Jay is originally from New Ulm, a small town of German descent in southwestern Minnesota. He graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota with a BA in religion. After college, he attended Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. During his senior year, he publicly came out to the faculty and students at Wartburg and left to take some time off. He finished his Master of Divinity degree in 2002 and immediately began work at Bethany Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as Pastoral Minister of Outreach. He was called and ordained by Bethany on July 25, 2004. He served the congregation from 2002-2008.
Jay is pastoral director of The Naming Project. The Naming Project is a faith-based youth group serving youth of all sexual and gender identities. The primary focus is to provide a place for youth who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning to learn, grow, and share their experiences. In this way The Naming Project is a space in which youth can comfortably discuss faith and who they understand themselves to be–whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender…or straight.
Rev. Jay Weisener was received onto the ELCA clergy roster in 2010.