Singled Out

Why Celibacy Must Be Reinvented in Today’s Church

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Christianity Today 2010 Book Award Winner

"Colon and Field call us to challenge assumptions that one needs to be married to be a happy, well-adjusted contributor to society. I recommend it to anyone (married or not) wanting to take singleness and celibacy seriously."--Lisa Graham McMinn, George Fox University

Authors Christine Colon and Bonnie Field thought that by a certain age they would each be married. But they watched that age come and go--and still no walk down the aisle.

In Singled Out, Colon and Field reflect on their experience--and that of an increasing number of Christians--as they try to reconcile God's plan for their lives with the messages they receive about singleness from the world around them. From the secular world and the evangelical church, they are bombarded with negative images of celibacy. Here, Colon and Field explore a deeper understanding of celibacy that affirms singles' decisions to be sexually pure, acknowledges their struggles, and recognizes their importance in the church community.

Thoughtful and compelling, Singled Out combines references to popular culture, theology, history, literature, and anecdotes from the authors' lives. It is an invaluable voice of realistic encouragement for any single as well as an important tool for church leaders and others concerned with mission and ministry for singles.


"This book should be required reading for every adult Christian not yet (and perhaps never to be) married. Use it as an antidote to others' expectations for your life. I love how Colón and Field have resurrected St. Paul's teaching to the church in Corinth--that marriage, family, and singleness are all callings from God, and that ultimately, following Christ trumps them all."--Jon M. Sweeney, author of Cloister Talks: Learning from My Friends the Monks

"Finally--a whole book dedicated to redeeming and reclaiming celibacy for people aged 30 and beyond! Singled Out refuses to assume non-married celibate folks have to deny their sexuality and are doomed to selfish, emotionally stunted lives. Colón and Field offer a refreshing critique of stilted messages in the media and in our churches and call us to challenge assumptions that one needs to be married to be a happy, well-adjusted contributor to society. I recommend it to anyone (married or not) wanting to take singleness and celibacy seriously."--Lisa Graham McMinn, professor of sociology, George Fox University, author of Sexuality and Holy Longing: Embracing Intimacy in a Broken World

"In Singled Out, Colón and Field let the issue of abstinence graduate from the youth group and move on to the sanctuary and the bedroom, the pages of church history, and the screens of our current entertainment media. I'm so grateful they acknowledge that honest, intelligent conversation about singles and sexuality requires not just three simple words--'just say no,' 'true love waits'--but more words like those found on the 256 pages they've thoughtfully penned here."--Camerin Courtney, senior editor of Today's Christian Woman and author of Table for One

"In recent years, a number of increasingly vocal Christians have overemphasized marriage and marginalized singles. Christine Colón and Bonnie Field offer a healthy corrective. Navigating through the mixed messages of both the contemporary church and popular culture, they demonstrate that Christian singleness is not merely a transitional state on the way to marriage, but a fully legitimate expression of Christian life and practice."--Albert Y. Hsu, author of Singles at the Crossroads and The Suburban Christian

The Authors

  1. Christine Colón

    Christine Colón

    Christine A. Colon (PhD, University of California at Davis) is associate professor of English at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. She has published articles in Women's Writing, Renascence, and Bronte Studies as well as in several...

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  2. Bonnie Field

    Bonnie Field

    Bonnie E. Field is an educational consultant and curriculum specialist who lives in Dallas, Georgia. She has also taught English at Arizona College of the Bible and Wayland Baptist University.

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Christianity Today 2010 Book Award Winner

"Colón and Field unravel the cultural messages that inform our common response to the word celibacy. The deliberate pace they take in exploring the topic--as researchers who care for the church--is what sets their book apart. . . . The authors begin by taking us on a rollicking ride through the messages about marriage, sex, and celibacy--both positive and negative--that issue from secular media and the church. They then turn our attention to Scripture, theology, and church tradition, all of which suggest that Jesus' singleness is a lens through which he displayed a radical transition between the old covenant and the new. . . . A narrative canvas like this gives Christian celibates a lively and important picture to paint, and reading Colón and Field's words inspires hope. . . . [They] contend that a full embodiment of our Creator's love clearly holds a place for men and women who live chastely and are celibate. Celibates are not cut off, but are uniquely positioned to give life. This is enough zest to give a single person energy and wings. Colón and Field's positive engagement of this topic opens the sash for further discussion."--Marcy Hintz, Christianity Today 5-Star Review

"Hacking away at stereotypes of singles and unbiblical theologies of marriage, [the authors] reveal paths by which the church and all its members may corporately and prophetically embody the intimate, yet non-exclusive, love of God."--Jenn Cavanaugh, YouthWorker Journal

"Youth ministry educators, student development professionals, campus ministry leaders, and pastors can all benefit from pondering the insights found in [this book]. . . . The book concludes with helpful suggestions for single people, pastors, and churches who want to create the kind of communities that will help all people, married and single, move from isolation into self-giving love. All those who want to accurately understand the problems of emerging adult sexuality and find powerful Christian alternatives should study [this book]."--Thomas E. Bergler, Journal of Youth Ministry