The Rev. Dr. Debra W. Haffner became UUCR’s minister in August 2016.

Before coming to UUCR, Rev. Debra was the Endorsed Community Minister at The Unitarian Church in Westport, CT and the President and CEO of the Religious Institute, a national multifaith organization that she co-founded in 2001.

Rev. Debra describes herself as a Jewish Unitarian Universalist minister and sexologist.  She has a B.A. from Wesleyan University, a Masters of Public Health from the Yale University School of Medicine, and a Masters of Divinity from The Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.  She has a Doctorate of Ministry from the Pacific School of Religion and a Doctorate of Public Service (h.c.) from Widener University.

Before she was called to parish ministry, Debra was a non-profit executive working in the fields of sexuality education, sexual health, and justice.  In the 1980’s, she was the Director of Education, Counseling, and Public Affairs for Metropolitan Washington.  She was the President of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. for 12 years.  She is the author or co-author of seven books, including “From Diapers to Dating” which is available in 11 languages.  “Meditations on the Good News” is her book of pastoral reflections. 

Rev. Debra has served the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in numerous roles, including as a member of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee which oversees the credentialing of new ministers.  She was an early consultant in the development of the UUA’s Our Whole Live’s Program (OWL) and is the creator of the UUA's Sexually Safer Best Practice initiative.  Rev. Debra has been honored with the Ministry to Women Award by the UU Women’s Federation and the UUA Metro District Religious Education award.   

Rev. Haffner has been married to her husband Ralph Tartaglione for 34 years. They are the proud parents of two young adult children.  They enjoy music, movies, plays, hiking, and doing yoga together.  They are delighted to be back in the DMV.