Free PDF Guide by Kerry Olson
BGU is a university uniquely placed in the middle of a storied missional community. Central to the teaching within this community has been the message of the cross; that the complete and perfect work of Christ’s death and resurrection empowers every believer to overcome sin and walk in holiness through absolute surrender to Christ’s lordship (Romans 6:1-14). We are counted righteous in God’s sight only by the application of his grace to our lives, grace that comes through the finished work of the cross, apart from our works (Ephesians 2:9-10; Titus 3:4-7). This grace also empowers us to walk in holiness before him and in sacrificial love toward one another in community (Colossians 3:12-17). The BGU community also values the concept of community, recognizing that the pursuit of the good of others is evidence of a life lived for God. The BGU Lifestyle Commitment is not to be seen as the standard of holiness, but instead as a guardrail within which the Holy Spirit will be able to mold us into the image of Christ without hindrance, and as a map for engaging healthy relationships within the community.
BGU students are committed to embrace a lifestyle of integrity, which includes an internal commitment both to live righteously and to quickly confess and repent of areas of sin. Those who embrace integrity desire to bring any sin, whether publicly known or secretly hidden, into the light, maintaining unhindered fellowship with God and with those in their community. We do not expect perfection of anyone, but rather a fervent pursuit of holiness and quick confession and repentance toward any areas of failure.
BGU students commit to abstain from alcohol, tobacco products, gambling, and drugs that are not sold over the counter or prescribed by their doctor. Students should be open with university leadership about past addictions in any of these areas and commit to openness and accountability in these areas while at BGU.
BGU students are committed to live by the biblical standard of sexual purity ordained by God and affirmed by Jesus Christ, which excludes all sexual activity outside of the marriage covenant between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Ephesians 5:31; Hebrews 13:4). The commitment to purity includes fleeing actions such as viewing pornography, masturbation, and extramarital sex, as well as a commitment to reject lustful thoughts (2 Timothy 2:22).
BGU students affirm that gender is intentionally created and designated by God at birth, and is not a matter of human free will; thus, gender self-designation will not be recognized at BGU. Every student is required to use dormitories and restrooms according to their birth-assigned biological gender, as well as to pursue romantic relationships only with the opposite gender. See Bethany International Position Statement on Religious Freedom and Human Sexuality.
BGU students celebrate media as an incredible resource for the furthering of the Kingdom of God, for learning, and for enjoyment, but also recognize that it can quickly become a conduit of unhealthy and harmful content. Media used for entertainment should be used as a means of building community, not as a means of escape or isolation. R-rated movies viewed on campus should be chosen by the approved R-rated movies list or approved by the student’s mentor or dean, and all media viewed should be glorifying to God and edifying to those watching.
BGU students have chosen freely and of their own accord to embrace this lifestyle commitment. Because each BGU student has voluntarily chosen to be a part of the Bethany community and abide by this lifestyle commitment, any violation of these standards will be considered a compromise of integrity. By agreeing to this lifestyle commitment, students agree to the guidance of BGU leaders in dealing with the consequences of any violation.
BGU reserves the right to dismiss any student who does not abide by the lifestyle commitment. Action may be taken concerning any student regardless of the amount of time since a particular violation occurred. The university may also take disciplinary action concerning students awaiting degrees or students who have withdrawn from the university while a disciplinary matter is pending.
The BGU Lifestyle Commitment applies to all students:
- while enrolled in classes during the fall, spring, or summer semester.
- during any break when students are not checked out of their rooms, including Thanksgiving Break, Christmas Break, Spring Break, and Summer Break.
- while representing BGU in any off-campus event or function, such as short-term mission trips, required school events, weekly outreach, and Global Internship.
- while not enrolled in classes but still living on campus or not checked out of their room.
Outside of these specific times, BGU students are still expected to conduct their lives in ways which demonstrate a commitment to pursue and model righteousness.