Graduate Student Handbook 2023-24



INTRODUCTION.......................................................5 Core Values.......................................................... 5 Cedarville Covenant. ............................................. 5 Community Lifestyle Guidelines............................... 5 LOVE FOR GOD....................................................7–8 Church Participation.............................................. 8 Chapel. ............................................................... 8 Personal Bible Study.............................................. 8 The Lord’s Day...................................................... 8 Marriage and Family. ............................................ 8 LOVE FOR OTHERS. ......................................... 11–13 Commitment to Purity...........................................12 Respect for Others. ..............................................12 INTEGRITY IN CONDUCT. ................................15–19 Honesty..............................................................16 Alcohol and Illegal and Harmful Substances.......................................16 Dress and Appearance.......................................... 17 Personal Care and Responsibility............................ 17 Involuntary Administrative Withdrawal.................... 17 Student ID Cards.................................................. 17 Firearms and Explosives........................................ 17 Public Demonstrations, Solicitations, and Distributions........................................... 17 Campus Security..................................................18 Technology. ........................................................18 Legal Resources for Graduate Students. ..................19 EXCELLENCE IN EFFORT................................. 21–25 Academic Integrity Statement................................22 Academic Integrity Pledge.....................................22 Vocation and Professionalism................................23 Accountability and Discipline. ................................23 Biblical Principles That Influence Our Approach to Discipline. .............................23 Upholding the Cedarville Covenant.........................24 Students Voluntarily Seeking Help. .........................24 Judicial System....................................................24 Appeal Process....................................................25 Student Records. .................................................25 TABLE OF CONTENTS 3

love for GOD love for OTHERS INTEGRITY in conduct EXCELLENCE in effort 4

CORE VALUES Love for God. Love for others. Integrity in conduct. Excellence in effort. CEDARVILLE COVENANT We are a community of believers accountable to one another, called to reflect the character of Jesus Christ and to be obedient to His Word. We will be faithful in our support for the local church and in our practice of spiritual disciplines. We will practice biblical principles of encouragement, exhortation, and reconciliation. We commit ourselves to integrity, kindness, purity, and self-control and to continual growth in scholarship, leadership, and service. Therefore, as members of the Cedarville community, we regularly affirm our commitment to the Cedarville Covenant with this pledge: We will love God and others, live with integrity, and pursue excellence in all we do. COMMUNITY LIFESTYLE GUIDELINES The core values and Cedarville Covenant shape each student’s experience at Cedarville University. The Cedarville Covenant and our pledge to “love God and others, live with integrity, and pursue excellence in all we do” begin when students enroll and are in effect until they graduate or discontinue enrollment at the University, including the regular semesters, semester breaks, and breaks between semesters. We hope that the principles of this covenant will be such a meaningful part of our students’ experience that they will choose to honor these values for the rest of their lives. Some of the sections in this handbook provide specific expectations of conduct. On some occasions, the guidelines of this handbook are rooted in biblical teaching based on the authority of Scripture as God’s Word, such as our commitment to purity or the avoidance of drug and alcohol abuse. Other expectations are institutional preferences that in one way or another reflect our educational mission. In all areas, we expect students to live with integrity and to honor their commitment to abide by the rules and guidelines of this community. In addition to specific expectations, other sections present a biblical vision for the character we seek to embody as a community when there is room for various expressions of faithfulness. Cedarville University carries an educational tradition marked by spiritual depth and academic rigor. The priority of equipping each student with a deep love for God along with providing academic preparation at the highest level of scholarship characterizes graduate-level education at Cedarville. Our mission statement uses the phrase “submission to biblical authority” to identify our commitment to a strong educational experience that strives to center all that we do, including our scholarship and our life together, on the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. We call our graduate student handbook The Cedarville Experience because it includes many of the biblical principles and institutional guidelines that will shape your time at Cedarville. The Cedarville Experience is based on a set of core values and the Cedarville Covenant. This handbook should be viewed in light of Cedarville University’s educational mission and theological distinctives. All applications of this policy are governed by the University’s Bylaws, Doctrinal Statement, and Statements of Standards of Conduct, as adopted and amended by the University’s Board of Trustees, as the final interpretive authority on these matters. Any discrepancies should be resolved in favor of these controlling documents of the University, which reserves the right to make decisions that permit it to carry out its mission consistent with biblical principles. INTRODUCTION 5


