]


  1. ^ Suderman, Brenda (2013-09-28). "Sinner and a saint". Winnipeg Free Press (MB), 28 September 2013, pD15 Abstract: Call her cranky, call her a sinner, but please don't call Lutheran minister Nadia Bolz-Weber "pastrix". Retrieved from
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Green, Emma (3 September 2015). "Why Every Church Needs a Drag Queen". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2015-09-29. 
  4. ^ Sentilles, Sarah (5 March 2012). "My Take: Five Women In Religion to Watch". CNN. Retrieved 2015-09-29. 
  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 c Tara Brady. "'I swear like a truck driver': Tattooed female weightlifter who boozed and took drugs becomes rising star of the Lutheran church", Daily Mail, 5 November 2013
  7. ^ a b Little, Jane (6 July 2015). "Nadia Bolz Weber: A Pastor For America's Outsiders". BBC News. Retrieved 2015-09-29. 
  8. ^ a b c Electa Draper (23 April 2011). "Pastor turns heads by blending tradition and irreverence: Guided by Resurrection, and a dose of insurrection". Denver Post. Retrieved 2013-11-04. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ Gross, Terry (17 September 2015). "Lutheran Minister Preaches A Gospel Of Love To Junkies, Drag Queens And Outsiders". NPR. Retrieved 2015-09-29. 
  11. ^ Jennifer Preyss. "Revelations: Nontraditional 'Pastrix' preaches to reporter", Victoria Advocate (TX) - Friday, October 11, 2013
  12. ^ a b "Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint", Publishers Weekly, 7/8/2013, Vol. 260 Issue 27, p83
  13. ^ "Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television", Christian Century, 2/10/2009, Vol. 126 Issue 3, p43
  14. ^ Jim Miller. "Review: Author gives her opinion on merits of TBN", The Daily Sentinel, Friday, March 27, 2009 (Source: Ebsco Masterfile Complete)
  15. ^ "Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint", Booklist, 9/15/2013, Vol. 110 Issue 2, p6
  16. ^ "Misery Loves Comedy", Sojourners Magazine. Sep/Oct2013, Vol. 42 Issue 9, p49-49. (Source: Ebsco Masterfile Complete)
  17. ^ "Nadia Bolz-Weber". Sojourners magazine. Sojourners. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  18. ^ Raushenbush, Paul Brandeis (11 September 2015). "Accidental Saint: The Passion Of Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber (All Together Podcast)". Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  19. ^ Julia Duin (2014). "From Rebel to Reverend". More. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  20. ^


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