3.0 Community Life

3.1   Student Conduct: All students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which would become the office of minister.  Although not all students studying at the Seminary are preparing for professional ministry, the “office of minister” is the standard of conduct expected.

  • Respect for others should be the foundation of all relationships.
  • Students are expected to be fully acquainted with all published policies and will be held responsible for compliance with them.
  • Students are expected to comply with all federal, state, and local laws. These principles also apply to any conduct that is likely to have an adverse effect on the Seminary. One aspect of conduct is the ability to adhere to Seminary policy and procedures. Students who do not register on time, pay their bills on a timely basis, return requested forms, return library books, pay library fines, write thank you notes to donors, etc. are breaching Seminary policy and engaging in conduct which does not “become the office of minister.” Misconduct also includes, but is not limited to the following: dishonesty, substance abuse, illegal gambling, destructive negligence, falsification of records or other information, harassment or discrimination, imperiling the safety of others, and abusive or patterned promiscuous sexual behavior.

3.1.1  Disciplinary Actions: Students who engage in inappropriate conduct of any nature will face action up to and including criminal prosecution and expulsion from the Seminary. Students may be dismissed at any time at the will of the faculty. Disciplinary actions for less extreme violations of the code of conduct are described as follows: The Office of the Dean receives and reviews all complaints and concerns about a student’s conduct. No anonymous charges will be given consideration. If the Office of the Dean finds that a student’s behavior is harmful to others, creates an impediment to the teaching mission of the Seminary or violates Seminary policy and/or procedures, the Dean will discuss the behavior with the student. If the conduct is considered to be of a serious nature, the Office of the Dean has the option to:

  • Suspend the student immediately for a period of time deemed appropriate for the misconduct;
  • Impose non-academic probation for a specified time period not to exceed one year;
  • If after the suspension/probationary period, it is found that the student has not corrected the behavior that resulted in the disciplinary action, the Dean may permanently suspend the student from his or her academic program.

3.1.2  Appeals: If a student believes that disciplinary action by the Office of the Dean is unwarranted, he or she may file a formal complaint with the Seminary’s Appeals/Grievance Committee. (See Grievance Procedures, Appendix B.)

3.1.3  Readmission: Any student dismissed for non-academic reasons or under permanent suspension may not apply for re-admission to the Seminary for a period of two full years from the date of dismissal. Additional policy information related to student conduct can be found in Section 5.0, Academic Policies and Procedures

3.2  Equal Employment Opportunity: Lexington Theological Seminary is an equal opportunity employer. All recruitment and employment programs and procedures are administered by the Seminary without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, age, or physical or mental disability of otherwise qualified individuals.

3.3  Discrimination and Harassment Policy: The Seminary does not accept or tolerate harassment or discrimination in any form on its campus, in its courses, or in any campus setting related to the Seminary. (See policies in Appendices C and D).

3.4  Language Issues: Persons to whom this policy applies include the administration, faculty, staff, mentors, trustees, and students of Lexington Theological Seminary. All affected parties are strongly urged to study the policy: Language Issues (Appendix H). This document expands upon the theological and practical implementation of just language policies at Lexington Theological Seminary.

3.4.1  Just Language Statement: Lexington Theological Seminary’s mission is to train women and men to be leaders of the church. To that end, the administration, faculty, staff, and students covenant together to strive for both our written and spoken language to reflect the equality of the people of God and to maintain the mystery of God. “Just Language – language that reflects our changing consciousness about God, the universe, ourselves, class, gender relations, race, disabilities, and violence – is essential if we are to overcome injustices and hatred that obstruct peace, equality, and harmony for which we long.”[1]

3.4.2  Accountability within the Seminary Community: This policy will be specifically communicated to all incoming students, faculty, and staff. All incoming students and newly hired faculty and staff will receive the policy which provides theological reflection and practical guidelines for implementation of the Seminary’s policy, emphasizing the importance of language issues in the Seminary Community. Faculty members have complete freedom to specify the way in which language issues will be treated in classroom discussion and written work. If no explicit statement is made, students should assume that they are responsible for knowing the written recommendations included in the above referenced policy.

Students, faculty, and staff members who choose to use exclusive language for people or who choose to use God-language of one specific gender only (thus choosing not to follow these recommendations) may be informed by any member of the community about the effect their usage has on others. Such reminders are generally most effective in private conversation.

3.5  Illicit Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Policy: The possession, sale, or use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on campus and all Seminary-sponsored academic, cultural, or social events unless specifically authorized by the President of Lexington Theological Seminary. No smoking or use of tobacco in any form is allowed inside Seminary-owned buildings or at public gatherings of the community. Proper receptacles are located at entrances to Seminary buildings in order that smokers may properly extinguish and discard smoking materials.

All Seminary members are prohibited from unlawful possession, use, dispensation, distribution, or manufacture of illicit drugs on Seminary property, on Seminary business, or at Seminary-sponsored activities. (See Illicit Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Policy: Appendix E for the full policy).

3.6  Non-Academic Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures: (See Appendix B.)

3.7  Students with Disabilities: The Seminary complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 regarding students with disabilities. No otherwise qualified individual shall be denied access to or participation in the services, programs, and activities of the Seminary solely on the basis of a disability. The Seminary shall provide reasonable accommodations for each eligible student who has a physical or mental impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment.