love for GOD The Cedarville Covenant begins with a commitment to the first and greatest commandment — to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. At Cedarville, we encourage and challenge students to develop disciplines that foster spiritual growth. Such a lifestyle includes knowing God through reading and studying the Bible, commitment to one’s local church, pursuing Gospel-driven ministry opportunities, and welcoming healthy forms of spiritual accountability. Jesus taught that the most important measures of spirituality are loving God and loving people. One way that we demonstrate our commitment to being a Christ-centered community is by taking this charge seriously. 7

CHURCH PARTICIPATION The New Testament picture of a Christian includes commitment to a local congregation of believers covenanted together around the study of the Word of God, the practice of believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and the proclamation of the Gospel (Matt. 26:26–29; 28:18–20; Eph. 4:1–6). The local church is God’s design for reaching the lost amongst the nations, growing His followers to spiritual maturity, providing for the needs of His children through fellowship, expressing love for God in worship, and meeting the needs of others through service (Matt. 16:13–20; 1 Cor. 12:12–28; Eph. 5:25–27). Therefore, we ask students to maintain the discipline of weekly corporate worship and service at a local evangelical church. CHAPEL Chapel is a defining part of the Cedarville campus experience. Chapel helps to build a sense of community at Cedarville University by providing a shared experience of worship, biblical teaching, testimonies, community, and prayer. While attendance is not required (unless otherwise communicated by your program advisor), graduate students are encouraged to participate by attending chapel or viewing online as time allows. PERSONAL BIBLE STUDY In addition to corporate worship experiences in church, students are encouraged to develop and maintain the discipline of personal Bible study. The daily habits we encourage are setting aside daily time for Bible reading, prayer, and Scripture memory (Ps. 119; 2 Tim. 3:14–17). Students should seek encouragement and accountability in these personal pursuits through their local church and others within the Cedarville community. THE LORD’S DAY As a community, we protect Sunday to encourage the pattern of giving priority to resting, refocusing our attention on Jesus Christ, and renewing ourselves spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. This includes an adjustment of the usual daily pace and schedule and an effort to encourage involvement in worship, spiritual growth, and ministry. To support these efforts, the University does not schedule on-campus classes on Sundays and encourages students to arrange personal responsibilities to allow for appropriate attention to the Lord’s Day. MARRIAGE AND FAMILY Cedarville is committed to encouraging married students to build healthy marriages that provide a faithful picture of God’s design at Creation and the redemptive relationship between Christ and the Church (Gen. 2:4–25; Eph. 5:22–33; Rev. 21:1–4). Married students are encouraged to maintain priority for their marriage in relationship to their work and academic responsibilities. Further, students with children are encouraged to dedicate themselves to the provision, evangelization, and discipleship of their children (Deut. 6:4–9; Eph. 6:1–4). Pre-marital support is provided for dating and engaged couples through the Fit To Be Tied program. Marital equipping and counseling for Cedarville students are provided through Discipleship Ministries and Student Development. 8



love for OTHERS The second commitment Jesus emphasized is that His followers must love others. Love for other followers of Christ and for those outside the fellowship of the church are marks of a Christian. Within the church and the Cedarville community, students are encouraged to edify one another, be ready to listen, and quick to offer encouragement. Further, students are encouraged to display self-sacrificial love to those outside the household of faith. 11

