Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



For a vast majority of Americans, religion is an integral part of life. In fact, 10:30am on Sundays is considered the most holy time in the United States as most persons have just left, are currently attending, or are on their way to their various places of worship. Believing in organized religion comes with challenges, as religion has often been the basis and justification for discriminatory practices. These challenges can cause emotional tension, especially to those who identify with teachings that religions have traditionally condemned. This document sought to determine if religion matters to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) student collegiate experiences at private, faith-based institutions and, if it did, was it more prevalent than at public, liberal arts institutions. Using the phenomenological approach and narrative interviews along with a document analysis as data collection methods, eight (8) participants from two southern Louisiana institutions gave insight into their collegiate experiences as LGBT and identifying with an organized religion. Interviews were transcribed and categorized thematically and then compared to school anti-discrimination policies to determine if the policy was relevant in context to, and functional with, the LGBT student experience. Final analysis and results and implications for collegiate leaders are presented as suggestions for more inclusive campus environments.



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Committee Chair

Varner, Kenny



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