Admission & Student Status
Student status is subject to review at any time. A member of the faculty, staff or student body may request a review by the Office of the Dean of Students if a student demonstrates the inability to live in harmony within the community, or if characteristics presumed present for admission are lacking, such as moral character, relational skills, potential for effective ministry, and appropriate church involvement.
The standards for student status always apply, and are not mitigated by calendar interruptions, geographic location or cultural and religious norms. The honor code and institutional policies for conduct and conscience are non-negotiable and always applicable during the tenure of enrollment.
Alcohol & Drugs
In accordance with the irreproachable standards of moral conduct as well as denominational expectations for all members of the seminary community, the use of alcoholic beverages, intoxicants such as marijuana, and illicit/illegal drugs are prohibited. Compliance with abstention from alcoholic beverages and drug abuse does not apply to worship communion, appropriate prescribed medications, etc.
Church Membership & Chapel
All students are expected to participate actively and regularly in a local congregation. If membership elsewhere is justified, watchcare status in a local church is an acceptable alternative when supported by both the home and local church. This policy complies with the Southern Baptist Convention mandate for denominational standing.
The seminary community gathers to worship in Alumni Chapel on Tuesday and Thursday at ten o’clock, and all offices close. Boyce College conducts periodic chapels on Wednesday. Student-led prayer groups meet regularly.
Decorum & Dress
Dignity and warmth are expected in every venue of seminary life, marked by mutual respect and cheerful courtesy. Appearance and attire, whether seasonal or semi-formal, must be modest everywhere on campus. Jewelry for facial piercing may be worn in the ears of women only.
Divorce & Marital Relationships
Students should model Biblical marriage in public and private. Students are responsible for notifying the Dean of Students if their marital status has changed due to separation, divorce, remarriage, or any legal proceedings. Students who divorce must withdraw completely from all programs and campus for a minimum of two consecutive semesters before an application for readmission can be considered.
Sexuality and Gender Identity
Southern Seminary’s code of conduct regarding sexuality and gender identity is grounded in our longstanding institutional religious identity and is explained in the official “SBTS Policy on Sex, Sexuality, and Gender Identity.” In employment and in student life, we regard sex at birth as the identification of the given biological sex of each member of our constituency. Any blurring of the boundary between maleness and femaleness, such as identifying oneself as a transvestite, transsexual, or transgendered, is contrary to biblical standards. We must view the actions or intentions of those seeking fundamental changes of any kind from one’s sex at birth as a rejection of the biblical and theological understandings to which Southern Seminary is committed, and hence as grounds for removal from consideration for employment for an employment applicant and/or from consideration for enrollment for a student applicant, and as grounds for termination of employment for a current employee (faculty or staff) and/or termination of enrollment of a current student. The same is true for persistent or exaggerated examples of cross- dressing, or other expressions or actions that are deliberately discordant with birth sex. All students and employees are responsible for notifying the Seminary of any violation of this policy, past or present. Decisions will be handled on a case-by-case basis in a pastorally sensitive manner.
Electronic Mail (E-mail) Policy
Electronic mail (e-mail) is the primary means of communication about classes, registration, activities and campus functions, facilitating the exchange of information in support of and consistent with the mission of SBTS. All students are expected to check e-mails regularly.
Users are responsible for all usage of e-mail service and for maintaining the confidentiality of the user name and password, as well as the content of all transmissions. Users agree to indemnify and hold SBTS harmless for any loss or damage arising from the content of any message. Users must supervise minors, persons under 18 years of age, who utilize seminary e-mail. This service cannot be used to gain unauthorized access to any other attached network or system. Since senders are accountable for the contents of communication through institutional email, this service must be used in an appropriate and ethical manner, not to transmit or distribute communications designed to annoy, offend or harass others. The misuse of electronic mail may result in loss of privileges, disciplinary sanction or legal action.
