Community Living Values
Our identity in Christ gives meaning and purpose to our existence. Knowing who we are as a Christ-centered university informs our behavior, guides our decisions, and provides a clear identity for our community. Community thrives when the needs of all are considered. It flourishes in a place where love for God and neighbor is cultivated and nurtured. It grows strong when members practice integrity, confession, and forgiveness; strive to live in reconciled relationships; accept responsibility for their actions and words; and submit to biblical instructions for communal life.
At APU, we are committed to modeling, teaching, and helping our students understand our evangelical Christian worldview. Our desire is to support students as they develop Christ-like maturity in their daily practices and choices. Our Community Living Values are derived from the tenets of our faith, which may be viewed as countercultural.
As we apply these values, we demonstrate respect for others who may hold beliefs contrary to ours, a readiness to listen carefully to those who represent perspectives unfamiliar to us, and a concern for how our actions might impact the lives of those around us. We believe our Community Living Values provide an important guide for the holistic development of our students during their journey at Azusa Pacific University.
We value discipleship. The word “disciple” (Greek: matheiteis) occurs 269 times in the New Testament, most often used in reference to followers of Jesus. As an extension of the Great Commission of Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20) and APU’s mission statement, we believe that discipleship and scholarship go hand-in-hand. As students learn about the world and cultivate the gifts that God has given them, they will gain valuable tools for a life of discipleship. Likewise, discipleship leads to curiosity about God and His creation that can invigorate one’s scholarship and holistic development.
Part of college student development and young adult spiritual formation is formulating and moving toward individual faith commitments, which can be both fulfilling and challenging. In addition to making the most of their experiences in chapel, in acts of service, and academically through faith-integration efforts, our desire is that students intentionally choose to pursue a deeper faith in Christ through commitments, disciplines, and efforts that make this decision central to their experience. Students are invited to demonstrate this desire to deepen faith in Christ through relational discipleship.
Since discipleship extends into every facet of life, it is our desire to help each student find relationships that can encourage and challenge them to grow in Christ and follow Him faithfully. These relationships may occur through formal programs or through friendships, and may involve peers and mentors such as faculty and staff. Discipleship experiences include scripture study and application, prayer, spiritual disciplines, support, challenge, service, and accountability. Opportunities for intentional relational discipleship are available across campus, and students are also encouraged to consider small groups and mentoring facilitated through the Office of the Campus Pastors.
Learn more about discipleship programs.
We value service. As one of APU’s Four Cornerstones, service is at the heart of our local and international outreach, missions, and service-learning endeavors. Our students often find these experiences to be among the most impactful of their lives.
The university desires to see the service experience connect to a deeper relationship with Christ, develop a greater sense of community, and model scholarship put into practice (Romans 12: 9-13). To this end, we strive to ensure that every student has intercultural experiences during their time at APU.
A student’s service may correlate with his or her academic coursework or it may be an opportunity to branch out of the classroom experience. Students’ involvement in ministry opportunities satisfies service credits toward their graduation requirement.
We value corporate worship. Chapel is an essential part of the APU student experience. Gathering together for a consistent rhythm of corporate worship builds our sense of community and creates the opportunity to grow together as disciples and scholars. Since we believe corporate worship is an integral part of a student’s spiritual formation in their co-curricular experience, chapel attendance is required for all full-time traditional undergraduate students.
Student Life is committed to providing corporate worship experiences that are biblical, relevant, diverse, and challenging. APU selects speakers and presenters who will communicate messages rooted in Scripture that shape and deepen our understanding of what it means to be Christ-followers in the world today. Presenters include our own staff and faculty, local church pastors, authors, speakers, and recording artists from around the world.
Although chapel is not a replacement for church, it is a place where we honor and worship the Lord Jesus Christ. Students are expected to be attentive and respectful participants during the chapel experience. Our prayer is that we are all transformed as a result of our corporate experiences together.
