In addition to Biblical expectations as mentioned in the Morality section, members of the Asbury University community voluntarily commit to abide by community standards that are intended to promote the well-being of both the individual and the University community. These standards are not intended to be seen as absolutes or an index of Christian spirituality, but as standards which uphold the long-standing established character of the Asbury University culture. Members are expected to contribute to the growth and maturity of others and should discipline their own actions by adhering to the principle of consideration of others before themselves.
- Sunday / Sabbath: Each member is expected to keep the Lord’s Day (Sunday) distinctive as a day set apart primarily for worship, fellowship, ministry, recreation and rest. Due to the unique nature of this day, the campus will not be open for “business as usual” but will only provide services and programs which are deemed absolutely necessary. The University will not sponsor academic activities or athletic competition on Sunday.
- Worship: Fellowship and instruction are essential to the growth of the Christian. Chapel is held weekly MWF at 10 a.m. and is generally required for all students. It should not be a substitute for involvement in the local church. Members of the community are expected to attend weekly church services and are encouraged to attend class and campus prayer meetings.
- Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs: Use of certain substances can be both physically and psychologically damaging to the individual and community. Consequently, members are to refrain from the use of tobacco in any form, alcoholic beverages (including “nonalcoholic beer” and similar products) and illegal drugs. The preceding substances are not to be used, possessed or distributed on or away from campus. Prescription drugs should be used in accordance with the physician’s directions.
Violations in the area of alcohol or drug use will result in almost certain dismissal from the University for a period of time. As recommended by the Higher Education Reauthorization Act, the parents of students under the age of 21 will be contacted for any violation regarding alcohol or illegal drugs.
- Social Dancing: The University acknowledges that Scripture does not address the issue of social dancing directly, and committed Christians may differ widely in their attitudes toward dancing. In its desire to maintain a distinctively Christian environment that promotes physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, Asbury University does not permit social dancing on or away from campus, nor does it allow any University-sponsored group to sponsor dances anywhere else (note exception below).*
Many forms of contemporary dance are associated with unwholesome behavior. However, Asbury University also recognizes that some forms of social dancing may not exhibit or lead to unwholesome behavior. As an exception, therefore, students are allowed to dance socially in a manner that honors Christ at off-campus celebratory occasions such as weddings, military balls, graduation exercises, church and family occasions and in *Asbury special celebratory occasions such as Jr./Sr. These Asbury celebratory occasion exceptions are limited (likely 2-3/yr.) and permitted based upon guidelines and written approval processes available in the Student Development Office.
Further, as an exception for campus-sponsored events, some forms of dancing choreography may be included in dramatic presentations, musicals and “variety” shows as approved by the faculty/staff advisor of the event.
- Vandalism / Respect for Property: The community fosters a respect for personal, institutional and public property and expects its members to care for the property of others with the same kind of care they would give their own. Students will be held responsible for vandalism or damage to property of others.
- Verbal or Physical Abuse: 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, religious beliefs or disability is not acceptable in any form. (See also non-discrimination policy in “General Policy and Procedures” section.) Verbal or physical abuse of others is not acceptable.
- Respect for Authority / Insubordination: Members are expected to demonstrate a responsible attitude toward authority. Consequently, insubordination to and disrespect for authority and refusal to accept the correction of those in authority is not acceptable.
- Media-Related Entertainment: Community members are urged to use great discretion in the media they choose to view. Visual media is defined as materials designed for viewing and includes magazines, television, movies, videos and the Internet.
Believing that Scripture teaches that purity of heart is influenced by the eyes and the mind, our principle is based on Philippians 4:8 (NIV), which states: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” It is the responsibility of the individual, in conjunction with life within the Christ-centered community, to learn to discern what kinds of media are appropriate for followers of Jesus Christ.
In light of this principle, community members should avoid visual media which contains sexually explicit or pornographic material, excessive profanity, excessive violence, or promotes or celebrates the demonic or occult. Media which devalues the worth of God’s human creation should be avoided.
While external rating systems (e.g., PG, PG-13, TV-MA) are inadequate for developing discernment, they can provide a starting point. On campus, PG and PG-13 movies are generally permitted unless they violate the guidelines in the preceding paragraph. Movies which have these ratings should also be selected thoughtfully with consideration for both personal conviction and community impact.
On the Asbury University campus, an R-rated movie would rarely provide the educational or redeeming value which would warrant its viewing and therefore is prohibited. However, individuals are invited to engage in dialogue with the Resident Director about movies which might be considered exceptions to the R-rated exclusion.