As a campus community, Great Northern University has many values that give direction to the way we believe we should live when together on campus and in our daily lives. These values are connected to our obligation and desire to live Godly lives as described in Scripture. We wish to pursue God’s best with joyful hearts. We also know that we are imperfect in how we follow God’s ways, and we must speak into each other’s lives when that happens; sometimes with necessary consequences while maintaining grace and forgiveness with a goal of restoration. Here are community values that we will hold before one another:
Honesty – Academically and Personally
As Christ-followers, gathered at the GNU campus for personal, vocational and academic training, we must be people who can be thoroughly trusted. This must be consistent when we teach, in the way in which assignments are completed and in how we speak to one another. Plagiarism and cheating both undermine honesty. (Ephesians 4:15, 25)
Our words have such power to encourage and build each other up. As we choose our words carefully, we have the opportunity to be a community that is consistently ‘better’ because of the words of truth, encouragement and hope we speak to one another. This is just as true in our written words over email and social media. We also must resolve to develop effective interpersonal communication skills for confrontation, problem-solving, and setting appropriate boundaries. (Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:4)
Discernment in Dress and Appearance
How we present our physical selves to the world can make a profound statement. We want to strive for an appearance that reflects uncompromising moral values, a statement of professionalism and an expression of the personal value that is ours as God’s image-bearers. This would include choosing clothing that is clean, well-kept and not sensual in design. (1 Timothy 2:9-10)
Respect and Appreciation of Our Diversity
Our differences in ethnicity, race, gender, customs, and traditions are a privilege to experience. We will embrace these differences in order to learn from, honor and enjoy one another. (Galatians 3:28; Acts 17:26-27)
GNU is not a church. Each of us must be involved in a local, Bible believing church. Participation in a local church is crucial for expression of worship, personal discipleship and mentoring, and use of one’s gifts for the benefit of the body of Christ. (Hebrews 10:23-25; Romans 12:1-8)
God created our sexuality as part of His good creation plan. He purposed sexual expression to be a gift shared between a husband and a wife. It is a pleasurable expression of love, commitment and the willingness to raise children that might come from the husband and wife’s intimacy. We honor and celebrate God’s design for sex. In light of this, we will refrain from all sinful deviation from God’s design, i.e. all forms of sexual immorality including the viewing of pornography. (Genesis 2:20-25; Psalm 101; Song of Songs; Ephesians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8)
Appropriate Drug and Alcohol Use
Use of alcohol must follow state law and be used in moderation. It cannot be consumed or possessed on campus or in GNU housing. GNU consists of students over and under the legal age limits, and those who are of age are expected to manage their freedom wisely. Illegal drugs, tobacco use in any form including vaping and abuse of alcohol is not an option. Although marijuana is legal in the state of Washington, this will also be prohibited while enrolled or employed at GNU. If used for medical purposes, a doctor’s prescription must be presented to the student services officer, and a discussion of appropriate use in light of the health concern must take place. (Romans 13:13; Ephesians 5:18)
Healthy Recreation and Entertainment
Many forms of recreation and entertainment are enjoyable and edifying and necessary for physical, emotional and spiritual health. We wish to celebrate sports, the arts and enjoyment of God’s creation. At the same time, some expressions of the arts display mankind’s fallen nature and can be destructive and dishonoring to God. We will purpose to use wise discernment in the engagement of the internet, music, dance, drama and movies, comedy, literature, television and video games. (Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:17)
The possession or use of any type of weapon on GNU’s campus is prohibited. Weapons include, but are not limited to: firearms, ammunition, martial arts weapons, bows and arrows, swords, knives with blades over 4”, stun guns, and explosives of any type. Anyone found in possession of any unauthorized weapon on campus or in university housing may be subject to disciplinary or criminal proceedings.
The Practice of Wise Personal Discretion
With the desire for students, staff and faculty to have a strong testimony before God and others, we expect the exercise of personal discretion from one another. The following discerning questions are the type that develop wise personal discretion:
- Will this violate the revealed will of God?
- Is this good stewardship of time and resources?
- Will this help me to follow Christ and grow in His likeness?
- Will this help my brothers and sisters follow Christ and grow in His likeness?
- Will this feed a known weakness or sinful tendency?
Because Great Northern University is a community built on biblical principles and comprised of growing individuals, a disciplinary process exists to create redemptive and educational outcomes from community life violations. A student who intentionally or unknowingly violates GNU’s community values will follow a process which involves, at minimum, meeting directly with the student services officer, who will facilitate a judicial process. As this process is relational in nature, our hope is to foster growth in the individual while also balancing the health of the community. While forgiveness does not mean an absence of consequences, it does mean that the relationship is mended and restored. Consequences may include campus community service, fines, probations, accountability groups/persons, counseling, suspension, dismissal, or whatever is deemed necessary. All disciplinary decisions will be made after careful consideration of what is best for the community and the student. Consistency will be strived for in dealing with particular actions and situations.