Listening to Sexual Minorities

A Study of Faith and Sexual Identity on Christian College Campuses

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Mark A. Yarhouse, Janet B. Dean, Stephen P. Stratton, Michael Lastoria
Christian Association for Psychological Studies
  • Downers Grove, IL: 
    IVP Academic Press
    , April
     326 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Jessica Knippel forthcoming.


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.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Mark A. Yarhouse is Rosemarie S. Hughes Endowed Chair and professor of psychology at Regent University where he directs the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity and is a core faculty member in the doctoral program in clinical psychology. A licensed clinical psychologist, he practices privately in the Virginia Beach area, providing individual, couples, family, and group counseling.

Janet B. Dean is a licensed psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychology at Asbury University. In addition to teaching a number of undergraduate courses in psychology, she mentors students interested in research, advises the local chapter of the Psi Chi Honor Society in psychology, and cofacilitates Asbury's annual undergraduate research symposium SEARCH.

Stephen P. Stratton is Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care at Asbury Theological Seminary. A licensed psychologist, he previously served as an adjunct professor at Asbury University, where he was the director of the Center for Counseling for eighteen years. Stratton has special interest and training in the areas of human relational attachments, contemplative prayer, and the integration of counseling and Christianity.

Michael Lastoria is Professor of Family Studies and a senior counselor at Houghton College. He previously served as the director of counseling services at Houghton and is also a licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of New York.

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