My name is Matt Nightingale, and I’m a gay Christian educator, pastor and spiritual director living and working in the North San Francisco Bay Area. I am a pastor at The Quest, an “evangelical-ish” church in Novato, and I received my spiritual director training and certification through The Journey Center in Santa Rosa. I am a member of Spiritual Directors International.
I am passionate about the intersection of sexuality and spirituality, and I work to create safe, sacred space for people exploring these identities. I have a special connection to people who find themselves in mixed-orientation marriages. I myself came out of the closet later in life, after a 23-year marriage and a long career as a worship pastor in the Evangelical Covenant denomination.
In 2016, I had the privilege of giving a TEDx talk with my former wife, Luanne Nightingale, called Choosing Gratitude and Hope. It tells our story of a mixed-orientation marriage, our evolving understanding of faith and sexuality, and the painful but necessary choice of divorce, all within the context of gratitude and hope. It’s been viewed nearly 20,000 times, and I have had the privilege of meeting and working with many others in similar circumstances since then.
Having lived this story myself, I understand the complexities of exploring one’s sexual orientation within the context of “straight” marriage, especially as a Christian. I do not believe there is one “right” path forward in these situations, and I help people to clarify their values and needs in light of their understanding of faith and morality. Many people in mixed-orientation do choose to divorce and come out of the closet, but some choose to stay and be authentically themselves in the context of their heterosexual marriage. Every journey is different, valuable and valid.
I have appeared on several podcasts, including Kevin Garcia’s A Tiny Revolution, The Airing of Grief, The New Family, Dates with a Jesus Gay, Bravemaker, Share • Inspire • Repeat, and Holy Cannoli. I love to share my story, helping Christians find peace with their sexuality and helping queer people embrace a spiritual path.
In my spare time you might find me in San Francisco at a concert or musical. I also enjoy wine and food, hiking, good TV and reading. Most of all, I love being with my friends. Laughter and deep conversations fuel my soul.
Last but not least, I am the grateful and proud father of four amazing kids: Joshua (24), Jacob (21), Emily and Zachary (17).
My fee is $90/hour, and I have sliding scale appointments available.