Students arrive on campus with various boxes of belongings to unpack, some heavy, some tidy, some more valuable, some more private. For many students, two of these boxes could be labeled "My Faith" and "My Sexuality"—and these two can be among the most cumbersome to handle. How to balance the two without having to set one down? How to hold them both closely, both securely, but still move forward to settle in with new friends in a new environment? How to keep from dropping one or the other, spilling its embarrassing contents for all to see?

Such can be the struggle for any student, but especially for any sexual minority who identifies or struggles with an LGB+ identity or same-sex attraction on a Christian college campus. For these students their faith and their sexuality often feel both tender and in acute tension. Who is God making them to be? What do they need to grow in to develop faithfully, and what might they need to leave behind? How can they truly flourish?

The research team of Yarhouse, Dean, Stratton, and Lastoria draw on their decades of experience both in the psychology of sexual identity and in campus counseling to bring us the results of an original longitudinal study into what sexual minorities themselves experience, hope for, and benefit from. Rich with both quantitative and qualitative data, their book gives an unprecedented opportunity to listen to sexual minorities in their own words, as well as to observe patterns and often surprising revelations about life and personal development both on campus and after graduation.

Listening to Sexual Minorities will be an indispensable resource not only for counselors and psychologists but also for faculty, student-development leaders, and administrators in higher education as well as leaders in the church and wider Christian community who want to create an intentional environment to hear from and contribute to the spiritual flourishing of all.

"Just as a plane requires both wings to fly, so too the gospel cannot soar in a culture without the two wings of truth and grace. No other issue confronting the twenty-first-century church in America requires the need for both wings than the intersection of human sexuality and genuine Christian faith. Without sacrificing the wing of truth, Listening to Sexual Minorities helps lift the wing of grace. Where the church has excelled at telling, this book excels at listening. Thankfully, Listening to Sexual Minorities is not a theological or political treatise telling believers what they should believe or do. Gratefully, it is an archive of conversations, thoughts, and feelings, gleaned from individuals within our churches and institutions."

Jon S. Kulaga, president of Ohio Christian University

"For more than forty years I’ve worked with college students. The complexities of the issues they deal with personally are exciting, challenging and (at times) overwhelming. Some of the most difficult issues they face are found at the intersection of faith and sexuality. Within the Christian university context those intersecting issues take on an additional dimension for LGB+ students because of the cultural tensions surrounding these issues. Listening to Sexual Minorities is a gold mine of research, wisdom, and practical application in understanding more accurately the journeys of sexual minority students. The student stories embedded in each chapter range from encouraging to heart wrenching. For campuses seeking to take both faith and sexuality seriously, working through Listening to Sexual Minorities will be time well spent."

Jay Barnes, president of Bethel University

"The research and insight found in Listening to Sexual Minorities: A Study of Faith and Sexual Identity on Christian College Campuses is profoundly timely and relevant—not just for Christian educators, but for all of us who are committed to loving and sharing life with the many sexual minority individuals in our families, churches, and communities. One of the greatest hindrances to this end is that although many strong opinions abound, there are few opportunities to listen and bear witness to the actual stories, experiences, and complexities of our sexual minority friends and colleagues—especially those who are professing Christians. Yarhouse, Dean, Stratton, and Lastoria have assembled a scholarly, comprehensive, readable, and human introduction to the stories of such individuals; I highly recommend it because the world needs to hear what they have to say."

David C. Wang, associate professor of psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology, editor of the Journal of Psychology and Theology

"Professor Mark Yarhouse and his collaborators continue their remarkable efforts to produce informative, original, and even-handed empirical research into the life experiences of Christians experiencing same-sex and other non-normative sexual attractions. This book reports on the results of a study of remarkable breadth and comprehensiveness. It offers understandable syntheses of the complex findings and wise, biblical suggestions based on the findings for implementation by Christian educational institutions and churches. It is a unique and valuable contribution deserving the attention of thoughtful Christian leaders everywhere."

Stanton L. Jones, professor of psychology at Wheaton College, coauthor of God’s Design for Sex

"This groundbreaking book is a must-read for all who care about faith-based schools and the LGBTQ students who are a part of these communities."

Pat Griffin, Professor Emerita at University of Massachusetts Amherst and member of the NCAA Seeking Common Ground Leadership Team

"Loving our neighbors should always involve listening to them. This carefully researched study does us all an immense service by giving us the opportunity to listen in to the varied experiences of people we often haven't been listening to carefully enough."

Ed Shaw, author of Same-Sex Attraction and the Church


1. The Tension: Faith and Sexuality
2. A Closer Look: Understanding the Population
3. Milestones and Identity
4. Identity Development
5. Faith and Sexuality
6. How Sexual-Minority Students Fit into Their College Campuses
7. How They Move from College to Postcollege
8. Summary, Recommendations, and Conclusions
Author Index
Subject Index


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