COMMITMENT TO PURITY Cedarville University is committed to an approach to sexuality and moral purity that reflects biblical values according to the following affirmations: We believe that God’s design at Creation for sexual desire and orientation is within the bounds of a marriage union between a man and a woman (Gen. 1:26–28; Gen. 2:22–25; Rom. 1:26–27). We believe that premarital sex, extramarital sex, bisexual acts, same-sex marriage, and homosexual acts violate clear biblical teaching on sexual purity (Rom. 1:26–27; 1 Cor. 6:18–20; Gal. 5:19–21; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5–6). We believe gender identity and roles are aspects of God’s creative design (Gen. 1:26–28; 1 Cor. 11:7–9; 1 Tim. 2:12–14). Sexual intercourse and many of the intimate acts leading up to it are reserved exclusively for the context of a biblically defined marriage (Gen. 2:21–23; Matt. 19:4–6). Sexual activities outside of this context, including sexual intercourse, oral sex, and other intimate forms of touching, are prohibited. Behavior that is inconsistent with these standards is prohibited even when consensual. Consistent with our desire to teach and model a biblical approach to sex, the University prohibits same-sex dating behaviors, same-sex marriage, and public advocacy for the position that sex outside of a biblically defined marriage is morally acceptable. We seek to help students who face all types of sexual temptation, encouraging single students to live chaste, celibate lives and married students to be faithful to their marriage and to their spouse. Consistent with our commitment to God’s design for gender identity, the public advocacy for or act of altering one’s birth-gender identity through medical transition or transgender expression is prohibited. This commitment to gender identity also applies to — but is not limited to — the use of bathrooms, locker rooms, student housing, and participating in gender-specific University groups, clubs, and organizations. Cedarville provides the following specific guidelines intended to help single students with their commitment to moral purity: ƒ Students in romantic relationships should avoid spending extended time in a private place or location where there is not a healthy level of accountability, such as off-campus apartments or bedrooms. ƒ Students are not to share the same bed. ƒ Students are not permitted to spend the night in an off-campus apartment, hotel room, bedroom, etc., with the opposite sex, regardless of the number of students involved. Cedarville provides the following specific guidelines intended to help married students with their commitment to moral purity: ƒ Married students are not permitted to engage in sexual activity with anyone other than their spouse. ƒ Married students are encouraged to celebrate God’s design of sexual intimacy by pursuing emotional and physical intimacy with their spouse. ƒ Married students are encouraged to maintain appropriate boundaries and invite accountability for protection against temptations to emotional or physical adultery. Cedarville provides the following specific guidelines intended to help all students with their commitment to moral purity: ƒ Students are prohibited from accessing pornographic or obscene websites or creating links to such sites. ƒ Students are prohibited from posting sexually provocative material online. Cedarville seeks to provide biblically faithful counsel, support, and equipping for holiness on matters of purity and sexual brokenness. Resources for students include Student Development staff, faculty, and the confidential setting of Counseling Services. Violations of these guidelines may result in dismissal. RESPECT FOR OTHERS One of the measures of spiritual maturity is how we treat fellow believers and our neighbors. Our relationships are to reflect the biblical principle that all people are made in God’s image and should be treated with kindness, dignity, and respect. Violations of respect can occur in online dialogue just as in face-to-face communication. Cedarville University prohibits all acts of disrespect outlined in this statement, regardless of the mode of communication. The following types of behavior violate the spirit of this community and will not be allowed: 12

