Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Project – Full Written

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Kathy Williams


Introduction: Individuals who identify as belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community in the context of religion and faith often experience spiritual discrimination and are made to feel like an outcast (Cole & Harris, 2017). Often, spiritual leaders lack the training, knowledge, and skills necessary to understand and communicate in a way that offers solace and comfort to their LGBTQIA+ congregants (Yarhouse & Sadusky, 2020). Moreover, the church has been at the forefront of leading the discrimination and condemnation of LGBTQIA+ members. This discrimination has led many to leave the church and become involved in self-harming behavior, ongoing mental health struggles, and worst, suicide. Educating clergy members and spiritual leaders can lead to positive health outcomes for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Methods: This project used a convenience sample of clergy members to conduct an educational presentation and post assessment.

Results: The overarching response post of the educational presentation was that the clergy members were more aware of the impact of the church on LGBTQIA+ individuals and were better equipped to recognize at-risk behaviors thus leading to better health outcomes.

Conclusion: There are gaps in the education of clergy members in their educational pursuits during seminary when it comes to LGBTQIA+ congregants. Overcoming the barriers, reducing bias and discrimination, and cultivating a safe space for LGBTQIA+ members can improve health outcomes. This project identifies areas of opportunity for clergy members’ training and education that can be improved, e.g., having intentional communities, community resources, and cultural competence versus cultural humility.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Included in

Nursing Commons