Learn more about chapel expectations, etiquette, and requirements.
We value diversity. As an evangelical Christian community of disciples and scholars, Azusa Pacific University approaches diversity from a biblical perspective, affirming that diversity is an expression of God’s image, love, and boundless creativity.
We believe that all people, without exception, bear the image of God (Genesis 1:27, 9:6; James 3:9). We also believe that, because sin has marred each individual, Christ, in His great love, chose to die on the cross for the sake of every person (I John 2:2; John 3:16) so that all may receive forgiveness for sin and be reconciled to God. Our pursuit of diversity involves fulfilling Christ’s command to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 19:19; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27).
We support a diverse university across lines of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, socioeconomic status, class, age, and ability. In submitting to the Lordship of Christ, we seek to eliminate attitudes of superiority and to fulfill Christ’s charge to reach all peoples. Therefore, we must submit to Christ and love one another as we appreciate individual uniqueness while pursuing the unity for which Jesus prayed (John 17:21).
With Christ as our example, we seek to create space for dialogue and engagement that allows people to feel safe and respected. Should concerns arise, our Student Life and Student Center for Reconciliation and Diversity teams offer resources to engage with and assist students. We also offer a Bias Reporting System that empowers students and community members to make reports and seek recourse if an intentional or unintentional act or disrespectful behavior occurs. This sets in motion a process of accountability, resolution, and reconciliation.
We value sexual stewardship. As an evangelical community of disciples and scholars who embrace the historic orthodox Christian understanding of Holy Scripture, Azusa Pacific University holds that sexuality is a gift from God. Therefore, we seek to cultivate a community in which sexuality is embraced as God-given and good, and where biblical standards of sexual behavior are upheld.
The APU community is committed to treating everyone with respect and Christ-like compassion. We are committed to applying uniform standards to all students in a nondiscriminatory fashion.
We believe that students are best supported if they are able to share their questions and concerns with trusted others and understand that concerns about sexuality may be difficult to disclose. In all such personal issues, we commit to discipling our students with discretion, sensitivity, discernment, grace, and truth so that as they steward their sexuality and expressions of intimacy, students make decisions based on historical biblical values.
We affirm a biblical foundation for sexual relationships in full accord with the APU’s Human Sexuality statement. We believe God designed the covenant of marriage and that individuals remain celibate outside of that marriage covenant.
The university does not condone illegal behavior, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual harassment, and stalking. Reports of such behavior will be addressed through APU’s Title IX office.
We value community care. As a dynamic and diverse community, we respect each other and address concerns or behaviors that may arise that are detrimental to the community. This requires intentionality in building relationships, ownership of one’s actions to promote well-being within the community, and bravery to address actions that harm the community.
APU students are respectful of the individual rights and freedoms of others within the APU community, including faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Further, whether living on or off campus, we have a responsibility to be good neighbors by caring for our surrounding communities. We recognize that our actions and choices impact ourselves and others. As we live out community care, we are reminded of the opportunity and privilege we have to be difference makers and positively impact our local and global communities.
If you are a student in academic or emotional distress, or know of a student who is, please complete an APU C.A.R.E.S. form.
We value integrity. Honesty and integrity are foundational within an academic institution, and are crucial for any community’s health. APU students are expected to conduct themselves in ways that reflect these values. Dishonesty in any form (including but not limited to: knowingly furnishing false information, omitting or withholding information, or intentional misrepresentation) negatively impacts both the individual and the community and will be addressed.
As a reminder, students should familiarize themselves with the university’s Academic Integrity Policy and Pledge, which reads as follows:
“As a student at this Christ-centered university, I will uphold the highest standards of academic integrity. I will not lie, cheat, or steal in my academic endeavors, nor will I accept the actions of those who do. I will conduct myself responsibly and honorably in all my academic activities as an Azusa Pacific University student.”
Learn more about APU’s Academic Integrity Policy.