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PRINCIPLES & EXPECTATIONS OF COMMUNITY LIFE
The School of Graduate & Professional Studies at Asbury University welcomes you on a journey of academic and professional preparation as well as spiritual growth. The integration of faith and learning is central to our identity and mission. Our underlying purpose is to prepare adult students to be leaders with tough minds and tender hearts. This model reflects a rigorous academic preparation and an intentional design to build moral and spiritual excellence.
To help students who are new to Asbury University understand who we are, what we represent, and what we require you to commit to as a part of this community, we have established the following community vision. Should you have any questions, we welcome a conversation.
The mission of Asbury University, as a Christian Liberal Arts University in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition is to equip men and women, through a commitment to academic excellence and spiritual vitality, for a lifetime of learning, leadership and service to the professions, society, the family and the Church, thereby preparing them to engage their cultures and advance the cause of Christ around the world. The mission of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies is to empower students to become what God is calling them to be through transformative 21st century education.
For more information on the theological heritage that guides Asbury’s mission, please see the end of this document.
A Community Vision: Foundational Principles of Community Life
Asbury University believes that a Christian community should be guided by biblical and theological principles that create balance in the spiritual, social, academic, emotional, and physical life of the community and that are reflected in the lives of the individual members. In view of this, we believe the Asbury University community should be:
• A community of integrity
The Asbury community seeks to be characterized by honesty, faithfulness, loyalty and mutual respect.
• A learning community
The Asbury community takes seriously its commitment to academic excellence and scholarly endeavors as a critical component of becoming a lifelong learner.
• A respectful and inclusive community
Asbury seeks to foster respect, acceptance and support for differences of gender, race, national origin, age, mental and physical ability, religious denomination and ethnic culture.
• A transformational community
In addition to promoting a deeper relationship with God, the community encourages fellowship with one another and with faculty and staff.
• An accountable community
Our community encourages its members to learn self-discipline and to be accountable to God and others for their actions.
• A serving community
Asbury’s mission is to develop servant-leaders who will make significant contributions to society.
• A celebrating community
We believe in the value of celebrating the special events and achievements that come to the members of our community.
Community Life Reflected in Practice
A distinguishing mark of a Christian community, whether together physically or at a distance, is that its members commit to personal and social guidelines that strengthen the spirit and health of the whole community. We believe the following practices serve to strengthen our Asbury community:
• Developing Christlike relationships
As a Christian institution, we promote a whole-hearted commitment to Jesus Christ as both Savior and Lord. His love for us serves as the model for how we live in community with others. The highest principle of Christian community is love, and this principle is expressed through forgiveness, patience, compassion, kindness, humility, and encouragement.
• Respecting human worth and dignity
We respect the worth and dignity of each individual and are sensitive to the special needs of each individual. Therefore, discrimination against others on the basis of race, national origin, gender, age, or disability is not acceptable in any form.
• Pursuing personal and corporate wholeness
Asbury University’s theological tradition considers certain behaviors to be prohibited in Scripture and in keeping with orthodox Christian thought, therefore we believe such behaviors should be avoided by members of the community. These behaviors include: theft (including plagiarism), lying, dishonesty, vulgarity, drunkenness, immodesty of dress, and occult practices. The University affirms the Biblical view of human sexuality as being expressed fully in the context of marriage between a man and a woman. Sexual immorality (including adultery, homosexual behavior and premarital sexual intimacy) is expressly prohibited in Scripture. While not explicitly mentioned in Scripture, we believe abortion, gambling, and pornography are not consistent with holy living.
In addition, Asbury University has a testimony of abstaining from the use of alcohol because of the damaging effects that it can have on the society, the family and on the physical body. The Asbury University community has also abstained from tobacco due to harm to the physical body. Alcohol and tobacco are strictly prohibited while participating in any AU class (online or in person), AU sponsored event, representing the university, or in the presence of AU traditional undergraduate students. Drunkenness does not align with scripture, and therefore, is never appropriate for AU community members at any time and in any program or role. GPS students are strongly encouraged to refrain from using alcohol or tobacco and thereby honor the lifestyle standards of the residential community, faculty and staff. Illegal substances, marijuana or any psycho-hallucinogenic drug, and misuse of prescription drugs are also never appropriate for an AU community member.
Students in distance learning and online programs should be aware that students on the residential campus abide by a more extensive set of guidelines compared to the aforementioned. Students coming to campus are expected to honor these guidelines during their time with the residential community and at all university-sponsored events. (http://www.asbury.edu/student-life/handbook-community-life)
• Engaging in fellowship with God and others
We believe participation in Christian community is essential to spiritual growth. The university encourages all students to regularly participate in a local church or faith community. We invite any students not currently involved in a community to contact the university for assistance with making connections in your area.
In addition, the university embraces the biblical concept of a Sabbath day of rest, a day of personal renewal amid fellowship, ministry or family activities. The university encourages students to observe the Sabbath in accordance with their own schedules and life circumstances.
An Invitation to Join Our Community
Whether you plan to attend classes on the physical campus or at a distance, we consider all students to be a part of the Asbury community and believe that your actions and choices should reflect these commitments. It is our hope you desire to be a part of this community that pursues academic excellence and spiritual vitality.
Asbury University is shaped by the Wesleyan-Arminian understanding of sin, grace, and the possibility of full salvation. Wesleyan-Arminian refers to the theological stream that has been influenced by Jacob Arminius (16th century) and John Wesley (18th century). This stream affirms widely-accepted Christian orthodoxy, with particular attention to the effectiveness of God’s grace through the Holy Spirit to transform people into Christlikeness. A more complete discussion of the distinctives of this stream can be found on our website: http://www.asbury.edu/about-us/cornerstone-project/holiness-initiatives/wesleyan-holiness-theology