The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the intersection and experiences of spiritual and sexual orientation identity development in LGBT graduates of faith-based institutions. Guided by Crenshaw's (1984), framework on intersectionality, this qualitative study was conducted through six in-depth interviews with LGBT graduates of faith-based institutions from Protestant faiths. Collected data was transcribed and analyzed using Colaizzi's (1978) process for phenomenological data. Four themes emerged from the data analysis: commitment to religious affiliation; positive campus environment; negative campus environment; and identity congruence and dissonance. Additionally, participants were asked to identify their institutions as liberal, conservative, or neither liberal or conservative. Individuals that identified their institutions as liberal described a supportive campus environment and experienced congruence with their spiritual and sexual orientation identity. Individuals that identified their institutions as conservative, described a campus environment that lacked support and experienced dissonance with their spiritual and sexual orientation. Their sexual orientation identity developed, and their spiritual identity changed. The experiences of these participants are not generalizable yet provide implications for improved practices at faith-based institutions to support their LGBT student population further develop their spiritual identity. Results from this study are intended to inform the faith-based higher education community about the needs of LGBT students and assist with the advancement of resources to support the development of these students.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Educational Leadership and Higher Education
Educational Leadership; Higher Education Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Seawright, Lavina, "Exploring the Intersection of Spiritual and Sexual Orientation Identity Development in LGBT Undergraduate Graduates of Faith-based Institutions" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 415.
Restricted to the UCF community until December 2023; it will then be open access.