ƒ Racial Harassment — Racial harassment includes any behavior or form of communication that does not reflect the biblical principle that all people are made in God’s image and are equal in value. Racial harassment includes physical and verbal intimidation as well as the use of racial/ethnic slurs or symbols. ƒ Sexual Harassment — Sexual harassment violates our Cedarville Covenant and federal and state law. Examples of sexual harassment include unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors. A person’s statements or behaviors (of a sexual nature) can be construed as harassment when they unreasonably interfere with work, study, or living conditions by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Attempting to coerce another individual into performing a sexual activity is also considered sexual harassment. The sexual harassment policy is available to all members of the University community online at ƒ Title IX and Sex Discrimination — Consistent with our belief that all people are created in the image of God, and in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Cedarville does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, including recruitment, admissions, athletic and extracurricular activities, discipline, distribution of financial assistance, distribution of institutional resources, hiring practices, employment, and promotion. Sexual discrimination includes any acts of sexual violence, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. In accordance with Title IX, the University has adopted a sexual discrimination policy to address reported violations of Title IX. In addition, the University has appointed a Title IX Coordinator who will investigate reported violations as well as oversee training and prevention initiatives. The policy and Title IX Coordinator contact information can be found at Further, the University seeks to remove barriers to reporting sexual discrimination. To this end, a violation of the student handbook, when the violation is disclosed (either by a student-participant or a third party) as a result of a report of sexual discrimination, will not result in dismissal for the reporting party, provided that the complaint is raised in good faith and the health and safety of the individuals involved is not jeopardized. The University reserves the right to extend grace to all parties involved and may choose to recommend or require institutional or counseling remedies for a student consistent with our values. ƒ Hazing – Hazing is inconsistent with University values and is also prohibited under Ohio Law. The University Anti-Hazing Policy provides details regarding prohibited conduct, reporting requirements, and hazing prevention. The full Cedarville University Hazing Policy may be accessed online at ƒ Bullying — Bullying is intimidating or mistreating someone weaker or in a more vulnerable situation. ƒ Violence and aggression — Unacceptable behaviors include physical assault and battery, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and menacing. ƒ Slander, libel, use of vulgar, obscene, or threatening language. ƒ Vandalism or theft. Violations of these guidelines may result in dismissal. Respect for Neighbors Within the Cedarville Community Cedarville students are known for their professed commitment to Christ. We value this reputation and trust students to take all steps necessary to maintain it. As we uphold the Cedarville Covenant, students should: ƒ Ensure that conduct and behavior in and around their residence is kind, self-controlled, and consistent with University standards. ƒ Show consideration to neighbors regarding noise levels and parking expectations. ƒ Establish integrity by fulfilling any financial obligations to local businesses. ƒ Honor zoning regulations. 13


The biblical definition of integrity involves having strong character and adhering to high moral principles. The book of Proverbs portrays integrity as an essential characteristic of an upright life. A person who walks with integrity is a person who habitually does the right thing. When Cedarville students pledge to live with integrity, it is a promise to be truthful and honest and to live up to the highest values of our community. We will say more about academic integrity in the next section of the handbook when we discuss our commitment to pursue excellence in all that we do, but here we want to emphasize the importance of honesty and truthfulness in all aspects of life at Cedarville. Integrity in conduct includes honoring the commitments we have made, being people of our word, submitting to the authorities in our lives, and obeying the laws of the land. Some of the standards discussed in this section deal with areas where there are clear moral stakes, such as abuse of drugs or alcohol. Other standards, like our dress code, are institutional preferences that in one way or another reflect our educational mission. In all areas, we expect students to live with integrity and to honor their commitment to abide by the rules and guidelines of this community. INTEGRITY in conduct 15

