XGI: The Gender Identity Project (A longitudinal study)

“… political climate in North America, the church has a unique opportunity to minister to sexual minorities and transgender young adults, in particular. ”

Team Members/Contributors

Michael Donald Lastoria Houghton College Contact Me
Stephen P. Stratton Asbury Theological Seminary Contact Me
Mark Yarhouse Regent University Contact Me
Janet B. Dean Asbury University Contact Me

About this award

During the spring of 2018 the team will disseminate a concise description of the project to the several hundred members of the Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD). Included will be information to pass along to potential participants (known to the member to be transgender students), along with a website to read more about the study and download forms necessary to be a part of the study. The target sample will be 30-40 students who identify as Christian and gender diverse, while currently attending a faith-based college or university. The project will seek to follow these students over 3-5 years via surveys and voluntary interviews, even after graduation.

Who are these sexual minority students? How do they come to choose a Christian college? What is distinctive about this Christian population, if anything? What does sexuality look like to them? How do they understand their own identity development? What do they believe about their faith and sexuality? How do they fit into their college campuses and local churches? How do they move through college to post-college transitions?

A main thrust of this project is to "hear the voices" of these young adults and begin to unpack the complexity inherent in a complicated identity development process where critical components of spirituality and gender intersect. Unfortunately, there has been little formal research to understand the aggregate experience of this culturally important group.

The team will employ a mixed method research, gathering both quantitative and qualitative data; the latter through phone or personal interviews. Funding for the project would support compensation for participants, conference attendance/presentations of on-going data, team planning meetings, and compensation for data analysts.