Campus Policies

Campus Policies


print this page

Student Conduct

The Honor Code
WTS Procedure for Dismissal of Student for Habitually Unbecoming Behavior
Title IX: Policy for Addressing Sexual Harassment, Assault, and Rape

Student Grievances

Academic Grievance Policy
Non-Academic Grievance Policy

Other Policies

Student Conduct

Student conduct is under the supervision of the Dean of Students. The institution reserves the right to dismiss from the institution a student whose conduct is found to be unsatisfactory.

Context
There are two primary contexts under which student conduct is considered. The first is academic violations addressed in the Honor Code, and the second is character and spiritual violations addressed in the WTS Procedure for Dismissal of Student for Habitually Unbecoming Behavior. Other policies related to student conduct include IT User Policy, Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Policy, Weapon Policy, and Drug and Alcohol Policy.
 
Unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on school property, or as part of any activity of Westminster, is forbidden and will result in dismissal. Smoking is not permitted in any Seminary building. The use of alcoholic beverages on campus is not permitted. Firearms are prohibited on campus. For other specific questions regarding conduct, the Seminary refers to the Westminster Standards, as based on Scripture, as a standard for behavior.

The Honor Code

Consequences for Violation of the Honor Code
The first violation of the Honor Code will be categorized as either serious (willful and intentional and/or large in scope) or non-serious (unintentional and careless and/or small in scope). A non-serious first violation will result in failure of the assignment or test in question and possibly failure of the course. A serious first violation will result in failure of the course and suspension from the seminary for one semester. A second violation of any sort will result in failure of the course and either suspension for one year or expulsion.
For a lengthy example of what plagiarism is and is not, please refer to our policy on plagiarism.

WTS Procedure for Dismissal of Student for Habitually Unbecoming Behavior
Westminster Theological Seminary seeks to shape students in academics and in character, as stated in Westminster’s character learning goal in which upon graduation students would exhibit a deep love for the triune God, his word, his truth and his church and an increasingly Christ-like humility in relation to others. The Honor Code policy addresses academic violations. This policy will outline the procedure for addressing obvious character and spiritual violations – issues that are habitually unbecoming of one preparing to be a leader of Christ’s flock. The goal of this disciplinary process is the restoration and well-being of the student, the preservation of Christ’s name, and upholding the integrity and reputation of the seminary. Unsatisfactory behavior is defined in the Academic Catalog and on the website, and the Seminary refers to the Westminster Standards (particularly chapter XXX), as based on Scripture, as a standard for behavior.

  • As made known in the Academic Catalog and on the website, “Student conduct is under the supervision of the Dean of Students. The institution reserves the right to dismiss from the institution a student whose conduct is found to be unsatisfactory.” This would include serious breaches of moral behavior or ethical standards.
  • Analogous to Matthew 18, the Dean of Students, Associate Dean and/or the International Student Advisor will speak to the student about their present circumstances as the first step of intervention. This initial investigation will determine a course of action to assist in correcting the problem including, but not limited to, offering counsel, soliciting advice from additional seminary faculty/staff, and communication with the student’s supporting church(es).
  • If the student would benefit from additional, more intensive counseling, the Dean of Students may utilize some of the student counseling funds as designated by the Student Association.
  • If the student persists in unbiblical conduct, the Dean of Students will actively seek to work with the local congregation where the student is a member/attending and the elder(s)/pastor(s) who have spiritual oversight over the student.
  • If the student persists in unbiblical conduct and ignores the recommendations of his local church and the recommendations of the seminary the Dean of Students will present a report to the Academic Dean and the President, and the student may be withdrawn from the institution.
  • If events warrant administrative withdrawal the Dean of Students will present a report to the Academic Dean and the President. The student will be administratively withdrawn and any scholarships would immediately be revoked. In the case of international students they and their families must return to their home country within 14 days, as stipulated by the Federal Government (see NAFSA 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f) (5) (iv)).

Student Grievances

Purpose
To provide the procedure for students to lodge a complaint regarding issues at Westminster, our desire is for students to know they have a voice on the peer level as well as the institutional level. As a seminary, the ultimate purpose is to honor Christ in how Christians deal with their differences and disappointments. The general guidelines will follow the biblical mandates given in Matthew 18 as to how to process concerns personally and corporately.

Context
There are two primary contexts in the Seminary within which complaints are lodged. One is the area of academic and/or administrative concerns. In this context, policies and procedures that deal with academic concerns and financial issues will be addressed.

The second context has more to do with things that involve the community as a whole. This context would include attitudes and actions that affect individuals or groups within the campus community. Code of conduct issues are used in responding to grievances expressed within the second context.

Academic Grievance Policy
An academic appeals process exists to resolve any academic problem that cannot otherwise be settled in a Biblical manner and assures fairness to all parties concerned.

  1. The student should first go to the professor and/or administrator to express the concern.
  2. If a third party is necessary, the Dean of Students is available to assist.
  3. If the issue is still unresolved, the student should submit a written appeal to the Academic Dean regarding the issue.  Depending on the issue, the Academic Dean may request input from the Faculty.  The Academic Dean will render a written decision.
  4. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the Academic Dean, then the student may submit a subsequent written appeal to the President requesting a hearing. The President in consultation with the Academic Dean and Faculty Moderator may or may not grant the request.  If granted, the President will appoint an ad hoc committee of faculty to hear the case. This committee is authorized to meet with any or all concerned parties to resolve the issue and will render a written decision concerning the case.
  5. The decision of the President or the ad hoc committee is considered final, subject only to review by the Educational Outcomes Committee of the Board to affirm that the appeals process was properly observed.

Non-Academic Grievance Policy
Guidelines
For all general grievances not covered under other campus policies, a similar process outlined above is to be followed in the non-academic realm:

  1. Go to the person or parties and express the concern.
  2. If the issue is still unresolved, the student should submit a written appeal to the Dean of Students regarding the issue. Depending on the issue, the Dean of Students may request input from the Committee of Three, which will render a written decision.      
  3. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the Committee of Three, then the student may submit a subsequent written appeal to the President requesting a hearing. If granted, the President will appoint an ad hoc committee of faculty to hear the case. This committee is authorized to meet with any or all concerned parties to resolve the issue and will render a written decision concerning the case.
  4. The decision of the President or the ad hoc committee is considered final, subject only to review by the Educational Outcomes Committee of the Board to affirm that the appeals process was properly observed.

Conclusion
The Student Development Office is to be seen as the umbrella for addressing all complaints. Information regarding the process of filing a grievance and an informal context to discuss the issue are important beginnings to the process.

The Student Association is also available to hear concerns of the students regarding issues. The representatives of the Student Association can be contacted to more formally present such concerns to the Dean of Students.

Other Policies

Campus Security Policy
Drug and Alcohol Policy and Procedure
Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Policy
User Policy for Technological Resources
Policy for Addressing the Academic Needs of Students with Disabilities