HONESTY One of the marks of integrity is honesty. Students are expected to be honest and truthful in all forms of communication (verbal or written). Forgery, providing incomplete or misleading information, or misuse of your student ID card are examples of dishonesty that will result in discipline. ALCOHOL AND ILLEGAL AND HARMFUL SUBSTANCES The Bible contains many warnings on the use of alcohol and teaches the need for caution. This biblical teaching, coupled with the reality that alcohol is addictive to many and that alcohol-related problems pose a major threat to college students, warrants wisdom concerning the use of alcohol. Listed below are several principles that support and guide our approach to alcohol and are informed by the following Scripture texts: Prov. 20:1; Prov. 23:31–35; Prov. 31:4; Rom. 13:13; Rom. 14; 1 Cor. 6:9–10; 1 Cor. 8; Gal. 5:19–21; Eph. 5:18; 1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7; 1 Pet. 2:13–17; 1 Pet. 4:3. ƒ Both Testaments contain warnings concerning the use and specific instruction regarding the sinful abuse of alcohol. As a Christian university community, Cedarville is concerned about the potential risk to a person’s individual well- being and the reality that alcohol use has a significant negative impact on University culture. ƒ Abuse of alcohol is not consistent with a spiritually mature lifestyle. ƒ Alcohol use can reduce a person’s ability to make good decisions about sex and is commonly associated with various forms of sexual immorality, including sexual and physical assault. ƒ Alcohol makes a person less alert and diminishes self-control. ƒ Use of food and drink is listed by Paul in a discussion of “disputable matters.” We are advised to be careful not to place stumbling blocks in a brother’s way. We are also warned to be careful about what we approve and to seek each other’s mutual edification. To create a healthy environment for our students, and in some cases to comply with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, Public Law 101-226, Cedarville University adheres to the following guidelines for all undergraduate students and graduate students enrolled in degree programs on campus, including those students who do not live in campus housing. ƒ Students are not allowed to use, purchase, share, or possess alcoholic beverages, tobacco products on or off campus. Students are also prohibited from recreational drug use, misusing legally prescribed medications, or using synthetic street drugs or medical marijuana. ƒ Students are notified of significant health risks associated with the improper use of certain substances, including those mentioned above. These risks include, but are not limited to, physical and mental dependency, damage to the heart and lungs, and, in some cases, death. ƒ In addition to University prohibitions, state and federal law prohibits the unlawful sale, use, or possession of drugs and alcohol. Penalties may include fines and/or imprisonment. Students are also reminded that underage drinking violates federal law. Students who engage in underage drinking or provide alcohol to underage individuals may be subject to legal sanctions in addition to University penalties. ƒ Students are not to attend bars or clubs where alcohol is the primary feature. ƒ Students are not permitted to attend parties where alcohol is being used in a manner that violates University standards. ƒ Students struggling with drug or alcohol use may obtain confidential support at Counseling Services and University Medical Services. Violations of these guidelines may result in dismissal. 16

DRESS AND APPEARANCE Our approach to dress and appearance seeks to honor biblical principles of modesty as humility expressed in conduct along with the general expectation for professionalism. The biblical expectation of modesty is that the conduct of both men and women, which includes but is not limited to dress, serves to enhance rather than detract from the reputation of the Gospel (1 Tim. 2:3–10; 1 Pet. 3:3–4). Manifestation of modesty includes seeking to adorn the Gospel by placing emphasis on the condition of one’s heart expressed by living with humility in attitude, behavior, and dress (Prov. 31:30). Therefore, students are encouraged to portray servant attitudes toward Christ and other people in their dress and appearance. PERSONAL CARE AND RESPONSIBILITY All students are responsible for their own personal care. Any on-campus student requiring a personal care attendant because of a physical disability is responsible for making such arrangements. More information on the personal care attendant policy and other disability accommodations is available at INVOLUNTARY ADMINISTRATIVE WITHDRAWAL This is a special, non-disciplinary process used when a student appears to pose a significant risk to self or to others, or when that student’s behavior infringes on the rights or educational process of others. A student may be subject to involuntary withdrawal from the University or from University housing if the student engages or threatens to engage in the following: ƒ Behavior that poses a danger of causing physical harm to self or others. ƒ Behavior that would cause property damage or directly impedes or disrupts the lawful activity of others. All appeals for Involuntary Administrative Withdrawal should be addressed to the Vice President for Student Life and Christian Ministries within 48 hours of the decision. STUDENT ID CARDS Cedarville University provides each student with a photo identification (ID) card. In addition to serving as verification, IDs are used daily to access buildings, and utilize other campus resources like the library and Fitness Center. Students are expected to present their ID card upon request to any University employee, student staff, or village official. Refusing to present an ID card will result in discipline. Photo ID cards are for the personal use of the student to whom the card was issued. Any misuse of the card or permitting another student to use the card will result in discipline. FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES The possession of all firearms, live ammunition, explosive devices, pellet or BB guns (including airsoft guns), paintball guns, bows and arrows, knives with blades longer than 3.5 inches, wrist rocket-type slingshots, etc., is not permitted on campus. Any student found in violation of this regulation is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal and may violate state law. In addition, should any of these items be found, Campus Security will confiscate them. Students who desire to store firearms with Campus Security for hunting or recreational marksmanship purposes should make arrangements with Campus Security in advance. The possession and use of fireworks/explosives violates state law. Any student in possession of fireworks/explosives will receive a $50–$200 fine, be held liable for all damages, and may receive discipline up to dismissal. PUBLIC DEMONSTRATIONS, SOLICITATIONS, AND DISTRIBUTIONS Cedarville University will permit only those demonstrations, solicitations, or distributions that, in the judgment of the University administration, are orderly and peaceful. Demonstrations will be restricted to members of the University community. In addition, the University will restrict demonstrations, solicitations, or distributions to those that support 17

