Policy Against Sexual Harassment

The two great commandments are these: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart . . . soul . . . and mind” and, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37, 39). As man and woman are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), so in Christ there is neither male nor female (Gal. 3:28). Followers of Jesus are not to lord it over one another (Matt. 20:25-27), but are to be in mutual submission (Eph. 5:21). Christians manifest these truths by their mutual service and love in the Body of Christ.

Sexual harassment is a violation of Christ’s commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. It denies the image of God in the other, and it negates our oneness in Christ. Sexual harassment often involves an abuse of power. It invariably interferes with shared ministry and rends the Body of Christ.

With these things in mind, together with the realization that when one member suffers, all suffer together (1 Cor. 12:26), Fuller Theological Seminary establishes the following policy with regard to sexual harassment.

Fuller Theological Seminary expects that the dignity of all people, female and male, will be revered and celebrated in behavior, attitude, and the use of language by each member of the seminary community. This expectation is grounded in the belief that Scripture affirms mutuality and care for the other, explicitly forbids behavior which arises from the abuse of power, and teaches that men and women together are created in God’s image and for God’s glory. The seminary is therefore committed to creating and maintaining a community in which students, faculty, administrators/managers, and staff can study and work together in an atmosphere free of all forms of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation, including sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is a barrier to learning in the classroom and to productivity in the workplace. Faculty, administrators/managers, supervisors, staff, students, and trustees have the responsibility for participation in the creation of a campus environment free from sexual harassment, an environment that bears joyful witness to the God-given worth of all persons. Every member of the Fuller community should be aware that the seminary is strongly opposed to sexual harassment and that such behavior is prohibited both by seminary policy and by federal and state laws.

This policy against sexual harassment applies to all members of the seminary community, including students, faculty, administrators/managers, staff-level employees, and trustees. It also extends to the seminary’s agents, as well as to vendors, independent contractors, and others doing business with the seminary. 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 enrollment and employment.

Definition of Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct based on sex or of a sexual nature, up to and including sexual assault, constitute sexual harassment when one or more of the following apply:

1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of instruction, employment, or participation in other seminary activity;

2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making any academic or employment decision affecting that individual;

3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance or participation in instructional, employment-related, or other seminary activity; or

4. such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic or work environment from the standpoint of a reasonable person of the same sex as the individual affected.

Sexual harassment is conduct based on sex or of a sexual nature, whether directed toward a person of the opposite or same sex, and may include explicit sexual propositions, sexual innuendos, suggestive comments, sexually oriented "kidding" or "teasing," "practical jokes," displaying sexually explicit printed or visual material in the absence of a valid educational purpose, and physical contact such as patting, pinching, hugging, or brushing against another person's body. Both men and women may be victims of sexual harassment. One person may be sexually harassing another person and not be aware of it. For example, it is possible that joking and/or other related behavior based on sex or of a sexual nature may be unwelcome to another person and constitute sexual harassment, but the person who initiates the joking may not be aware of its impact on the other person.

See also Title IX: Policy Against Sexual Misconduct

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