Sexual & Gender Identity Institute


Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D., is  the Dr. Arthur P. and Mrs. Jean May Rech Chair in Psychology at Wheaton College.  Dr. Yarhouse has spent several years promoting dialogue between people who view the topic of sexual identity differently. In 2000, he chaired a groundbreaking symposium at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention that brought together gay psychologists and Christian psychologists to discuss common ground in treatment options for those who experience sexual and religious identity conflicts. He chaired similar dialogues at the APA on the many meanings of marriage (among different religions and among various groups within the gay community), services for adolescents experiencing sexual identity concerns, and an approach to services referred to as the sexual identity therapy framework.

Dr. Olya Zaporozhets is an associate professor in the School of Psychology & Counseling at Regent University. An expert in methodology and statistics, Dr. Zaporozhets spearheads the analysis of qualitative data from 200 interviews of Christian patents whose children came out as LGBTQ, which led to several dissertations and national conference presentations. She has also completed analysis of data from 300 celibate gay Christian that is featured in the book, Costly Obedience (Zondervan).

Dr. Janet Dean is associate professor of psychology at Asbury University. She has been a research co-investigator for both the Christian Sexual Identity Project, which is a study of Christian sexual minorities at Christian colleges featured in the book, Listening to Sexual Minorities (InterVarsity Press Academic), and the Christian Gender Identity Project, which is a study of students navigating gender identity and faith on Christian college campuses.

Dr. Stephen P Stratton is professor of counseling and pastoral care at Asbury Seminary. He has been a research co-investigator for a line of research for the past 10+ years on the experiences of sexual minorities at Christian colleges and universities referred to as the Christian Sexual Identity Project. That research waw featured in the book, Listening to Sexual Minorities (InterVarsity Press Academic). Dr. Stratton is also co-investigator for the Christian Gender Identity Project, which is a study of students navigating gender identity and faith on Christian college campuses. He has spearheaded the qualitative analysis for both projects.

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At the institute, we have anywhere from 5-6 lines of research being conducted at any one time. Here are three we are currently highlighting.

Christian Parental Responses

SGI fellow, Dr. Olya Zaparozhets, has been leading a team in analysis of data from Christian parents whose son or daughter came out as LGBTQ+. It has been a massive undertaking, and we learned so much from what parents shared with us.

MOC Project

SGI fellow, Dr. Olya Zaparozhets has been coordinating a study of mixed orientation couples (MOC), which refers to marriages in which one partner is straight and the other is a sexual minority. While we have studies MOC several times, we are excited to use several measures we have been utilizing in our other studies to get a better sense for their well-being and faith, among other considerations.

Christian Gender Identity Project

This is a line of research related to the dilemma faced by Christian college students who experience their gender identity differently that the majority of students for whom gender identity aligns with their biological sex. Drs. Mark Yarhouse, Stephen Stratton, (Asbury Theological Seminary), and Janet Dean (Asbury University) are conducting a longitudinal study supported by a grant from the Louisville Institute.


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What is Sexual Identity Therapy?

Dr. Mark Yarhouse provides a brief description of Sexual Identity Therapy as an approach to care that facilitates congruence.

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Wheaton College Graduate School
501 E. College Avenue,
Wheaton, IL 60187