Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Tim Herrmann

Second Advisor

Todd Ream

Third Advisor

Skip Trudeau

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to build an understanding of how lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) students grow in their self-authorship development at faith-based, small, private, liberal arts institutions. Self-authorship is one’s ability to define one’s own internally held beliefs, values, relationships, and identities. Five sexual minority students participated in qualitative, semi-structured interviews inquiring about their experiences at an eastern U.S. faith-based institution with an established educational group focusing on issues of sexuality and gender. Findings included the importance of faith-related development and experience, clarity in communication, support systems, perspective weighing, and leadership experiences. Implications for future practice include (1) create a sexual minority student group; (2) create opportunities for open dialogue regarding institutional practices and policies on sexuality; (3) and provide classes, groups, or seminars exploring biblical contexts and perspectives of sexuality.

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