Date of this Version
Chapter 13 in Honors Colleges in the 21st Century; Richard Badenhausen, editor
National Collegiate Honors Council Monograph Series; Jeffrey A. Portnoy, series editor
Published by the National Collegiate Honors Council, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
An estimated 11 percent of students at faith-based colleges and universities, identify as sexual-minority (LGBTQ+). Many of those students come from religious backgrounds and attend universities where they have heard and continue to hear that their sexual identity is in fundamental tension with their faith identity, leading to problems with mental health and, at times, physical health. On many such campuses, sexual minority students have become more vocal, asking that the university acknowledge their presence and provide services to help them succeed and thrive in college. Some of the schools have moved in that direction. Others continue to balk at accommodation. This chapter explores the ways that honors colleges at faith-based institutions can use their relative freedom inside the academic structure of the university to promote inclusion for sexual minority honors students. The chapter proposes three strategies: knowing university policies (non-discrimination, codes of conduct, counseling services) for sexual minority students, creating a knowledge space in the honors library and in honors courses/honors contracts for exploration of LGBTQ+ topics, and using some of the co-curricular events to affirm the presence of sexual minority students in the honors college and in the larger university.