Honor Code

The Honor Code provides guidance (and some boundaries) when living within the Oak Valley College community. Wherever and whenever possible issues dealing with behavior are met with an attitude of humility and grace. This is, after all, a Christian college, and colleges are places of instruction, learning, and maturation.

Oak Valley College is a unique environment built on a commitment to follow Christ. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:37-39) serves as the foundation of community. Community is born of Christian discipleship, strengthened when members -

  • live with integrity
  • practice confession, repentance, and forgiveness
  • live in reconciled relationships
  • accept responsibility for actions and words
  • submit to biblical instruction and authority

As members of the OVC community, we are not asked to be perfect (we all fall short), but to actively pursue integrity and growth, in dynamic relationships with the living God and with others in the community. Those in leadership at OVC are eager to serve by coming alongside you and offering support, accountability, and, when necessary, loving discipline, in order to help you grow. 

We are a community of Christians committed to the principles of Christian living found in the Bible. We hold that these biblical standards are vital to our relationship with God and one another.

Consistent with the example and command of Jesus Christ, we believe that life within a Christian community must be lived to the glory of God, with love for God and others.  As maturing Christians, we strive for the holiness of God (I Peter 1:13-19) and love Him with all our hearts, souls, and minds (Matthew 22:37). In addition, we are called to love our others as God loved us (Matthew 22:39; I John 4:7-11).  We will achieve this calling by walking by the power of the Holy Spirit, pursuing the fruit of the Spirit from our Lord, with one another (Galatians 5:22-24): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (e.g., Luke 10:27; Galatians 2:20, 5:14-24; Ephesians 2:3; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). 

As we strive to walk by the Spirit, “crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24), we seek to avoid sins forbidden in Scripture (Galatians 5:16-21; I Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 5:1-14).  Specifically, we are not to engage in activities that Scripture forbids or advocate positions inconsistent or contrary to these biblical standards. Such activities include, but are not limited to, dishonesty (Academic Honesty is outlined in the Catalog), thievery, fornication, adultery, violations of the law, drunkenness, unscriptural divorce, homosexual practice, and the destruction of innocent human life after conception through abortion on demand, covetousness, jealousy, pride, and lust—sins, which the maturing Christian should avoid.

When the Bible is not clear regarding a specific behavior, we will be guided by the desire to glorify God in our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and will discern if any of our brothers or sisters in Christ would stumble in their faith (1 Corinthians 8; Romans 14). If our Lord is not glorified or another Christian is harmed or offended by behavior, then we will freely abstain from that activity. We know that many behaviors are lawful, but not all are profitable (1 Corinthians 10:23-33). Therefore, we will constantly be teachable regarding those activities where the Bible is not clear and will evaluate them in light of our pursuit of holiness and love for our Lord and each other.

Given that we are at various ages, varying levels of Christian maturity, and have varying levels of understanding regarding Christian conduct in neutral areas, we may be able to practice liberties in good conscience, but we need to be conscious that some practices may cause others to stumble in their faith.  The principle that regulates conduct in neutral matters, therefore, applies:  glorify God by seeking the welfare of others. This is imitating the self-sacrificing example of Christ (I Corinthians 10:31-11:1).

Freedom of expression and speech are the hallmarks of a civil society, but individuals must also respect authority and take responsibility for a dialog that is respectful and God-honoring. Disruptive, antagonistic, or vulgar speech or actions, within or outside of class, are contrary to good moral conduct (Colossians 4:6).

SPECIFIC CONCERNS

Given current cultural norms in California and the United States, the College further affirms that God -

  • Creates humans in His image and that image is distinctly given to each individual, at birth, male or female. We believe that one's gender identity is based upon biological gender as defined by natural law and selection or adoption of another gender or identity is contrary to the College mission and teachings.
  • Instituted marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman. 
  • Intended sexual desire to be fulfilled only within the bonds of marriage and unmarried singles who abstain from sex can be whole and mature persons, pleasing to God.
  • Does not intend individuals to use mind-altering drugs (including marijuana) or consume excessive amounts of alcohol (binge-drinking or drinking to become intoxicated) because this may lead to immoral or dangerous behavior, ill health, and addiction.

These standards apply to all OVC programs.  We have chosen, freely and willingly, to associate with the OVC community and to accept and abide by these standards.  Any violation of these standards constitutes a breach of the Honor Code.

Admission may be refused or revoked for failure to affirm and conform to the Honor Code, stated guidelines and regulations governing student conduct, or to the expressed principles and policies outlined by OVC.

Action may be taken for violating the Honor Code regardless of how much time has passed since the violation. The Honor Code applies when enrolled in classes and during scheduled breaks, both on and off campus.  

Ultimately, we strive to follow Christian principles and standards at all times.

Adapted from Biola University