Undergraduate Student Handbook

Community at George Fox University

During the college years, you will discover a broader range of people and ideas than you have ever encountered before. University life is an exciting world on its own, but its small in comparison to the world of possibilities that await you after graduation.

At George Fox University, we believe education is more than learning theories, reading books, and writing essays and papers. We believe education is a variety of knowledge, ideas, experiences, and people that prepare you to step out with confidence as you realize your full potential. We encourage you to take risks this year in learning about yourself and others as members of this Christ-centered community of learning.

At George Fox, we will help you answer these critical questions:

  • Who do I want to be when I graduate?

  • What values do I want others to see in me?

  • What is God calling me to do?

The George Fox experience will help you become a person of commitment, character, and wisdom who can answer these questions with confidence.

A person of commitment is someone committed to love - love for God, love for others, and love for yourself.  Mark 12:30-31 says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself (NIV).'

A person of character is someone who maintains his or her standard and commitments in both public and private spheres.

A person of wisdom is someone who has more than knowledge. A person of wisdom is a man or woman who knows how to pursue knowledge and how to use it to benefit others. When you pursue knowledge with humility and generosity, you will become wise - and help others around you do the same.

As you grow in commitment, character, and wisdom, you will also grow in confidence - in yourself and in the Lord.  As Philippians 1:6 says, "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (NASB)

In all aspects of your student experience you will discover that George Fox University faculty, staff, and administrators are pursuing commitment, character, and wisdom right beside you. Not only will you build a foundation in your area of interest, you will also be challenged to be humble in spirit as you prepare to serve others with what you have learned within and outside of the classroom.

We hope you will consider this student handbook as a resource - a place to turn for information, counsel, and insight.  Its content represents a guide to the essence of the university, our people, and mission.

It’s important for students to understand the core beliefs of George Fox University. 

The mission, vision, and values describe the foundation of our community.


Our statement of faith defines what we believe as a Christ-centered university.


As a student at George Fox University, you are a member of a community. One of the primary functions of this comprehensive online student handbook is to help define what being a community means at this university. Each member of our community plays a role in creating an atmosphere where others can learn, mature, and prepare to meet the challenges that lie beyond the college years. The expectations of our community reflect our commitment to our Christian philosophy of education.

We believe the Scriptures establish the basic principles that should guide the development of Christian character and govern all Christian behavior. These include the lordship of Jesus Christ over all life and thought. This involves wholehearted obedience to the word of God as taught in the Old and New Testaments and exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ; the careful stewardship of mind, time, abilities, funds, and opportunities for intellectual, spiritual, and interpersonal growth; and the care of our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit.

Living in daily fellowship with members of our Christ-centered community is a privilege and an expression of God's grace. In recognition of this privilege, we place great value on the quality of relationships in our community, and we acknowledge we are interdependent on and accountable to one another.

The greatest expression for our relationships is love: the responsibility to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. This means that unselfish love should be the motive for our decisions, actions, and relationships. While there are many ways to express this type of love, we expect students to focus on the following:

Building Up One Another
Each member of the community should strive to maintain relationships that support, encourage, and assist one another.

Upholding One Another
Because we are human, we can and will encounter difficulties in relationships. In such cases, we should respond with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another and forgiving whatever grievances we may have against one another.

Bearing One Another's Burdens
We encourage our community to walk alongside those who are experiencing grief, discouragement, illness, tragedy, or other personal trials. We can do this by offering comfort, encouragement, consolation, and intercession.

Speaking the Truth in Love
We can strengthen our community and ourselves by being honest and loving in all our dealings with one another. Problems in relationships and behavior can be resolved constructively by confronting one another in an appropriate spirit. If we act for the benefit of others and do so in a loving manner, such confrontation can help us all mature and grow to be more like our Lord.

Reconciliation and Restoration
For our community to be healthy, we must work to heal broken relationships. When relationships have been damaged, regardless of the reason, we are encouraged to reach out to one another and forgive in order to restore those relationships and to make restitution. Our commitment to celebrate diversity and educate people regarding cultural differences is another important reason to reconcile relationships that need repaired.

Practicing these and other expressions of love in our relationships requires continued effort and sensitivity to others. While strong, healthy relationships take work, they reward us by enriching our lives, honoring God, and helping us meet our personal goals and those of our university community.

The book of Colossians provides an excellent summary of the goals of our community:

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body, you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another . . . And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God . . ."(Colossians 3:12-17 NIV)

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