LGBTQQI Policies At Christian Colleges and Universities

Last Updated August 7, 2014

PLEASE NOTE:  Since policies are constantly evolving, it is possible that this document may include factual errors.  Please confirm the information reported below through the school’s website and/or catalog.  FACTUAL ERRORS CAN BE REPORTED BY EMAIL to info [at] onesafetynet.org

 

Azusa Pacific

Human Sexuality

As an evangelical community of disciples and scholars who embrace the historic Christian understanding of Scripture, Azusa Pacific University holds that sexuality is a gift from God and basic to human identity as well as a matter of behavioral expression. We hold that the full behavioral expression of sexuality is to take place within the context of a marriage covenant between a man and a woman and that individuals remain celibate outside of the bond of marriage. Therefore, we seek to cultivate a community in which sexuality is embraced as God-given and good and where biblical standards of sexual behavior are upheld.

Azusa Pacific University pledges to guide the university community toward understanding and embracing their God-given sexuality as reflected in this statement. Any deviation from a biblical standard of sexual behavior is sin and therefore is an opportunity for repentance, grace, and redemption, so that as a community we might honor one another and glorify God.

Full text here: http://www.apu.edu/about/sexuality/

Online Courses: Yes

Statement of sexuality/faith requirement: Do not have to be a Christian to apply but have to keep in mind that Christian views will be encountered in classes

Full text here: http://www.apu.edu/university-college/admissions/

Full application here: https://www.onlineapu.com/complete/ (Faith section on third part of app)

 

Baptist Bible College

Marriage Policy
Our marriage policy is based on the model of God’s creative design, therefore we believe that marriage joins one man and one woman and is the only relationship in which sexual intimacy should be expressed.

Full text here: http://www.bbc.edu/standards.asp

Online Courses: Yes

Statement of sexuality/faith requirement: Cannot access application without first entering sensitive information

 

Bob Jones University

Student Handbook- Position on Sexuality and Marriage p. 63

Bob Jones University believes that any form of sexual immorality—such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or any attempt to change one’s biological sex—is sinful and offensive to God.

God’s inerrant and infallible Word, the Holy Bible, is unambiguous in its declaration that sexual sin, such as those named above, is an offense to our holy God. We believe God offers redemption and restoration to all sinners who will repent of their sin and seek His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ—but that those known to be unrepentant practitioners of sexual sin cannot remain in a Christian assembly. Allowing them to remain in an unrepentant state, whether they be students, faculty, staff or volunteers, brings God’s displeasure on the institution and forfeiture of His blessings. Further, we believe that Christian marriage has only one meaning and is defined by God in His Word and that His Word limits the definition of marriage to the joining of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union. God the Creator ordains sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and woman who are lawfully married to each other. Sexual relations apart from such marriage is a sin which God will judge. Adherence to God’s definition of marriage and the practice of acceptable moral conduct as the Bible defines it is expected of all who study at or are employed by Bob Jones University.

Full text here: http://www.bju.edu/life-faith/student-handbook.pdf

Online Courses: Yes

Statement of sexuality/faith requirement: Cannot access application

 

Cedarville University

Doctrinal Statement

We believe that the Scriptures provide a literal and historical account of God’s creation of all things. The climax of the six days of creation was the special, immediate and personal creation of human life. The first humans, Adam and Eve, were directly created, not evolved from previous life forms. God created humans, male and female, in His image. Human life, sexual identity and roles are aspects of God’s creative design. From creation, marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman that should be marked by sexual purity, by sacrificial male leadership, and by recognizing the divine blessing of children, including preborn children. Adam and Eve, though created in perfection, sinned, warranting physical death, spiritual death, and eternal separation from God. Consequently, all human beings are born with a sinful nature, and are sinners in thought, word, and deed.

Full text here: http://www.cedarville.edu/About/Doctrinal-Statement.aspx

Counseling Services

As a result of the American culture’s shift toward equating one’s sexuality with one’s identity, a Christian who experiences same-sex attraction often endures overwhelming confusion and pain due to a sense of being internally divided against oneself. Many Christians who experience same-sex attraction make no attempt to act on these feelings, but they believe that the feelings themselves are sinful and prohibit them from having a relationship with God. Other Christians, believing the feelings are unavoidable, act on them. Regardless of which category someone finds himself or herself in, no one chooses to feel attracted to someone of the same sex. However, we all choose how we will respond to sexual feelings and desires. Someone who is attracted to a person of the same sex is not necessarily sinning, but someone who lusts over, fantasizes about, or acts in sexual ways is venturing down a sinful path. Scripture says, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full grown brings forth death” (James 1:14-15, ESV). In other words, temptation leads to sin, but temptation is not sin.

