Biola Community Standards

Your School is a part of Biola University, which is a unique environment committed to following Christ. "Love your neighbor as yourself" therefore becomes the foundation stone of community. We believe that community is born of other-centered practices, strengthened when members

* live with integrity,

* practice confession and forgiveness,

* attempt to live in reconciled relationships,

* accept responsibility for their actions and words, and

* submit to biblical instruction.

As women and men of Biola, we do not ask each other to be perfect people, but rather to be people in active pursuit of integrity and growth, in dynamic relationships with the living God and with others in the community. Those in leadership at Biola are eager to serve by coming alongside you and offering support, accountability, and, when necessary, loving discipline, in order to help you grow. We affirm our commitment to serve you with your best in mind.

Graduate Student Standard of Conduct

Biola University is a community of Christians committed to the principles of Christian living found in the Bible and holds that these biblical standards are vital to our individual and corporate relationships.

Consistent with the example and command of Jesus Christ, we believe that life within a Christian community must be lived to the glory of God, with love for God and for our neighbors. Being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we strive to walk by the Spirit, “crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). To this end, members of the Biola community are not to engage in activities that Scripture forbids or advocate positions inconsistent or contrary to these standards of conduct or the University’s doctrinal statement. Such activities include, but are not limited to, dishonesty, thievery, fornication, adultery, drunkenness, unscriptural divorce, homosexual practice, and the destruction of innocent human life after conception through abortion on demand, infanticide, or euthanasia. Scripture also condemns other “deeds of the flesh” such as covetousness, jealousy, pride, and lust—sins, which the maturing Christian should put off and replace with “fruit of the spirit”: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (e.g., Luke 10:27; Galatians 2:20, 5:14-24; Ephesians 2:3; 1Corinthians 6:9-10).

As maturing Christians, the entire Biola community will strive for the holiness of God (I Peter 1:13-19) and love Him with all our hearts, souls, and minds (Matthew 22:37). In addition, we are called to love our friends and neighbors as God has loved us (Matthew 22:39; I John 4:7-11). We will achieve this calling by walking by the power of the Holy Spirit and avoiding sins clearly forbidden in Scripture (Galatians 5:16-21; I Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 5:1-14). Also, we will pursue the fruit of the Spirit from our Lord, with one another (Galatians 5:22-24).

When the Bible is not clear regarding a specific behavior, we will be guided by our desire to glorify God in our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), and will discern if any of our brothers or sisters in Christ would stumble in their faith (1 Corinthians 8; Romans 14). If our Lord is not glorified or another Christian is harmed or offended by our behavior, then we will freely abstain from that activity, both on and off the campus of Biola. We know that many behaviors are lawful, but not all are profitable (1 Corinthians 10:23-33). Therefore, we will constantly be teachable regarding those activities where the Bible is not clear and will evaluate them in light of our pursuit of holiness and love for our Lord and each other.

It is important to note that students studying at the Biola Campus in La Mirada are at various ages, varying levels of Christian maturity, and have varying levels of understanding regarding Christian conduct in neutral areas. As in the passages referenced above, some can practice liberties in good conscience while others following their example could be caused to stumble in their faith. The principle that regulates conduct in morally neutral matters, therefore, seems to apply: glorify God by seeking the welfare of others. This is imitating the self-sacrificing example of Christ (I Corinthians 10:31-11:1).

In keeping with these foundations, graduate students age 21 and over are required to abstain from the use of tobacco products, the use of alcoholic beverages, and gambling activities while on the Biola campus, at off-campus University buildings or residence housing sites, or at functions (such as social gatherings, departmental meals, meetings, seminars, conferences, athletic competitions, etc.) where participants are primarily drawn together by nature of their relationship to Biola. Graduate students under the age of 21 are required to abstain from the use of tobacco products, the use of alcoholic beverages and gambling activities at all times while enrolled.

These standards apply to the student while enrolled in any of the schools or programs of the University on and off campus. Biola students have chosen, freely and willingly, to associate with the Biola community and to accept and abide by these standards. Any violation of these standards constitutes a breach of integrity.

The University reserves the right to refuse or revoke admittance and/or dismiss any person who does not conform either to the stated guidelines and regulations governing student conduct, or to the expressed principles, policies, and expectations of the University.

The University also reserves the right to take action against an individual for violating the Standards regardless of how much time has passed since the violation. The University also reserves the right to take disciplinary actions for violations of University standards by graduates awaiting degrees and students who withdraw from school while a disciplinary matter is pending.

When The Standards Apply

The Biola Graduate Standards of Conduct apply to all students:

1. While enrolled in classes for the Fall Semester (including Thanksgiving), Interterm, Spring Semester

(including Spring Break), and Summer Term;

2. Who are representing the Biola Community in any off-campus events, such as mission trips, internships, study abroad, and athletic or academic activities;

3. Who are not enrolled in classes but are living on campus, and not checked out of their room.

The fact that these standards only apply to students while they are enrolled or in residence in no way indicates that the University believes that contrary behavior is acceptable during non-enrolled periods. The University recognizes that it is inherently the responsibility of the individual to make such behavior decisions. The essential role of individual judgment, discernment, and recognition of personal accountability to God throughout the Biola community cannot be overemphasized. Behaviors while not enrolled may affect a student’s ability to re-enroll or continue at Biola University (see also below, “Violation Of Law And University Discipline).

Do the Standards Apply Off-Campus?

Off-campus rights and freedoms of students involve the responsibility to display conduct and behavior that reflect favorably on them, the University, and the community. Accordingly, the University reserves the right to take disciplinary action in response to behavior off campus that violates University standards and policies or adversely affects the University community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. The University also reserves the right to take disciplinary actions for violations of University standards by graduates awaiting degrees and students who withdraw from school while a disciplinary matter is pending.

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