Each eligible student is responsible for presenting relevant (no more than three years old), verifiable, professional documentation and/or assessment reports to the Registrar. Information concerning a student’s disability is treated in a confidential manner in accordance with applicable federal laws. Documentation presented shall be reviewed to verify the existence of a disability. Further documentation may be required from the student to substantiate the claim of a disability or to assist the Seminary in determining appropriate accommodations. Documentation must meet the following criteria:

  • Issuance by a qualified professional (must include the evaluator’s name, title, credentials, license number, signature and date of evaluation on letterhead stationary);
  • Provision of a diagnostic statement identifying the disability and the date of the original diagnosis and including a description of the diagnostic criteria and/or diagnostic tests used;
  • Description of the current functional limitations of the disability for major life activities and in an academic environment;
  • Details of all medication (dosage and existing side effects), assistive devices/services, treatments currently prescribed or in use;
  • Description of the expected progression or stability of the impact of the disability over time; and
  • Recommendations for accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, and compensatory strategies to compensate for the functional limitations.

Students requiring special accommodations must contact the Registrar within four weeks of admission for an initial discussion and no later than two weeks prior to the first day of classes for which accommodations are requested. The Dean shall prepare letters to the appropriate faculty members concerning specific, reasonable, academic adjustments for the student.

The Seminary prohibits discrimination or harassment based on disabilities. Grievance procedures for non-academic issues including discrimination or harassment are outlined in Appendix B, Grievance Procedures. The Registrar is the designated “school official.”

3.8 Campus Facilities and Services: Access to Seminary facilities is a privilege. Students and visitors are reminded to respect all Seminary regulations with respect to campus facilities and services. Students requiring clarification of policies or procedures regarding campus facilities should contact the Business Office.

3.8.1 Parking: Students planning to park their cars on campus must register their cars and secure a parking tag from the Business Office. Tags are issued subsequent to payment of tuition/fees. Visitors to campus must obtain a temporary parking permit from the Business Office. Unregistered cars may be towed at the owner’s expense.

3.8.2  Bosworth Memorial Library: The Bosworth Memorial Library is one of the major resources of the Seminary. A brief guide available in the library outlines policies and procedures. The library staff is ready to render assistance to students doing research, and students should feel free to make use of this service; however, use of the library is a privilege. Students are strongly urged to familiarize themselves with all library rules and procedures. Abuse of library privileges can result in disciplinary action or dismissal.

3.8.3 Writing Center: Seminary students are expected to be able to write at a graduate level. In order to help students reach that level LTS offers those students who need assistance one-on-one help through the Writing Center. The Writing Center does not offer assistance to the student by proof reading or editing the student’s paper before the paper is handed in to a professor.

Diagnostic Tests: LTS requires that all in-coming students take an online diagnostic test to assess writing skills and that the results of the test be sent to the Director of the Writing Center. (Contact the Director of the Writing Center for directions for taking the diagnostic test.) This test must be taken within the first two weeks of one’s first enrollment. Failure to fulfill this requirement will result in students not receiving their course grades. If the diagnostic test reveals that a student needs help with grammar, punctuation, or sentence structure, the student is expected to seek help from the Writing Center.

Referral by a Professor: Professors may refer students to the Writing Center for help with the overall organization of a paper, with writing clear introductions and conclusions, with developing an argument, with integrating quotations, or with the MLA citation style. Professors may, when they deem it necessary, require that a particular student seek help from the Writing Center.

3.8.4  Counseling: Students wishing to discuss personal concerns are invited to use any of the following services:

  • Faculty: Each member of the faculty is available to students. The primary matters discussed with the faculty are academic and vocational; however, discussions with faculty are not limited to these issues.
  • The Office of the Dean: The Office of the Dean works with students, advocates for students in appropriate circumstances, and works to assist individual students in solving problems that might inhibit academic progress.

3.8.5  Verification of Enrollment: The Registrar will provide verification of enrollment for loan deferments, denominational inquiries, etc. Students must complete a Student Information Release Request (See Appendix Forms). If a deferment or other request contains a release section to be signed by the student, the Information Release Request form is not required. Verification of enrollment will be provided only after the drop/add date. Verifications which must be sent prior to that date will indicate registration only. Subsequent to provision of the verification by the Registrar, the student is responsible for reporting to the lending or other agency any changes in enrollment (number of hours, etc.). The student should be aware that failure to provide notification of such changes may be construed as fraud.

3.8.6  Transcript Requests: Requests for release of a transcript must be in writing and must carry an original signature. Everyone requesting a transcript must use a Student Information Release Request form (See Appendix Forms). Requests from students/former students with unmet financial obligations in the Business Office will not be honored until the obligation is met. The transcript can be provided to the student/former student or mailed directly to a third party. The transcript will be provided along with a cover sheet. A copy of the cover sheet is attached to the request and maintained in the student’s file.

  • One work week should be allowed for preparation of a transcript. It is rare that transcripts can be provided on demand. Transcripts must be pre-paid. There will be no credit or invoicing.
  • Transcripts are $10 for the first copy and $2 for each additional copy requested at the same time.
  • Transcripts are printed on safety paper which cannot be altered and will show the words “COPY” when copied. The back of the transcript includes a key explaining the grading system, transfer hours, etc. An original signature and seal are not provided unless specifically requested.

3.9  Use of Seminary Resources

3.9.1  Computing Resources: Computers and printers are available for student use in the Bosworth Library. Adding, deleting, and changing computer software is not permitted.

3.9.2  Media Resources in Library: The Seminary maintains audio-visual equipment and a tape library. DVD, VHS tapes, and CDs are available for check out. Tapes of previous chapels, convocations/lectures, and video recordings are available for check-out.

[1] Kathleen Ashe, “Foreword,” in Creating Just Language (Chicago: The 8th Day Center for Justice, 1999), 4.