Firearms and Fireworks Policy
Seminary policy strictly prohibits the possession or use of firearms or other weapons by any persons on campus of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Firearms: Any device that shoots a bullet, pellet, flare, tranquilizer, spear dart or other projectile, whether loaded or unloaded, including those powered by CO2. This includes, but not limited to, guns, air guns, dart guns, pistols, revolvers, rifles, shot guns, cannons, etc, and any ammunition for any such device.
Weapons: Any device that is designed to or traditionally used to inflict harm. This includes, but is not limited to: 1) firearms, slingshots, switchblades, daggers, blackjacks, brass knuckles, bows and arrows, hand grenades, hunting knives, nun-chucks, throwing stars, etc.; 2) any object that could be reasonably construed as a weapon; or 3) any object legally controlled as a weapon or treated as a weapon under the laws of the jurisdiction in which the Seminary premises is located.
Explosives: Any chemical compound or mechanical mixture that contains any oxidizing or combustible units, or other ingredients, in such proportion, quantities or packing that an ignition by fire, friction, concussion, percussion, or detonator, or any part of the compound or mixture, may cause a sudden generation of highly heated gases that results in gaseous pressures capable of producing destructive efforts on contiguous objects or of destroying life or limb. This includes, but is not limited to, firecrackers, black powder, dynamite, etc.
Students, faculty and staff are not allowed to carry and/or possess weapons at any time while in Seminary buildings or property, whether or not licensed to do so. Students, faculty and staff are also prohibited from carrying and/or possession weapons at any time while working or attending Seminary or seminary-related events, whether or not on Seminary property.
The seminary also prohibits university visitors from carrying and/or possessing weapons on seminary property or attending seminary-related, non-hunting activities. Non-employees include, but are not limited to, vendors, visitors, customers and potential customers of the university, excluding law enforcement officers.
Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 237.115 allows the Seminary to limit/prohibit the possession of any firearm or weapon. This includes, but is not limited to, KRS 527:020 that pertains to “carrying concealed deadly weapon”.
Reports of any violation shall be made to the Director of Safety and Security or any “on-duty” officer.
The Director of Safety and Security can approve exceptions after a written request is made. The director will then make a recommendation for final approval by the Sr. Vice President of Institutional Administration. These exceptions will be made on a “case by case” basis. Examples of exceptions may be, those in the military, persons possessing firearms due to employment, etc.
A grievance is defined as a behavior or attitude perceived to be erroneous or unfair, including ridicule, inappropriate embarrassment or work evaluation (but not the final grade, which is appealed through a separate process). Resolution and reconciliation is best accomplished in Christian love with direct and candid communication (Matthew 18). If intractable, Christian mediation should be sought apart from secular litigation (1 Corinthians 6). If initial efforts are not satisfactory, and if the issues are separate from institutional policies for employees, students may follow the grievance policy to seek resolution with faculty or staff members as well as fellow students.
- Within two weeks of the incident, the aggrieved person presents to the person(s) in question a written statement that delineates relevant facts (sequence, circumstances, individual(s), summarizes remedial efforts, and specifies an appropriate resolution.
- The recipient should respond in writing within two weeks of receipt with options for resolution. If these are unsatisfactory to the aggrieved person, a written appeal may be filed (including the initial grievance and response) to the supervising dean or administrator within one week of the response.
- The supervising dean or administrator investigates and makes a final decision in writing within ten working days of receipt. This decision may be appealed to the supervising Vice President, whose decision is final.
This policy does not replace or conflict with any federal, state or local law or ordinance pertaining to employee labor laws through OSHA or the Kentucky Labor cabinet, but provides guidelines for persons who live, reside or occupy any dorm, residential hall or other building owned and/or controlled by the Seminary. The term, hazardous materials, refer to any substance or material that is capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health or safety when transported, stored or illegally possessed. Included are waste, pollutants, petroleum products and any other elevated temperature material deemed to be hazardous. At no time may hazardous materials (including charcoal lighter fluid and auto oil or fuel) be taken into or stored in any housing unit without proper authority.
