When Jordan enrolled in Wheaton College in Illinois, he wouldn't admit to himself that he was attracted to other men. Raised in a conservative Baptist church and a student at a conservative Christian college, Jordan (who asked that his real name not be used) hesitated to identify with the gay community, which he perceived as flamboyant and sex-obsessed. He attempted to ignore what was in opposition to his Christian beliefs.
"I would sit in Wheaton's prayer chapel, staring at the cross, and beg God to please just let me be attracted to girls," Jordan said. "I used to pray for it every day: 'Heal me!'?"
Jordan waited for a chapel series at college, a sermon at the Anglican church he attended, or a fateful meeting with that one person who would change his orientation. "I just thought I'd naturally be attracted to a girl and get married—everyone says that's what happens," he said.
When that didn't happen, Jordan was faced with the dilemma of addressing his same-sex attraction as a student at a school that prohibits any sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage. Jordan and others like him point to the recent experience of Wesley Hill, a Wheaton alum, professor at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, and author of Washed and Waiting, as one example of a gay Christian's choice to live in celibacy to address same-sex attraction.
Leaders at Christian colleges and universities around the country told Christianity Today their schools are rethinking the way they address the needs of these students on campus. Recently, Wheaton's administration provided forums for dialogue about human sexuality and encouraged students to be more ...