A Safe Space for Students Navigating Same-Sex Attractions

In Fall 2016, Student Development will launch a purposeful, community-focused program for students navigating same-sex attractions. Many students who are navigating these realities do not talk about their experiences and feel a lack of support and community.

This group, entitled Sustinere, will seek to provide a caring and supportive community where students can journey together as they learn to live authentically and lovingly with same-sex attractions, orientations and identities.

Led by staff/faculty advisors and student leaders, the group will aspire to be a safe space for students who experience enduring same-­sex attractions or identify as having a same­-sex sexual orientation or identity.

The program details are:

  • An on-campus, monthly gathering throughout each semester.
  • Staff/faculty advisors, student leaders & students as community participants.
  • Safety promoted through sharing one's story: In order to promote safety within the group, a student seeking participation will meet with a student leader before being invited into the group. This process is necessary to ensure that all who attend will be respectful and supportive of the other participants within the group.
  • Authentic personal sharing and relevant topic discussions: Though the main purpose of this safe space will be to listen, and to allow space for members to share their thoughts and experiences, some potential discussion-starters are listed below.
Friendship Affection Belonging
Emotional health and coping Church experience Spiritual formation
Family dynamics Loneliness
Biblical interpretation/wisdom

What is sustinere?

From Latin, to "hold up, hold upright; furnish with means of support: bear, undergo, endure."

From sub "up from below" + tenere "to hold." Root of "sustain": to strengthen or support physically or mentally; to bear (the weight of an object) without breaking or falling.

If you're a student looking to participate in Sustinere, email

For general information about Sustinere, email

Communities, Student Care & Wellness
Student Development
Last Updated:
September 05, 2017
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