Full text here: http://www.cedarville.edu/Offices/Counseling-Services/Resources/Same-Sex-Attraction.aspx

Online Courses: Yes, but limited to certain programs

Statement of sexuality/faith requirement: Affirmation of faith and excellent recommendation from church pastor

Full text here: http://www.cedarville.edu/Academics/Dual-Enrollment/Admission.aspx

 

Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids

Position on Marriage and Human Sexuality

One of the realities of the North American higher education system is the diversity of its institutions, including diversity in their moral values. Most colleges and universities in the U.S. espouse and promote the dominant cultural value of individualism—namely, that individuals have the right and the responsibility to determine their own life path intellectually, spiritually, and morally. Some historic Christian universities, however, advance the belief that we flourish as individuals not by charting our own course in life but conforming to God’s will as revealed in the Bible. Such a distinctive approach to education has profound implications regarding one of the major cultural issues of our day: human sexuality. Cornerstone University stands with historic Christianity in affirming that the Bible contains clear teachings in the areas of sexuality and gender, as articulated in recent documents by mainstream evangelical organizations.

These teachings include:

  1. Gender is not simply a cultural construct but a divine gift that is woven into creation and assigned at birth. The complementary nature of the human race as male and female, rooted in the relational nature of the Trinity, reflects the created order established by God when he created humans to carry out the cultural mandate.
  1. Sexual intimacy reflects and celebrates this gendered ordering of creation. Concerning human sexuality, therefore, Scripture mandates sexual faithfulness as expressed in two life-enhancing options that are essential to human flourishing: sexual celibacy, or monogamous marriage between a man and a woman.
  1. Marriage is a lifelong, sacred covenant instituted by God and intended to express the “one flesh” union of a man and a woman. The marriage union reflects the unity of our triune God and uniquely models the relationship between Christ and the church. As summarized in our foundational doctrinal statement: “Adam and Eve’s union as man and woman models God’s design for marriage and perpetually stands as God’s loving and righteous will for all sexual intimacy.”

Given the salience of issues of marriage and sexuality in contemporary culture, it is essential that

Cornerstone as an institution articulate and consistently apply clear expectations for our campus community. Thus, we will make institutional decisions in light of our biblical convictions concerning human sexuality and gender when it comes to behavioral expectations, housing, student admission and retention, employee hiring and retention, and other matters. Those policies may be found in the Employee Handbook and Student Handbook.

Full text here: https://assets1.mytrainsite.com/501431/human_sexuality_statement.pdf

Student Handbook

Full text here: http://cuhandbook.com/#/section-2/sexuality/community-rationale

Online Courses: Yes

Statement of sexuality/faith requirement: Cannot access application without first entering sensitive information

 

George Fox University

LGBTQ Issues

George Fox University affirms the full humanity and dignity of every human being, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We recognize that there are individuals who identify as LGBTQ or as having same-sex attraction within our community. They are valued.

Our theological position

George Fox University seeks to order its community life around the values and ethics we believe God has given us in the Bible and we rely on its teachings. Those who join our community agree to live consistently with these teachings.

We believe that God has intended sexual relations to be reserved for marriage between a man and a woman. We recognize that this belief may be in conflict with the practice or vision of the larger culture, as Christian beliefs have been in other times and places. Yet we hold to the historic Christian position on this issue while being respectful of those who disagree with us.

Full text here: http://www.georgefox.edu/onegeorgefox/

Online Courses: Yes

Statement of sexuality/faith requirement: Does not say

 

Gordon College

From what I have been able to find, Gordon College’s statement of faith, nor any of the policies I have read, do not mention anything about sexual orientation. From what I’ve heard and read in the news, however, I think it is safe to assume that Gordon College promotes the traditional concept of marriage between a man and a woman.

