Undergraduate Student Handbook 2023-24

ACCOUNTABILITY AND DISCIPLINE The purpose of discipline at Cedarville is to help all students move toward spiritual maturity and to ensure that our campus is a safe, healthy environment for all who live here. 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 things like 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). UPHOLDING THE CEDARVILLE COVENANT The principles of the Cedarville Covenant are a central part of Christian community, so all members of the campus 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 23