Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Julie Dodge, DMin

Second Advisor

Jamie Noling-Auth, DMin


Throughout Christian history, the Church has provided inconsistent messages about the spiritual foundation for healthy sexuality. With avoidant messages of silence and shame around sexual topics from the Church, many emergent women separate their spirituality from their sexual lives, never considering scripture as a guideline for healthy sexuality. Emergent adult women, specifically those without strong spiritual foundations, are more likely to engage in unhealthy sexual behaviors which often leave them feeling alone and separate from God and spiritual community. Because popular culture does not support marriage as a moral requirement for a sexual relationship, present cultural messages advocate that these women seek multiple, premarital sexual partners before a relational commitment.

This dissertation seeks to address the relationship between unhealthy sexual behaviors and spiritual dissonance among emergent single women who grew up in the Church, through adolescence, and consider possible ways to address this problem. The accompanying artifact is a retreat guide titled, God Likes Sex: Conversations Integrating Spirituality and Sexuality, and is intended for use in various churches, universities, and at speaking events in which single emergent women may engage with teachings, small groups, and interactive dialogues related to healthy spirituality and sexuality. This dissertation considers various ways that sexual conversations and spiritual interventions for single, Christian, emergent women, may transition an unhealthy spirituality and sexuality into a lasting spiritual formation journey that ultimately produces healthy sexual behaviors.