Asbury Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care, Dr. Steve Stratton and colleagues received a grant from the Louisville Institute to fund a longitudinal study looking at Christian college and university students negotiating the intersection of gender identity and faith. This grant represents collaboration not only between the Seminary and Asbury University, but also between Regent University and Houghton College. The grant funds two years of quantitative and qualitative study of Christian undergraduates, while also supporting research assistants from among Asbury Seminary’s counseling program.

The study seeks to respectfully listen to students who entrust these researchers with their stories as they navigate the intersection of gender and spiritual identities. “We hope to hear the ‘voices’ of those students in Christian colleges and universities who are living, learning, and developing in the midst of faith-based academic communities,” Professor Steve Stratton said. “We want to understand the student experience, and we also want to hear about the influence of Christian community on this developmental process of Christian students.”

Dr. Mark Yarhouse, Hughes Endowed Chair and Professor of Psychology at Regent University, leads the study. Mike Lastoria, retired Director of Counseling Services at Houghton College; Janet Dean, associate professor at Asbury University; and Stratton complete the research team.

This study begins this team’s second longitudinal study looking at the sexual minority experiences on Christian college and university campuses.  The first focused on the LGB experience among undergraduate Christians and will be published as an IVP Academic book entitled Listening to Sexual Minorities: A Study of Faith and Sexual Identity on Christian College Campuses in Spring 2018.