Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

School

Theological Seminary

Program

Religious Education, MA

First Advisor

David Sedlacek

Second Advisor

John V. G. Matthews

Abstract

Problem and Purpose

Research has identified students’ attitudes towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community as being determined partly by the students’ understanding of gender identity, and partly by a further mixture of variables that include religiosity, gender, and ethnicity. Most of this previous research has been undertaken in either secular or non-Adventist settings. This present study examines attitudes of undergraduate theology majors at two Adventist universities in North America and the Caribbean.

Method

A Likert Scale was constructed consisting of eight questions geared to elicit attitudes across a number of areas. Sixty-three students completed the questionnaire. Participating students were enrolled at historically traditional theological Adventist universities in two countries.

Results

Results identified attitudes among students that were generally mirrored by attitudes in the broader society, as reflected in legislation. Gender and ethnic differences were indicators in student attitudes, with the former variable revealing slightly more conciliatory attitudes among females compared to the males, and the latter variable revealing far less conciliatory attitudes among Afro-Caribbeans than among students from North America.

Conclusions

The Adventist universities chosen for this research have historically adhered to a traditional stance on the biblical interpretation of gender identity and, as such, they provided a useful platform to observe any student divergence from the historical status quo. This study offers insights into the significant correlation between theology majors’ ethnicity and their attitudes towards members of the LGBT community. The data obtained from administration of the survey instrument revealed this correlation.

Subject Area

Sexual minorities; Lesbians, Gays, Transgender people; Bisexuals; Andrews University. Religion Department--Students

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