Lifestyle Standards and Values

Table of Contents

As a community we encourage and teach our members to follow Jesus Christ and be collaborators in God's work in the world. We urge each member to become the kind of person and live the kind of life that Jesus taught and modeled. We believe such a life is described by the 'fruit of the spirit' as listed in Galatians 5:22-23. These fruits include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.

We believe the Bible teaches that all persons are created in God's image and that God actively seeks renewed relationships with every individual. We are bound therefore to regard each person with love and respect. (Romans 12:9-21, 1 Corinthians 13, Ephesians 4:32). So we avoid discrimination, abusive or manipulative actions, and gossip or mean-spirited behaviors. We seek actively to honor each person, loving and serving one another as Jesus taught us.

Our lifestyle excludes immoral practices and calls us to transformed living as we 'offer [our] bodies as living sacrifices' to God (Romans 12:1-2). In regard to sexual morality, we believe that only marriage between a man and a woman is God's intention for the joyful fulfillment of sexual intimacy. This should always be in the context of mutual compassion, love and fidelity. Sexual behaviors outside of this context are inconsistent with God's teaching.

We recognize these principles may conflict with the practice and opinion of some within the larger culture. We are convinced that this is God's design for providing the most loving guidance and practice for individuals and our community.

For a community to be its members must live with integrity. This includes honest academic work, telling each other the truth, keeping our promises and living so our actions match our words. (James 1:22-25)

The university is eager for each member of the community to grow spiritually (Hebrews 10:24-25).

We encourage involvement in activities designed to nurture spiritual growth. This includes Bible study, small prayer groups, service opportunities, and chapel attendance. The university encourages all members of the community to maintain personal practices of discipleship and to participate in a local church.

Our goal is to help each community member to think the same way as Christ thought (Philippians 2:5). This includes disciplining our minds to think about what is true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise as commended to us in Philippians 4:8. We avoid gambling, not only to practice good stewardship of our resources, but also to prevent welcoming greed inwardly and joining in the social inequities on which gambling thrives.

While we recognize that committed Christians differ in how they view the consumption of alcoholic beverages, it is clear that the improper use of alcohol by students, faculty or staff could bring much harm to the communities of George Fox University. This is especially true of the traditional undergraduate community, which consists largely of students who are under the legal drinking age. Nationally, it is well documented that underage and binge drinking as well as driving with significant blood alcohol levels are major problems on college campuses.

In addition, there is growing evidence that some individuals are predisposed to alcoholism. For these reasons, the use of alcohol by traditional undergraduate students is not allowed at any time they are enrolled at the university.

Distribution and consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on a George Fox University campus with the exception of unique events that receive prior approval from the President's Executive Team. The university does not serve or use alcohol when undergraduate students are present. Further, we are a smoke-free campus (including vapor cigarettes) and the use of tobacco and marijuana, in any form, is not permitted in any George Fox University facility or the grounds. Please see the student handbook and employee handbook to review our alcohol, drugs, and smoking policies in their entirety.

The goal of the George Fox University lifestyle standard is to create a community in which individuals are encouraged to be transformed into the image of Christ. In addition, we desire that our common life would reflect the teachings and Spirit of Christ in all that we do and say. In this ongoing process of transformation, all members of the George Fox community are encouraged to consider the following questions as a means of self-examination, in the tradition of the historic Friends (Quakers).

As individuals or groups within this community reflect on these questions we encourage them to respond in obedience to God's leading and to seek encouragement, support and accountability from other members of the community.

These lifestyle standards reflect the university's mission, faith commitments, values, and our rich heritage. They are intended to facilitate our life together at George Fox University. A more detailed description of specific aspects of these standards can be found under the Community Policies section of the student handbook.  If you have any questions regarding the lifestyle expectations, please contact the dean of students in the student life office.

Application of Lifestyle Standards

As part of the George Fox University community, students are to abide by the lifestyle standards and community expectations while they are:

Over Christmas break and the summer, students should keep in mind they are representing the George Fox University community. The University expects students to use discernment and wisdom in their behavior and decision-making during these periods. Significant or egregious violations of the lifestyle standards during these periods may result in an investigation and appropriate consequences.

We want to make it clear that the policies of the university are not intended to infringe upon parental direction. Therefore, students who are at their parent’s home are assumed to be a part of the family unit and under the direction of their parents. Situations where students are at their parent’s home and violate GFU policies without a parent being present may incur appropriate response from student life personnel.