3.3.a The Honor Code
A cherished aspect of community life at Westminster is the Honor Code. The responsibility for maintaining all aspects of this code lies directly with each member of the community.
The Honor Code 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 Code” as part of New Student Orientation prior to matriculation. In this statement, the student is required to affirm that he or she has read the materials describing Westminster’s Honor Code, understands what the responsibilities are, and affirms his or her willingness to abide by the policies indicated.
Two specific expressions of this Honor Code 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 when they submit their approved copy.
All members of the community are asked and expected to uphold and protect this Honor Code 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). For procedures for dealing with, and consequences of infractions of the Honor Code, please see the Student Directory and Handbook. 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.
3.3.b 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. Westminster’s Procedure for Dismissal of Student for Habitually Unbecoming Behavior policy outlines 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. The Seminary refers to the Westminster Standards (particularly chapter XXX), as based on Scripture, as a standard for behavior.
The Student Development Office should be regarded as the umbrella for addressing all complaints. For information regarding the process of filing a grievance or to file a grievance, please contact the Student Development Office.
The Student Association is also available to hear student concerns. Representatives of the Student Association can be contacted to formally present such concerns to the Dean of Students.
For a full description of the grievance policy, please refer to the Seminary’s campus policies online.