1. Student Association
Every full-time student at the Seminary is a member of the Student Association. Working through elected representatives, the association serves as the governing unit of the student body. It provides a framework that allows student initiative and energy to make the most constructive contribution possible for developing and sustaining the Seminary as a community of faith and learning.
The association’s objectives are:
To govern its members and component organizations by Christian principles and common sense
To regulate matters pertaining to the student life of its members that do not fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Seminary administration, faculty and staff
To further in every way the Christian unity among the community of the Seminary
To hold office in the association, a student must maintain a satisfactory academic record (minimum grade-point average of 2.5). Association office voting positions include president, vice president, spiritual life chairman and six representatives of each program.
The association meets monthly and calls regular meetings of the student body to conduct and carry out its business. The association also sponsors several events throughout the year for the Seminary community.
2. Placement Assistance Program (PAP)
As GCS students, you have access to the valuable PAP at no cost to you. PAP personal advocates will work with you and your household family members to help you resolve issues you may be facing, connect you with the right place, direct you to a variety of helpful resources in your community, and more.
3. A Conduct Policy
The University encourages and respects diversity within the university community and does not allow discrimination on the basis of age, race, national origin, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law in any activity or operation of the institution.
The University affirms its dedication to foster a community that condemns all forms of discrimination or acts of intolerance including sexual harassment, intimidation and retaliation.
Confidentiality of faculty, staff, and patient and student records is respected and maintained in accordance with University policies and procedures, federal laws and state regulations. We use such records for legitimate purposes only and in accordance with proper authorization.
Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition. Plagiarism may be intentional or reckless, or unintentional. Under the regulations for examinations, intentional or reckless plagiarism is a disciplinary offense.
Potential Consequences for Violations and the Policy of Restoration
The following is a non-exhaustive list of potential consequences for behavioral misconduct and violations to the Student Code of Conduct. Depending upon the misconduct, more than one sanction may be required.
Disciplinary Warning - written and/or verbal notice to a student for violation of a campus rule or regulation. Restitution - Reimbursement for actual damage or loss caused by violations to the Student Code of Conduct.
Educational Sanctions - educational sanctions could be an activity, meeting, writing assignment, community service project, letter of apology, or other experiential activity that students may be assigned to complete as part of the adjudication of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Conditions may be specific for the completion of the assignment and will be assigned by the Student Conduct Officer.
Disciplinary Limitation - in some cases a violation of the Student Code of Conduct could result in a student being restricted from participating in certain campus events, student organizations, or entering certain campus facilities.
Disciplinary Probation - a student is placed on disciplinary probation for a specified amount of time. Students holding campus leadership positions who are placed on disciplinary probation may also be removed from that position if recommended by the Student Conduct Officer. Disciplinary probation may carry over into subsequent semesters and academic years. As a part of the probationary status, conditions to a student's probation (i.e., restitution, community service, required assessments, etc.) may be established. A student who violates additional campus policies while on disciplinary probation will likely appear before a Student Conduct Officer and will face a full range of disciplinary actions including suspension or dismissal.
Disciplinary Suspension - a disciplinary suspension results in the separation of a student from the College for a specified time period, usually no more than two (2) years. Other conditions may also be stipulated for a student's readmission. The suspension applies to all programs, unless otherwise noted.
Disciplinary Dismissal - a disciplinary dismissal results in the permanent separation of a student from the College. Dismissal applies to all programs and locations.
Interim Suspension - the Dean for Student Affairs, or designee may, suspend, without prior notice, any student whose behavior presents a perceived or actual imminent risk to the life, health, welfare, safety or property of any member of the College community.
Revocation of Admission - admission to the Seminary may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of standards or policies, or for other serious violations committed by an individual following admission to the College but prior to matriculation at the seminary.
*When the disciplinary period is finished, Student Affairs meet the disciplined student and interviewed with him or her regarding her or his behaviors. After the suspension period has been served the student should contact Student Affairs for directions regarding the possibility of re-enrollment. A student returning from a disciplinary suspension will be placed on disciplinary probation for one (1) year.
4. Complaint/Grievance Procedure
Students may resolve their complaint informally by approaching the faculty or staff member directly involved in the complaint incident. This will need to occur within Five (5) business days from the date of the incident. If the student does not believe the incident is resolved to the student’s satisfaction, he or she may proceed to the formal complaint as described below.
If the complaints are not resolved, they should be brought to the attention of the Director of Student Affairs.
Within fifteen (15) business days of the incident, the student must file a written grievance in the Office of Students Affairs or the Office of Academic Affairs.
If the complaints are against the Director of Student Affairs or the Director of Academic Affairs, the student shall file the grievance in the Office of the President.
The Director of Student Affairs or the Director of Academic Affairs will investigate the matter and supply a written response to the student within 7 business days.
