A cherished aspect of community life at Westminster is the Honor System. The responsibility for maintaining all aspects of this system lies directly with each member of the community.
The Honor System is, of course, based upon the entirety of Scripture, but it finds its roots particularly in the eighth and ninth commandments (Exodus 20:15-16) as those commandments are expounded and applied in the Westminster Larger Catechism, Questions 140-145.
Students are required to sign the “Response to the Honor System” at every fall and spring semester registration. In this statement, the student affirms that he or she has read the materials describing Westminster’s Honor System, understands what the responsibilities are, and affirms his or her willingness to abide by the policies indicated.
Two specific expressions of this Honor System are the pledges required on all examinations, papers, and projects at the Seminary.
Students are asked to affirm the following statement for all examinations and tests and may be asked to sign this pledge on the cover or first page of examinations:
I pledge my honor that I have neither given nor received any assistance—verbal, written, or electronic—on this examination beyond that specifically permitted by the instructor in charge.
Students are asked to write out and to sign this pledge at the end of every paper:
I understand and have not violated the Seminary’s position on plagiarism.
For projects, theses, and dissertations, students are asked to sign the statement regarding plagiarism found on a separate sheet in the “Westminster Thesis and Dissertation Format Guidelines,” available from the Librarian.
All members of the community are asked and expected to uphold and protect this Honor System that “we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness,” which “is good and pleases God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:2-3). Any confirmed or proven violation of the Honor System will normally result in suspension for one year from the Seminary. Students may not transfer to Westminster credit hours for courses taken at another school during the period of suspension.
For a lengthy example of what plagiarism is and is not, please refer to the Seminary’s webpage on plagiarism.