Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Kate Wilkins


For many years, tensions have existed between Christianity and the LGBTQ community, most apparent in contexts such as politics and education. One site of conflict is within the realm of Christian higher education, specifically in regards to campus-wide regulation of same-sex behaviors. This research examines the language in sexuality-based rules as communicated in four Christian universities' handbooks. Bakhtin & Holquist (1981) demonstrate the innate tension between dialogue and the social context within which it is understood. Therefore, since language is not neutral, the words creating these rules are in themselves a site of tension for the university, its contributors, its students, and the greater society. Based in critical theory with a focus on Bakhtin’s perspective on dialogue, this paper will work to show the dialectical tensions that these rules create within these university contexts. Understanding the ways in which schools currently navigate those dialectical tensions, this research hopes to aid Christian universities in order to best serve their LGBTQ students.