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Lifestyle Covenant

The mission of Northwest Nazarene University is the transformation of the whole person. Centered in Jesus Christ, the NNU education instills habits of heart, soul, mind and strength to enable each student to become God’s creative and redemptive agent in the world. This mission statement, combined with the University’s key values of transformation, truth, community and service, serves as the basis for the covenant agreement that all members of the University’s community seek to acknowledge in word and deed.

NNU's covenant is founded upon the prevailing truth in Scripture which outlines patterns for righteous living. Romans 12:1-8 reads, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." [Also see: 2 Cor. 5:11-6:1; Galatians 5:13-14, 6:1-10; Ephesians 4:1-17; Philippians 4:8-9}
 
At NNU, we recognize that not all members of our community come from the same background of beliefs and traditions, and with that welcome reality there can be an inherent difficulty in maintaining the delicate balance between our identity as a growing, diverse liberal arts university that is also committed to a lifestyle and mission that is founded upon and fully realized in the heart and character of Jesus Christ. 

In seeking that identity, we as a community join to commit ourselves to a life that is founded upon the beliefs, traditions, and practices of the Christian faith, and of the Church of the Nazarene in particular. We commit to this standard not out of legalism or blind commitment to the letter of the law; instead, we covenant together to create a community which values transformation, truth, community, and service while also seeking to maintain a vision by which we form scholars, nurture disciples, serve the church, shape our culture, and redeem our world.

To that end, we commit together to a set of principles that will best enable us to fulfill our mission:

We commit to lifestyle choices that promote clarity of thought and purpose and that maintain a positive witness. We choose to avoid the procurement, distribution, and/or use of alcohol as a beverage, tobacco, and illegal/unauthorized prescription drugs so that we might protect ourselves and others from the harmful effects and impaired judgment that inevitably result from substance abuse. We choose to avoid other potentially addictive behaviors that may result in the damaging of personal character and witness.

We commit to behavior and language that enhance and grow our personal character. We use our words to uplift and encourage one another. We choose to avoid any language or behavior that may be construed as harassment based upon gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or other defining identity traits. We choose to exclude from our conversations vulgar, obscene, or bullying language, and we strive to live lives free from lying, dishonesty, fraud, perjury, and any disruptive or offensive actions, whether spoken, written, or otherwise.

We commit to lives of sexual purity. Recognizing that we are beings made in the image of God, we seek to restrain ourselves from behaviors and actions that discredit or harm the inherent value we hold as beings gifted with sexual impulses and desires. We commit to live out and singularly promote the God-given gift of gender identity. With that in mind, we commit to a view of sex as being fully realized between male and female within the gift of the marriage covenant as defined by the church. Married students commit to being faithful within their marriage covenant and to avoid any sexual behavior outside that covenant relationship. We avoid any public displays of affection between individuals that might be deemed inappropriate and not in keeping with the heart of this covenant. We commit to avoid the use and/or distribution of pornographic materials, criminal sexual behavior, and any sexual contact outside of heterosexual marriage. 

We commit ourselves to use appropriate discretion in the use of our time and in our entertainment choices. Recognizing that our digital age has brought all manner of media to our fingertips, we commit together to making entertainment choices that enhance our character and will not damage our ability to be effective emissaries of our mission. We commit to behavior in the digital world that is representative of our behavior in the physical world, and so we avoid illegal tampering with the technology of others and their privacy, as well as avoiding use of the internet to harass, bully, defame or expose the private information of others. We know that this choice is made both in public and in the privacy of our own rooms, and commit to taking the necessary steps to removing any hindrance to professional and personal growth.

We commit to upstanding behavior in every environment, be that the residence hall, the classroom, the sanctuary, or out in our community. We exemplify this commitment by paying attention to appropriateness and neatness of dress, our bodily hygiene, and to language and behavior as outlined above. 

We commit to the safety and wellbeing of all members of our campus community. We commit to exclude from campus possession of weapons of any kind, ammunition, explosive devices, flammable materials and any other objects that may cause bodily harm as outlined in the Residential Life Covenant. We also commit to treating one another with respect and to building our community upon trust and love, and so choose to avoid any hazardous activities, hazing or pranks which create safety and health (physical, mental, emotional) concerns. 

As in any community in which high standards are the norm, we recognize that some of us may at times fail to meet these goals and potentially require further consequences as a result. As an extension of the ministry of reconciliation as described in Scripture, we are committed to addressing these missteps as outlined in the Student Policy Manual, and to finding a solution which brings all parties into right relationship and back into step with the mission and character of NNU.

This lifestyle covenant sets forth the philosophies and commitments under which we live, but is not exhaustive as to behaviors which might result in discipline under University policies.  To see complete policies concerning discipline procedures and behaviors which might result in discipline, view our complete policy regarding student discipline and appeals.