views that are consistent with Scripture and with the mission of Cedarville University. Demonstrations, solicitations, or distributions that, in the opinion of the University, involve advocacy of unscriptural positions, are disorderly, or that interrupt or disrupt the primary teaching, research, service, ministry, and/or administrative functions of the University, or any other activity or proceeding on campus that is generally accepted as a legitimate University function, are prohibited. Students wishing to organize a demonstration, make solicitations, or distribute materials must secure permission in advance from Student Life Programs. Cedarville University reserves the right to consider any and all participants who are not members of the Cedarville University student body to be trespassers and therefore subject to arrest by local law enforcement. Any activity that, in the opinion of the University, interrupts or disrupts campus life is prohibited. CAMPUS SECURITY Additional policies regarding safety and security can be found at TECHNOLOGY Applying the Cedarville Covenant to the use of technology requires using technology in ways that honor God, treat others with kindness and respect, and exemplify a commitment to integrity and purity. To ensure that the network is used appropriately, the University reserves the right to define and enforce regulations for network use. The University may, at its discretion, monitor stored files and electronic transmissions (email, website access, etc.). Use of the network and computing facilities implies consent to these regulations and monitoring activities. Additional information and policies regarding the use of the campus network are located at 18



Cedarville University is characterized by spiritual vitality and academic rigor. In light of the challenging academic standards, you will find many people who are dedicated to helping you do your very best. We encourage students to make academics one of their highest priorities. Your academic preparation is important, yet it is one stewardship amongst many the Lord has entrusted to you. Cedarville students recognize that excellence in effort is just as important to the aspects of life that occur outside of academic study. We want our students to do their best as family members, church members, employees, and other roles that they fill in their community. EXCELLENCE in effort 21

The complete Academic Integrity Policy may be found at The grade appeals process may be found at ACADEMIC INTEGRITY STATEMENT One way students live out this commitment to excellence is by adhering to very high standards of academic integrity. Our Academic Integrity Pledge and a link to the Academic Integrity Policy are provided below. The Academic Integrity Pledge is a commitment to live with integrity in all areas of life, including the classroom. All forms of academic dishonesty violate this pledge and could result in dismissal from this community. ACADEMIC INTEGRITY PLEDGE With my pledge to affirm the Cedarville Covenant, I attest that all work I submit in person, online, or in any other format as my own is my own work and is in accordance with the standards of the Academic Integrity Policy. As a member of this community, I will love God and others, live with integrity, and pursue excellence in all that I do. Signature_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Date_ _____________________________________________________________________________ “Whatever you do ... do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). 22

