Sexuality, Gender and Relationships Policy
On This Page
- Biola’s Position on Sexuality and Relationships
- Biola’s Position on Gender
- Student Care and Conduct
- Harassment and Bullying
- Faculty-Student or Staff-Student Relationships
- Unplanned Pregnancy
Biola’s Position on Sexuality and Relationships
Biola University’s position on marriage affirms the goodness of sexual relationships as designed by God to be expressed within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman. More information on the university’s theological position regarding human sexuality may be found in Statement of Biblical Principles: God’s Intentional Design for Life, one of Biola’s Theological Positions. We believe that sexual activity outside of marriage or behavior promoting sexual activity outside of marriage (including, but not limited to nudity, cohabitation, pornography) is contrary with God’s intentional design for sexuality. Living out God’s intent for sexual expression, while requiring sacrifice at times, is ultimately a source of freedom (John 10:10). Biola hopes to foster a community where living according to this intent helps each person thrive - personally, relationally, and spiritually.
Biola’s Position on Gender
Biola University’s position on gender affirms the goodness of God’s creation of humankind as male and female. More information on the university’s theological position regarding gender may be found in Statement of Biblical Principles: God’s Intentional Design for Life, which states, “We believe God created all things and set in place the laws of nature, not according to random chance but according to his perfect, miraculous and purposeful plan...God created the natural world and called it ‘good’, and after he created male and female he declared his creation ‘very good.’” Except in some unique cases, our sex as male or female is a biological given of the individual human person from conception made manifest at birth, and is a stable characteristic of the person determined by God's creational intent. Each person was intended to experience congruence between the physical and experiential dimensions of their sexuality. Because of sin, our sex and gender as experienced, as men and women, is not always our sex and gender as God the Creator intended.
Student Care and Conduct
We recognize that it is healthy for students to process their sexuality and gender as part of their growth and development, and we provide spaces for healthy conversations. We also recognize that Biola’s view of sexuality and gender raises unique questions and challenges for those who experience same-sex attraction, experience dissonance between their biological sex and gender, or identify as LGBTQ. We commit to support and learn from one another in grace and truth, respecting each other’s dignity as God’s image-bearers while also honoring God’s intentional design. As such, when joining the Biola community, students agree to refrain from engaging in behaviors and romantic relationships that are inconsistent with Biola’s position on marriage. We also ask that transgender individuals refrain from the process of a medical transition during their time at Biola. Students who choose to engage in such behaviors or relationships will be referred to the Department of Student Care, which manages student adherence to Biola’s community standards. We seek to be supportive, developmental and redemptive in the lives of the individuals involved, and we will offer support, resources, and accountability to strengthen the student’s ability to flourish within the Biola community.
Students desiring to live in Biola-owned housing will be placed based on their sex at birth. However, as issues connected to sexuality and gender are complex and layered, we will walk with students on an individual basis who identify as transgender or experience dissonance with their biological sex and gender in order to provide helpful support, to arrive at decisions around facilities use, and to offer appropriate accountability.
Due to the complexity of human experiences related to sexuality, gender identity, same-sex behavior, same-sex attraction, and sexual orientation, we are committed to engaging this conversation with courage, humility, prayerfulness, and care. Helpful resources for students processing their faith and sexuality and/or gender include the Dwelling, spiritual direction, pastoral care, and Biola Counseling Center.
Harassment and Bullying
We acknowledge that too often Christian communities have felt unkind or inhospitable for those who experience same-sex attraction, experience dissonance between their biological sex and gender, or identify as LGBTQ. All members of the Biola community are expected to treat one another with respect and Christ-like compassion. Any form of harassment, bullying, insults, slurs and other forms of derogatory speech or behavior have no place in a Christian community. These inappropriate behaviors will be directly addressed by the university (see Biola’s Sexual Misconduct Policy). Through faculty and staff training, peer education, and by example, we seek to educate faculty, staff, and students about the harm caused by disrespectful or flippant speech surrounding this topic.
Faculty-Student or Staff-Student Relationships
A dating relationship between a professor and a student enrolled in his/her class, or an advisor and an advisee, is generally prohibited. Dating relationships between faculty and students not currently enrolled in their classes, or between supervisors and subordinates or student workers, are generally deemed unwise. Such consensual relationships may create an environment in which power differences may be unfairly exploited, the respect and trust given someone in authority may be violated, and pressure may be subtly or inadvertently exerted on those in a vulnerable position (from the Faculty Handbook, section 9.4, 2/1/95). Any inappropriate or unwelcome contact initiated by a faculty or staff member should be dealt with under the Discrimination & Sexual Harassment policy.
University policy forbids exhibition, possession, or distribution of material or representations deemed to be obscene or contrary to the moral standards and/or mission of the University, including, but not limited to, pornography. Further, the use of institutional or personal computers for the viewing, transmission, retrieval and/or storage of such material is a violation of University community standards and will result in disciplinary action.
As with other sexual conduct outside the confines of marriage, viewing of pornography is inconsistent with the teaching of Scripture. When this comes to the University’s attention, we will seek to be redemptive in the lives of the individuals involved. Consequently, the University will offer counsel and assistance to support and strengthen the individual‘s resolve to live consistently with Christian teaching on sexuality.
The University will assist those involved in an unplanned pregnancy while enrolled as a student at Biola University. We will support students in considering all the reasonable options available to them. These include marriage of the parents, single parenthood, or offering the child for adoption. Because the Bible is clear in its teaching on the sanctity of human life, life begins at conception; we abhor the destruction of innocent life through abortion-on-demand. Student Development stands ready to help those involved to cope effectively with the complexity of needs that a crisis pregnancy presents. Additional support is available through the Biola Counseling Center, the Health Center, along with academic and other support services. While some students in these circumstances may choose to leave the University temporarily, it is our hope that any student who chooses to continue in classes during the pregnancy will find Biola to be a supportive and redemptive community during this crucial time.