Though not all-Inclusive, the following list identifies a few of the prohibited materials or substances that a reasonable person should not possess on Seminary property–explosives; poisonous gas; flammable liquids or solids; oxidizers; corrosives; infectious substances; spontaneously combustible liquids, substances or solids. This policy does not inhibit the use of materials legally needed by employees for their work tasks, in which all hazardous materials are stored, controlled and used in accordance with OSHA, state, federal and local laws. The Director of Campus Safety and Security must approve the use of all hazardous
Litigation & Criminal Charges
The seminary and college do not allow student status for anyone who must comply with court-ordered probation for felony conviction or must register as a sex offender. Current students who are charged in federal, state or civil court must report this immediately to the Vice President for Student Services and withdraw until matters are resolved.
Faculty and staff cannot become participants or advocates on behalf of other members within the community who are engaged in civil or legal matters in which the institution is not a participant. If legal action is initiated against the institution, so that litigation is filed or pending, the student must withdraw immediately from all institutional programs, including housing and employment on campus.
Applicants are required to disclose any moral or legal factor that could impede their effectiveness and faithfulness in ministry. Applicants who have fulfilled previous legal sanctions for criminal charges or immoral conduct must have already completed two years of supervision on site with a local church. Applicants and students alike are not eligible for active status while listed in state registries for sexual offenders or while serving court-ordered sanctions, such as incarceration or probation.
Plagiarism & Telecommunications
Plagiarism is the use or theft of intellectual property without attribution, both a moral and educational transgression. Students are required to affirm academic integrity in writing when submitting all course work: On my honor, I have neither given nor taken improper assistance in completing this assignment. (See Appendix.) Appropriate and ethical behavior honors the software licensing agreements and copyright law; respects confidentiality and/or privacy of data; uses telecommunication and computing resources without offending, annoying or harassing others. Students and employees are accountable for their use of all computing and telecommunications resources. Misuse may result in legal or disciplinary action.
Sexual harassment is defined as a request for sexual favor, unwelcome sexual advance, or verbal and/or physical conduct of a sexual nature that could contribute to an offensive environment. (This does not limit the discussion of human sexuality in an instructional setting.) Incidences of perceived sexual harassment by faculty or staff should be reported to the supervisor for redress according to the Sexual Harassment policy in the Faculty/Staff handbook. Incidences of perceived sexual harassment by a student should be reported to the Dean of Students for redress according to the discipline policy.
Solicitation & Special Offerings
Any kind of solicitation is prohibited on seminary property. Request for special offerings within the seminary community is disallowed, unless permitted by the Executive Cabinet upon recommendation from the Vice President for Student Services.
Surveys & Distribution of Materials
Surveys or polls of any portion of the student body must be submitted to the Dean of Students for approval from the Executive Cabinet. Students may post or distribute materials in designated areas after receiving approval from the Director of Student Activities.
Visitation in Campus Housing
Access by the opposite gender to any hall or dorm room is always prohibited except during seminary-sponsored events, designated moving times, or when authorized personnel must enter to ensure personal safety or to provide maintenance. Common areas in dormitories available for visitation are the Carver Patio Room and Mullins 3124
Overnight guests in campus housing must be registered with Housing Services. When guests arrive after business hours, guest information must be provided by the resident to Campus Security. In Boyce dorms, informing a residence hall leader is important, but does not substitute for this requirement. Failure to notify subjects the resident to disciplinary sanction, including eviction. The Seminary reserves the right to refuse accommodations to anyone.
Voter Registration & Political Activity
The office for voter registration (810 Barret Avenue) may be contacted, 574-6100 or http://elect.ky.gov. Legal residents eighteen and older are eligible to vote if registered thirty days prior to election. An announced candidate for public office may appear on campus only in a forum conducted by an official organization in concert with its purpose, in the company of all other candidates for that office, and with approval from the President. Gospel and ministry priorities must govern all political discussion on campus.
For more information about student policies and procedures, please see the Student Handbook.