VOCATION AND PROFESSIONALISM It is common for Cedarville graduate students to sustain employment while they are pursuing their degree. On some occasions students work within their field of study and in other circumstances students are working toward a particular vocational goal. In all circumstances, the biblical vision of work is that it is an opportunity provided by God and is a means of serving Him; therefore, He requires our commitment to excellence. (Gen. 1: 26–28, 2:15; 1 Cor. 10:31). Cedarville students are encouraged to model the biblical vision of work through their excellence in their vocational setting. ACCOUNTABILITY AND DISCIPLINE The purpose of discipline at Cedarville is to help all students move toward spiritual maturity and to ensure that our community is a safe, healthy environment for all students. Our approach to discipline is redemptive and restorative. When carried out in a spirit of love and humility, discipline has the following functions: ƒ Discipline has a protective function. Awareness that discipline could take place helps some members of our community avoid behavior that would be harmful to them or to the community. ƒ Discipline has a redemptive function. The process of discipline can be used to rescue individuals from harmful patterns of behavior, bringing them back to a lifestyle of virtue and holiness. ƒ Discipline has a punitive function. Discipline can be used in an attempt to force a person to recognize and abandon sinful behavior and to punish actions that are a threat to the community. ƒ Discipline has a restorative function. The ultimate goal of discipline is restoring fellowship within the community after repentance and forgiveness has occurred. BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES THAT INFLUENCE OUR APPROACH TO DISCIPLINE The following principles guide our approach to community accountability: ƒ Discipline is a normal and healthy part of Christian community. The degree to which we are willing to lovingly confront one another can indicate the degree to which we love each other and value our community (Heb. 12:7–10). ƒ Discipline should be carried out in a spirit of humility, gentleness, patience, and awareness of our own sinfulness (Gal. 6:1; Col. 3:12). ƒ Along with discipline, we should help carry each other’s burdens. Discipline works best in the context of loving, helpful relationships (Gal. 6:2; Col. 3:13–14). ƒ Discipline should be conducted in a heart-oriented manner, seeking not only to modify behavior, but as a priority, forming character through spiritual transformation (Luke 6:45). ƒ Discipline should begin prayerfully and privately (Matt. 18:15; 1 John 5:16). ƒ Sharp rebukes and even expulsion from the community are sometimes necessary to bring a person to the point of repentance (Matt. 18:17; 1 Cor. 5:11, 13; 2 Thess. 3:15). ƒ Among the behaviors and attitudes that call for serious discipline are actions such as drunkenness, sexual immorality, divisiveness, greed, laziness, lack of gratitude, lack of love, and a refusal to forgive (Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 5:11; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14–15; 2 Tim. 3:1–5; Titus 1:10–13). ƒ With discernment attuned to the contrast between worldly repentance and godly repentance, we should extend forgiveness and comfort to those who repent, reaffirming our love for them and welcoming them back into the community (Luke 17:3; 2 Cor. 2:7; 2 Cor. 7:10). ƒ When dealing with the sins of others, we should always be mindful of God’s grace to us (Matt. 18:21–35; Luke 15:11–32). 23

