Policy Against Unlawful Discrimination
Fuller Theological Seminary is committed to providing and modeling a learning, working, living, and community environment that is free of unlawful discrimination in all of its policies, practices, procedures, and programs. This commitment extends to the seminary’s administration of its educational policies, admissions, employment, educational programs, and activities. In keeping with this commitment, the seminary does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, military service status, veteran status, medical condition, disability, pregnancy, or age.
Fuller Theological Seminary also does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. The seminary does lawfully discriminate on the basis of sexual conduct that violates its biblically based Community Standard Statement on Sexual Standards. The seminary believes that sexual union must be reserved for marriage, which is the covenant union between one man and one woman. The seminary believes premarital, extramarital, and homosexual forms of explicit sexual conduct to be inconsistent with the teaching of Scripture. Therefore, the seminary expects members of its community to abstain from what it holds to be unbiblical sexual practices.
Fuller Theological Seminary also does lawfully discriminate on the basis of religion. The seminary is dedicated to the preparation of men and women for the manifold ministries of Christ and his Church. Under the authority of Scripture, the seminary seeks to fulfill its commitment to ministry through graduate education, professional development, and spiritual formation. In all of its activities, including instruction, nurture, worship, service, research, and publication, the seminary strives for excellence in the service of Jesus Christ, under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of the Father. As a religious employer, all teaching and management positions in the seminary are restricted to persons who will affirm in writing the Statement of Faith of Fuller Theological Seminary. These restricted positions are leadership positions, where adherence to the Christian beliefs, doctrines, and tenets affirmed by the seminary is a foundational part of the employee’s essential functions. These leadership positions involve representing and interpreting the mission and the objectives and activities of the seminary to other employees, students, and/or off-campus constituencies, as well as religious duties which are central to the Christian mission, Christian objectives, and Christian activities of the seminary. The seminary also reserves the right to seek, hire, retain, and promote individuals who support the mission and goals of the institution and whose conduct is consistent with its understanding of Scripture.
The ethical standards of Fuller Theological Seminary are guided by an understanding of Scripture and a commitment to its authority regarding all matters of Christian Faith and living. This understanding of Scripture and commitment to its authority directly relates not only to the seminary’s admission, educational, and employment policies, but also to the seminary’s core mission, values and identity. Since its establishment in 1947, the seminary has been an openly and pervasively sectarian Christian educational institution. The seminary’s Statement of Faith is the distinctive component of its Articles of Incorporation, which were originally filed in California in 1951. The Statement of Faith is the defining principle within the seminary’s governing bylaws and the unifying pillar supporting faculty governance. Under God and subject to biblical authority, the faculty, administrators/managers, and trustees bear concerted witness to the Statement of Faith, to which they subscribe, which they hold to be essential to their ministry, and which is the foundation upon which the seminary is based. As set forth in the seminary’s Doctrinal Perspective, the seminary stands for the fundamentals of the faith as taught in Holy Scripture and handed down by the Church. As set forth in the seminary’s Evangelical Commitment, the faculty, administrators/managers, trustees, and students of the seminary believe that Jesus Christ, as revealed in Holy Scripture and proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit, is the only ground for a person’s reconciliation with God. As set forth in the seminary’s Mission Beyond the Mission, faculty, administrators/managers, and trustees at the seminary see their role in the educational ministry of Fuller Theological Seminary as part of their larger ministry, which is common to all Christians, of serving Christ as obedient disciples in the church and in the world.
This policy against unlawful discrimination applies to all members of the seminary community, including students, faculty, administrators/managers, staff, and trustees. This policy is also one of the seven Statements of Community Standards applicable to all members of the Fuller community, and as such, adherence to it is a continuing condition of admission and employment.