Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Todd Ream

Second Advisor

Skip Trudeau

Third Advisor

Drew Moser

Abstract

At a Christian institution, same-sex attracted individuals’ experiences and relationships may be vastly different, depending on the institution’s campus climate surrounding the LGBT+ community. This study was conducted to understand the role institutional hiring policies regarding same-sex attracted faculty play in informing campus climate and sexual minority students’ experiences. Referencing a recent non-discrimination policy change at Goshen College, this study sought to answer the following question: How did a change in a Christian institution’s non-discrimination policy regarding sexual minority faculty affect the experiences of same-sex attracted students? Utilizing a narrative qualitative research design, the researcher conducted interviews with seven past and present students of Goshen College. The individual stories, shared by these participants, allowed for a collective same-sex attracted student experience with the change in Goshen’s hiring policy. The results of this study highlighted the following key findings: heterosexism and inclusion, role models and future outlook, and the role of activism within Goshen’s same-sex attracted student community.

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