Biola’s Position on Sexuality and Marriage
Biola University’s position on marriage affirms the goodness of sexual relationships as designed by God to be expressed within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman. More information on the university’s theological position regarding human sexuality may be found in Statement of Biblical Principles: God’s Intentional Design for Life, one of Biola’s Theological Positions. We believe that sexual activity outside of marriage or behavior promoting sexual activity outside of marriage (including, but not limited to nudity, cohabitation, pornography) is contrary with God’s intentional design for sexuality. Living out God’s intent for sexual expression, while requiring sacrifice at times, is ultimately a source of freedom (John 10:10). Biola hopes to foster a community where living according to this intent helps each person thrive - personally, relationally, and spiritually.
Harassment and Bullying
We acknowledge that too often Christian communities have felt unkind or inhospitable for those who experience same-sex attraction or identify as LGBTQ. All members of the Biola community are expected to treat one another with respect and Christ-like compassion. Any form of harassment, bullying, insults, slurs and other forms of derogatory speech or behavior have no place in a Christian community. These inappropriate behaviors will be directly addressed by the university (see Biola’s Sexual Misconduct Policy). Through faculty and staff training, peer education, and by example, we seek to educate faculty, staff, and students about the harm caused by disrespectful or flippant speech surrounding this topic.
Faculty-Student or Staff-Student Relationships
A dating relationship between an instructor and a student enrolled in his/her class, or an advisor and an advisee, is generally prohibited. Dating relationships between faculty and students not currently enrolled in their classes, or between supervisors and subordinates or student workers, are generally deemed unwise. Such consensual relationships may create an environment in which power differences may be unfairly exploited, the respect and trust given someone in authority may be violated, and pressure may be subtly or inadvertently exerted on those in a vulnerable position (from the Faculty Handbook, section 9.4). Any inappropriate or unwelcome contact initiated by a faculty or staff member should be dealt with under the Discrimination & Sexual Harassment policy (above).
University policy forbids exhibition, possession, or distribution of material or representations deemed to be obscene or contrary to the moral standards and/or mission of the University, including, but not limited to, pornography. Further, the use of institutional or personal computers for the viewing, transmission, retrieval and/or storage of such material is a violation of the Biola Graduate Student Standards of Conduct and will result in disciplinary action.
As with other sexual conduct outside the confines of marriage, viewing of pornography is inconsistent with the teaching of Scripture. As with other sexual misconduct, we will seek to be redemptive in the lives of the individuals involved. Consequently, the University will offer counsel and assistance to support and strengthen the individual‘s resolve to live consistently with Christian teaching on sexuality.
The University wants to assist those involved in an unplanned pregnancy while at Biola to consider the options available to them within the Christian moral framework. These include marriage of the parents, single parenthood, or offering the child for adoption. Because the Bible is clear in its teaching on the sanctity of human life, life begins at conception; we abhor the destruction of innocent life through abortion-on-demand. Biola personnel stand ready to help those involved to cope effectively with the complexity of needs that a crisis pregnancy presents. Additional support is available through the Biola Counseling Center, the Health Center, along with academic and other support services. While some students in these circumstances may choose to leave the University temporarily, it is our hope that any student who chooses to continue in classes during the pregnancy will find Biola to be a supportive and redemptive community during this crucial time.
Graduate Student Pregnancy Policy
California state law prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy in postsecondary education institutions. Specifically, Assembly Bill 2350 addresses the needs of graduate students who are either pregnant or recently experienced a birth or whose partner is pregnant or recently experienced a birth. Institutions, including Biola, are prohibited from requiring a graduate student to take a leave of absence, withdraw from the graduate program, or limit his or her graduate studies solely as a result of pregnancy or pregnancy-related issues. Furthermore, post-secondary institutions are required to reasonably accommodate pregnant graduate students so that they may complete their courses and research.
Under AB 2350, a graduate student who chooses to take a pregnancy-related leave of absence is allowed a period of up to twelve (12) months to prepare for and take preliminary or qualifying examinations, as well as an extension of at least twelve (12) months toward normative time to degree completion, unless a longer extension is medically necessary. A graduate student who is not the birth parent and chooses to take a leave of absence for the birth of his or her child is allowed a one month period to prepare for and take any preliminary or qualifying examinations, as well as an extension of at least one month toward normative time to degree completion, unless a longer extension is medically necessary to care for his or her partner or their child.
In addition, if a graduate student in good academic standing takes a leave of absence because she is pregnant or has recently given birth, the student will return to her program in good academic standing following the leave period, subject to administrative procedures. Likewise, if a graduate student in good academic standing who is not the birth parent and takes a leave of absence because of the birth of his or her child, the student will return to his or her program in good academic standing following the leave period, subject to administrative procedures.
If a graduate student feels she or he has been the victim of pregnancy discrimination, the student must bring the claim under the procedures for a Discrimination and Sexual Harassment complaint.