Date of Award

Fall 12-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Counselor Education


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Barbara Herlihy, PhD

Second Advisor

Zarus Watson, PhD

Third Advisor

Lorilei Cropley, PhD


A narrative qualitative research design was used to understand the journeys of three lesbians with Oneness Pentecostal backgrounds who have reconciled their religious beliefs with their sexual orientation. Three participants were selected who met the following criteria: (a) the participant is a lesbian female who (b) grew up in a Oneness Pentecostal church and (c) has reconciled being a lesbian with her religious beliefs, and who is (d) willing to discuss her outing process. These participants were interviewed. The interview questions were submitted to participants prior to the scheduled interviews. The interviews began with an open-ended inquiry. In answer to the research question, the three participants’ stories revealed that reconciliation journeys are unique and complicated. The motivation to embark on a journey of reconciliation of religious beliefs with sexual orientation stemmed from the participants’ same-sex attractions. Further motivators for the participants to explore and reconstruct religious beliefs were feelings of shame and guilt. The participants arrived at a place where they could no longer deny their feelings. As I read the participants’ stories, I analyzed the stories by utilizing the narrative therapy term of “re-authoring.” I found that the three unifying aspects of re-authoring in the participants’ stories were re-authoring religious beliefs, re-authoring definitions of family and re-authoring self.



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