UPHOLDING THE CEDARVILLE COVENANT The principles of the Cedarville Covenant are a central part of Christian community, so all members of the Cedarville community share responsibility to uphold its ideals. The Student Development staff members are specifically responsible to enforce all other standards of conduct. STUDENTS VOLUNTARILY SEEKING HELP Consistent with the biblical expectation of frequent and voluntary repentance as a discipline necessary for spiritual growth, we encourage students to voluntarily seek help for any personal problems, including those that involve a violation of the Cedarville Covenant and Community Lifestyle Guidelines. When the student voluntarily confesses to an action of which the University has no prior knowledge, the student’s initiation of repentance and confession will be considered in the response of the University. University faculty and staff members are committed to discretion, sensitivity, and redemption as spiritual leaders. Therefore, the University will make reasonable effort to preserve an individual’s privacy and protect the confidentiality of information disclosed voluntarily. Exceptions to the expectation of confidentiality may be where behavior is repetitive, self-destructive, poses a threat to self or others, or involves a significant legal issue. Students may also obtain confidential support from the Counseling Services staff. Students seeking help should: ƒ Cease all involvement in the activity that violates the Cedarville Covenant or campus guidelines. ƒ Take the necessary steps for restoration as determined by faculty, staff, or counselors. ƒ Be aware that seeking counsel from a faculty or staff member does not void consultation with Student Life, potential investigation, or discipline. ƒ Understand that their voluntary act of repentance and acts of restoration will be taken into account if disciplinary steps are necessary. JUDICIAL SYSTEM Our judicial system is intended to be redemptive and is designed to restore individuals to good standing within our community. The purpose of all penalties is to draw attention to behaviors and choices that violate the Cedarville Covenant, that threaten our unity, or damage the educational and spiritual ethos we seek to maintain. Discipline is often progressive in nature, starting with warnings and moving to more serious sanctions. If the student refuses to receive corrective action, engages in behaviors that threaten the safety and security of other members of the community, or exhibits a blatant disregard of University policy, dismissal is likely. The University is not required to impose the same discipline in all situations involving the same offense, nor is the University required to always impose the maximum penalty. Consideration is given to the student’s previous discipline record and the spirit in which the student receives and responds to correction. Because of the value that the University places on integrity, truthfulness, justice, and due process, any student who is untruthful about a disciplinary incident, at any stage in the investigation, is subject to the maximum penalty for the offense in question. The ultimate goal of nearly all disciplinary incidents is restoring the student to the community. In cases where the student poses a unique threat to the community, immediate dismissal may occur, and/or the student may not be allowed to return to the University. In addition to the appropriate level of discipline, students can receive a fine or pay restitution for willful/negligent damage to University property or another student’s belongings. Confidentiality often prevents the disclosure of details that contribute to a decision, occasionally resulting in unanswered questions regarding an outcome. Levels of discipline include: 1. Personal Caution — A warning to the student that a violation of the Cedarville Covenant has occurred and that continuing or repeating the behavior may result in additional sanctions. An accumulation of five Personal Cautions will result in an Official Warning. 2. Official Warning — Assessed for an accumulation of five or more personal cautions, patterns of misconduct, or violations that are more serious in nature. An Official Warning indicates 24

that if immediate changes in behavior do not occur, the student will begin to lose some of the privileges associated with being a member of this community. 3. Probation — Students are not allowed to hold leadership positions on-campus (including SGA-sponsored positions or leadership roles within student organizations) at the discretion of the Student Life deans. Students will be required to meet regularly with a mentor for accountability. Additional expectations may also apply. Additionally, the student’s academic advisers, dean, and the department chair of the student’s academic program will be notified. 4. Dismissal — This is reserved for (a) unresolved patterns of misconduct, (b) refusal to submit to less punitive forms of correction in a spirit of repentance, (c) blatant disregard for University standards, (d) behaviors with potential to significantly impact the spiritual, physical, or emotional well-being of other members of the University, or (e) behaviors that endanger the safety and security of other students, the University, or the surrounding community. Dismissal can be immediate or at the end of the semester, depending on the nature and timing of the offense and the discretion of the Student Life deans. Dismissals can be without the benefit of a refund or retention of course credit completed during the semester in which dismissal occurs. Behaviors most likely to result in dismissal include patterns of disregard for University standards, violations of standards related to alcohol and other controlled substances, serious acts of disrespect or harm to members of the University family, violations of state or federal law, major violations of academic integrity, and actions threatening institutional security. Disciplinary Withdrawal — Occasionally, a student will withdraw voluntarily or at the request of the Student Life deans before a disciplinary process is complete. Sometimes this occurs when a sanction for a major violation of University standards takes place at the very end of a semester or between semesters. In such cases, the student’s record will list the Disciplinary Withdrawal rather than Dismissal. APPEAL PROCESS In order to ensure that each student is treated fairly and receives due process, the University has established an appeal process that includes a hearing board. The appeal process and other information regarding judicial sanctions are available online at STUDENT RECORDS Cedarville University recognizes the value of parental guidance, so students under the financial and spiritual provision of their parents are encouraged to notify their parents concerning discipline. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides guidelines for releasing any information that is included in a student’s educational record, including records of discipline. Access to educational records is limited to these circumstances: (a) the student is a dependent of his or her parents; or (b) the student has signed a form consenting to the release of his or her educational records. However, the University is permitted to notify parents concerning the following matters: (a) medical or psychiatric emergencies; (b) discontinuation, extended absence, or dismissal from the University; or (c) violation of a University drug or alcohol policy. 25