Matthew S. Tis


Murdock Bishop, Jennifer L.

Committee Member

Smith, Jennifer

Committee Member

Black, Linda L.

Committee Member

Bezyak, Jill L.


College of Education and Behavioral Sciences; Department of Applied Psychology and Counselor Education, Counselor Education and Supervision


University of Northern Colorado

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Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



290 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


Tis, Matthew S. The Experience of Affectional and Gender Minority Students at CACREP Accredited Counseling Programs Housed within Conservative Christian Institutions: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Published Doctor of Philosophy dissertation, University of Northern Colorado, 2020. The purpose of this interpretative phenomenological analysis was to explore the lived experiences of affectional and gender minority students who currently attend or previously attended CACREP accredited counseling programs housed within Conservative Christian Institutions (CCIs), and the sense they make of those experiences. Eight themes emerged from individual interviews conducted with five participants, with most themes existing across all participant accounts. Participants described discriminatory environments in their master’s programs, the damaging effects of those experiences, and the safe spaces and relationships that mitigated that damage. They also discussed the ways in which those experiences impacted their spiritual development and stunted their development with respect to counselor identity and affectional and gender identity. The results of this research highlight the opportunity and responsibility that CCIs have to both protect these vulnerable student populations and provide models for them. The study also underscores the need for the counseling field to align the expectations of practitioners with the expectations placed upon training programs regarding the treatment of individuals who identify as affectional and gender minorities.

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Copyright is held by the author.