FAQ on Gordon College

Full text here: http://www.gordon.edu/learnthefacts

Online Courses: Yes, but for summer term only it seems

Statement of sexuality/faith requirement: Application for online/on-campus courses requires statement of faith/faith experiences and an on-campus interview.

 

Houghton College

Community Covenant-Behavioral Expectations

We believe that Scripture clearly prohibits certain acts, including drinking alcohol to excess, stealing, speaking or writing profanely or slanderously, acting dishonestly, cheating, engaging in occult practice, and engaging in sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage (including premarital sex, adultery and homosexual behavior).

Full text here: http://www.houghton.edu/community-covenant/

Online Courses: Yes

Statement of sexuality/faith requirement: No

 

Liberty University

Notice of Nondiscrimination (Taken from Liberty University’s Law School since the actual college doesn’t seem to have one of its own)

Admission of Students
Consistent with Liberty University’s nondiscrimination policy with respect to admission of students, the School of Law does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, or status as a veteran. The School of Law does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation but does discriminate* on the basis of sexual misconduct, including, but not limited to, non-marital sexual relations or the encouragement or advocacy of any form of sexual behavior that would undermine the Christian identity or faith mission of the University.*

Employment of Faculty and Staff

In its employment practices, the School of Law does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, but does discriminate on the basis of sexual misconduct*, including, but not limited to, non-marital sexual misconduct, homosexual conduct, or the encouragement or advocacy of any form of sexual behavior that would undermine the Christian identity or faith mission of the University.* This policy statement is neither intended to discourage, nor is it in fact applicable to, any analytical discussion of law and policy issues involved in the regulation of sexual behavior, or to discussions of any recommendations for changes in existing law. Discussions of these matters are both practiced and are welcomed within our curriculum.

*bold added for emphasis

Full text here: http://www.liberty.edu/law/?PID=8533

Online Courses: Yes

Statement of sexuality/faith requirement: Cannot access application without account

Liberty did, however, hire an openly gay dance choreographer

Full text: http://www.christianpost.com/news/liberty-university-shrugs-off-concerns-over-openly-gay-choreographer-assisting-in-campus-production-117576/

 

Messiah College

Co-curricular policies

While Christians disagree about the parameters of appropriate physical intimacy, the College supports the position that neither sexual intercourse outside of marriage nor homosexual behavior is considered proper for Christians. Students who are victims of abused sexuality are encouraged to seek help from a counselor or other appropriate person. If someone at the College has been the abuser, the College would like your assistance in dealing appropriately with that person.

Full text here: http://www.messiah.edu/academics/coe/documents/SECTION-9.pdf (section 9.1.13)

Standards of Student Conduct

Violations of standards of conduct impede the ability of the College to provide an atmosphere that is conducive to learning and is supportive of achieving its mission. Therefore, when standards are violated, appropriate intervention takes place to address those behaviors. In some cases, the process may involve a disciplinary hearing. Disciplinary procedures are designed to educate students, ensure community responsibility, promote restoration and treat students justly. Generally, prohibited conduct for which a student is subject to discipline is defined as follows:

  1. Sexual Misconduct. This includes a broad range of behaviors, including sexual intercourse outside of marriage, homosexual behavior, acts using force, threat, intimidation, or advantage gained by the offended student’s mental or physical incapacity or impairment of which the offending student was aware or should have been aware.

Full text here: https://www.messiah.edu/offices/student_affairs/documents/STANDARDS-OF-CONDUCT.pdf

Online Courses: Yes, in the summer. Site doesn’t mention if offered for other quarters/semesters

Statement of sexuality/faith requirement: Can’t access application

 

Oral Roberts University

No information or university student handbook

Online Courses: Yes

Statement of sexuality/faith requirement: Cannot access application without first entering sensitive information

 

Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University is divided into five schools, with somewhat different policy statements across these schools.  All five schools share a university-wide policy prohibiting Sexual Harassment (including clear examples of slurs against LGBT individuals leading to disciplinary action) and Sexual Assault; a theologically-based rationale is provided, affirming the dignity and worth of all people.  However, consensual sexual behavior between adults is treated differently in the codes of conduct for the various schools.

