Emily C. Heath is a United Church of Christ (UCC) minister and a writer.
Emily currently serves as pastor of West Dover Congregational Church in West Dover, Vermont, as chaplain of the West Dover Fire Department, and as a regular blogger for the Huffington Post’s Religion section.
After growing up “spiritual but not religious”, Emily began to explore Christianity at the age 17 and was baptized that year. After college at Emory University and seminary at Columbia Theological Seminary, Emily was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2001 and served as a hospital, hospice, and trauma chaplain for the next eight years.
In 2010 Emily left the Presbyterian Church in protest of the continued exclusion of LGBT people from the full ministry of the church, and transferred to the UCC.
As a former “none”, Emily feels called to reach out to the unchurched, and the de-churched, and has special interests in the revitalization of the mainline church and ministry with LGBTQ people and people in recovery from addictions. Emily believes in the potential for the mainline church to be both a leader in the areas of peace and justice, and a formation ground for disciples; and believes the two cannot be divorced from one another.
As a writer, Emily sees her work as an extension of God’s love for all people, including those who have yet to hear the Gospel preached in a loving, peaceful, and justice-filled way. Emily is currently working on a book about living a life of faith in difficult and fear-filled times which is specifically aimed at progressive people of faith and spiritual seekers. (Emily is represented at Folio Literary Management by Claudia Cross.)
A displaced Southerner, Emily was recently married to Heidi Carrington Heath, a UCC seminarian.