Finally, if the students are still dissatisfied, they may appeal either to the President or to the Academic Standing Faculty Committee. Bu t when a decision being made is not just and fair, in the opinion of the complainant, he or she may make a final appeal to the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (GNPEC) at the following address:
GEORGIA NONPUBLIC POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION COMMISSION
2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220
Tucker, GA 30084-5305
1) SIGNIFICANT ISSUES IN PLACEMENT
Placement is the task of assisting candidates and ministries in search of the right ministry match for both the church and the candidate. Pastoral placement is a vital aspect of church life since the office of pastor is the most significant and influential position in a local church. Charles Spurgeon said that the church with an empty pulpit faces its time of greatest danger. Wesley Johnson concluded "[I]t has become evident that the effectiveness and the tenure of a pastor is directly related to the procedure of calling a pastor."1
2) CHURCH POLITY AND PLACEMENT
A large number of local churches operate under the “Congregational Government”
model. These churches have employed the candidating method for pastoral placement. Typically, pastorless churches form a pulpit committee to seek candidates. After a candidate has completed the steps required by the local church, he is presented to the congregation for a formal vote.
A significant trend in church polity is “Elder Rule,” in which the multiplicity of elders is seen as the biblical model. In this model elders are given leadership of the church. In elder-rule churches, placement decisions are the domain of the governing elders.
Vocational staff may be chosen and placed by the elders without congregational
endorsement or vote.
3) CHALLENGES AND PROBLEMS IN PLACEMENT
Survey Data from Churches, Pastors, and Placement Professionals2
• A vast over-supply of pastors for available pulpits
• Pastor/church mismatches are epidemic in proportion
• Forced terminations are a serious problem
• Placement professionals are pessimistic about placement trends
• Bible colleges and seminaries are able to successfully place only fifty percent of the
applicants seeking ministry placement
• Discouraged ministers are leaving the ministry because of placement delays
• The placement process is in need of serious modification
• There is no known theology of placement
4) PASTORAL TENURE
Rob Green documented the phenomenon of short pastoral tenure:
According to recent statistics, there is significant turnover of clergy within
evangelical circles. George Barna reports that clergy move every four years. Ten
years after the Barna study, Thomas Rainer, in his book Surprising Insights from the
Unchurched, concluded, “Our surveys of pastors across America indicate the
average tenure of a pastor to be 3.8 years.” Joseph Miller argues, “Most pastorates
last two to three years.” Regardless of the exact figures, it is clear that many
churches face the possibility of looking for a new pastor, and pastors look for a new
church on a fairly regular basis. Research suggests that the negative impact caused
by pastoral turnover is devastating to all parties involved. 3
5) DEFICIENCY IN SEARCH COMMITTEES
In a survey of 515 Independent Baptist pastors, Robert Ratzliff reported that only thirtytwo pastors said that church boards know in an unqualified sense what they are doing
and are asking the right questions.4
6) PLACEMENT DELAYS
Well-qualified candidates with respectable résumés find placement delay a common experience. The imbalance between the candidate's difficulty and the church's is striking. National offices for two of the largest Independent church groups report that it takes two to four times longer for a candidate to secure placement than it takes a church to call a pastor.5
7. CHURCH PROBLEMS
Wesley Johnson writes, “At least fifty percent of all churches are vacant because the
pastor left under troublesome conditions.”6 Further, “Six of every ten pastors leave under some kind of stress.” 7 Forty-four percent of the pastors he surveyed reported that church trouble was the cause of their leaving.8 Sixty-six percent of pastors from the Great Lakes District of the Evangelical Free Church left because of trouble.9
Rob Green said that Lloyd Rediger’s volume Clergy Killers marshaled evidence that many pastors leave churches because their congregations made their ministry miserable. Approximately twenty-three percent of pastors say they have been fired at least once and forty-three percent said a faction forced them out. This is made worse by the fact that “clergy killers” are small in number. They are identified by their aggressive and determined effort to injure or destroy pastors.10 Rediger iterated, “There is little concern at leadership levels for the devastation the ‘clergy-killer’ phenomenon is causing to the mission and spiritual energy of churches and pastors, and to the personal lives of pastors and their families.“11
8) PASTORAL QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPECTATIONS
Gerald Gillaspie, in his respected volume The Restless Pastor, stated that churches today desire their pastors to have seminary training and that laymen want their ministers to be informed about life, about the institutions, resources, and distinctive problems of community life.12 Wesley Johnson emphasized that churches expect personal integrity, personal heart, ability to preach, ability to counsel, the establishment of a successful track record, ability to love people, and spiritual maturity.13 One of the emerging needs for candidates and churches is the formal statement of a philosophy of ministry which expresses the what, why, and how of ministry. The statement should affirm orthodoxy, distinctive doctrines, contemporary theological and ecclesiastical issues, and one’s view of leadership(from Placement Handbook 2017, Shepherds Theological Seminary)