Seaver College is the primarily-undergraduate residential liberal arts college of Pepperdine.  The Seaver Student Handbook addresses sexual orientation and sexual behavior in great detail, and states that “Pepperdine University affirms that sexual relationships are designed by God to be expressed solely within a marriage between husband and wife. This view of sexuality and marriage is rooted in the Genesis account of creation and is maintained consistently throughout Scripture. Sexual relations of any kind outside of marriage are inconsistent with the teaching of Scripture, as understood by Christian churches throughout history, including Churches of Christ. Therefore, as a matter of moral and faith witness, all members of the University are expected to avoid such conduct themselves and to respect this understanding of sexual relationships” (page 109).  For this reason, “Sexual activity outside a marriage between husband and wife including, but not limited to, premarital, extramarital or homosexual conduct” (page 54) is listed as a form of misconduct subject to disciplinary action, but a specific standard sanction is not listed and there is no indication that disciplinary action would be different for a heterosexual couple and a homosexual couple.  The student handbook explicitly states that students will not face disciplinary actions simply because they self-identify as LGBT (page 109), and the handbook also explicitly states that students are not compelled to agree with the university’s stance on these policies, and discussions of diverse views are welcomed (page 110).

 

The School of Law student code of conduct is provided in the Student Handbook.  The handbook states “Out of concern for the health and safety of members of the university community, and to uphold the moral character of the educational environment, students are expected to make decisions regarding their sexual relationships consistent with the university’s Christian philosophy.  The School of Law does not discriminate against any person on the basis of any sexual orientation which such person may have. However, sexual conduct outside of marriage is inconsistent with the school’s religious traditions and values. Therefore, as a matter of moral and faith witness, the faculty, staff, and students of the School of Law are expected to avoid such conduct themselves and the encouraging of it in others.”  However, no disciplinary action is referenced, nor is marriage defined in a manner that would exclude gay couples or lesbian couples.

 

The Graziadio School of Business Management, The Graduate School of Education and Psychology, and The School of Public Policy include their student codes of conduct in their academic catalogs.  Although each code of conduct lists several behaviors that are subject to disciplinary action, the only reference to sexual behavior is a prohibition against “Sexually compromising acts on campus or at University-sponsored events” (page 280 in Graziadio’s catalog, page 216 in GSEP’s catalog, and page 134 in SPP’s catalog), and this prohibition is not accompanied by a doctrinal or theological rationale.  None of the codes of conduct reference Pepperdine’s affirmation that sexual relations are designed by God to be expressed solely within a marriage between a husband and a wife.

 

 

Seattle Pacific University

Statement on Human Sexuality

In particular, we affirm the institutions of marriage and family as central to the purposes of God. We believe it is in the context of the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman that the full expression of sexuality is to be experienced and celebrated and that such a commitment is part of God’s plan for human flourishing. Within the teaching of our religious tradition, we affirm that sexual experience is intended between a man and a woman.

Full text here: http://spu.edu/about-spu/spu-facts/statement-on-human-sexuality

Online Courses: No

 

Westmont College

Behavioral Expectations

The college does not condone practices that Scripture forbids. Such activities include but are not limited to occult practices, drunkenness, theft, profanity, and dishonesty. Such activities also include sexual relations outside of marriage and homosexual practice. Westmont further recognizes that Scripture condemns “sins of the spirit” such as covetousness, jealousy, pride, and lust. By their very nature, these sins are more difficult to discern. Because they lie at the heart of the relationship between the individual and God they are of central concern to the Westmont community.

Full text here: http://www.westmont.edu/_offices/human_resources/community-life-statement.html

Online Courses: No

 

Wheaton College

Statement on Sexual Identity

The Wheaton College community has long held, and continues to hold the position that basic rights, including the right to one’s own sexual identity, must and will be extended to all members of the community. The issue for the College is not that gays and lesbians are part of the community, but rather that they may choose to become a visible and vocal part of the community. Sexual identity is a private matter and not an issue unless other people make it one. Acting upon this position involves eradicating certain misconceptions as well as espousing certain assertions.

The College’s support of lesbian, gay and bisexual students and staff reflects its belief that Wheaton must accept and integrate the world’s diverse population into its educational community in ways that are responsible both to the College and the world.

Full text here: http://wheatoncollege.edu/policies/sxidentity/

Online Courses: No, none that I could find

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As LGBTQQI&A people who have studied and worked at these institutions, we know the challenges and isolation that LGBTQQI&A students face at schools that question their identity. Our mission is to insure that students at these institutions know that they are not alone.