Community Covenant and Chapters

PREAMBLE
William Jessup University is a Christ-centered institution of higher learning dedicated to the holistic formation of students—their academic, mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual formation.

This Community Covenant presents who we are and who we want to be—a wonderfully diverse community set apart by faith and for faith. It reflects our best collective self, and the vision of community we want to affirm and build.

Our University community is comprised of many different groups of people including students, faculty, staff, and others. We represent a range of theological positions within the Christian tradition, and the members of the community reflect many different stages in Christian growth. Thus, it is important that we have a common set of expectations, principles, and values for our life together. These core principles and values form our social compact—our Community Covenant.

Those members of the University community who do not share the Christian faith are asked to affirm this Covenant, not as a statement of personal spiritual conviction but as an affirmation of our community vision and agree to abide by its principles.

This Covenant is your invitation to join us. It applies to all who voluntarily choose to become part of the William Jessup University community—students, administrators, faculty, and staff—and is structured broadly around the Great Commandments: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40).

LOVE GOD

We affirm the Lordship of Christ (Acts 2:26) and the authority of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

As the William Jessup University community, we acknowledge the teachings and values of Jesus Christ as the guide for our actions and programs as much as humanly possible, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Our community has chosen Him and His life-changing message as our guide. Furthermore, the words of Scripture provide the authoritative, ethical, and spiritual foundation for our community. Jesus is Lord and the Bible is our authority.

LOVE OTHERS

We value all persons as created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27)—honoring, loving, and serving one another.

We cannot love God and hate our neighbor. We are to love God and show it by how we live and interact with each other. We value all people—and life—as Jesus did, and we see each other as having a God-given purpose. We speak and act respectfully and with an attitude of service towards each other. Christ urged us to serve rather than be served, so we commit to have this approach with each other in the University community.

We support the weak (Micah 6:8; Isaiah 1:17)—always helping the wounded, the oppressed, and the needy.

We come from many backgrounds and many of us have had to overcome significant challenges in life. Christ said we should help those around us, especially the weak and the wounded; so we look with extra care to those who are hurting. This includes the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized in our society. Christ calls us to show care and compassion toward one another and to all in need. We do this with those on our campus and in our local community.

We respect authority (Romans 13:1-4)—affirming the God-given authority of those in leadership over us in the university and beyond.

We affirm the teaching of Christ and the Scripture regarding those in authority over us. God places them in authority for our good. So, we follow the guidance of those authority structures to the extent that they are consistent with the character of God and His Word.

We emphasize reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)—expressing grace and forgiveness in conflict.

We choose to act with maturity and grace towards those with whom we disagree. We value and pursue peace with others. When necessary, we strive always to model a community deeply committed to reconciliation and forgiveness.


LOVE OURSELVES


We pursue spiritual formation (2 Corinthians 5:17)—willingly engaging in spiritual disciplines and activities.

We actively engage in practices that will draw us closer to Christ, and at the same time avoid practices that will draw us away from a relationship with Jesus. We affirm the historical practices of spiritual formation, belonging to a local church, and Christian service.

We practice holiness (Hebrews 12:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:3) and embrace purity (Philippians 4:8-9)—extending this to word, thought, and deed.

As a community we seek to:

  1. Demonstrate the Christian virtues of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
  2. Love and support that which is good in God’s eyes.
  3. Embrace purity in all relationships and reserve sexual intimacy for marriage between a man and a woman.
  4. Practice speech that is edifying and uplifting.
  5. Model self-control and healthy lifestyle choices.

We live with integrity (Colossians 3:9-10)—committing ourselves always to truth and honesty.

For the community to flourish, it must rest on a foundation of trust and civility. We therefore covenant to practice authenticity and honesty. Integrity requires that we take ownership and responsibility for our mistakes.

Chapter on Sexuality and Marriage

Chapter on Sanctity of Human Life

Position on Science and Faith

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This vision for Christian community presents a high standard. By God’s grace we seek to embrace it and uphold it. Consequently, this Covenant articulates the foundational framework for our community, subject to the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Statement of Faith, and Board Policy.

 

More specific applications of this Covenant are expressed in the particular policies for faculty, staff, and students within the University.

June 9, 2014