CSU’s Student Handbook
Our Community Commitment
Clarks Summit University aspires to be a learning community of believers dedicated to biblical higher education, who love and serve God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and who love their neighbor as themselves. Clarks Summit University serves students by guiding them to think and act biblically and to live in community with other believers. In this way, Clarks Summit University prepares students to serve Jesus Christ in a variety of ministries and careers.
The following four biblical principles are the foundation for all student life at Clarks Summit University.
As a redeemed image bearer who loves God with all of my being, I commit to give the Lord Jesus Christ pre-eminence in every area of life by seeking an intimate, personal relationship with him and striving for professional competence in my chosen profession for the glory of God. I promise to worship, work, study and play with all of my might for the glory of God.
Matthew 22:37-40, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 1:18, 3:23-24, John 17:20-23
Seek After God
We acknowledge that loving God cannot be coerced; therefore Clarks Summit University looks to provide students with a variety of opportunities to seek after God:
Chapel is an opportunity for the Clarks Summit University family to join together in prayer, worship, spiritual instruction, information and small group ministry to encourage us to Christlikeness.
All undergraduate students enrolled in seven or more credits are required to attend chapel on time. Three tardies are considered an absence. Students will be marked absent if they arrive after attendance has been put away, leave before the speaker is finished, or are disruptive or inattentive (studying, sleeping, talking, texting, gaming, etc.). Students are allowed a limited number of chapel absences within the semester for any reason including, but not limited to, sickness, personal needs, family emergencies and field trips. It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of his or her chapel absences. For any additional absences, students will be fined the following:
- One: $15
- Two: $40 and meeting with an OSD staff member
- Three: $80 and meeting with an Associate Dean
- Four: Additional $40 each and a review by the Dean of Students for corrective action
Students who demonstrate a pattern of disregard for chapel may be dismissed or asked not to return.
There will be opportunities within the context of residence hall life to study Scripture, pray and encourage one another.
Church involvement is an opportunity to practice the New Testament admonition for worship, fellowship, edification and evangelism. Clarks Summit University views each student’s faithful participation in the body of a local church as a crucial element of preparation for future life and ministry. Students who neglect consistent church involvement will be required to meet with the Associate Dean. Students who demonstrate a pattern of disregard for church attendance may be dismissed or asked not to return.
Ministry is comprehensively serving the physical, emotional, mental, financial and vocational needs of others in Christ’s name. Ministry Development exists to cultivate a desire within students to identify ministry opportunities and serve unselfishly.
Clarks Summit University encourages students to develop a walk with God through personal Bible study and prayer that is lived out in community.
Seek to Work Hard
Clarks Summit University acknowledges that a love for God must be demonstrated through a biblical work ethic applied to every area of life. We expect students to be characterized by a godly testimony, integrity, discipline, servanthood, sportsmanship and the pursuit of excellence in such areas as work, athletics, the arts and studies.
Seek Professional Competence
Clarks Summit University encourages students to show a love for God through the pursuit of excellence in their chosen field. We value academic achievement displayed by degree completion, certification, licensure and appropriate credentials.
Love Your Neighbor
As a redeemed image bearer who loves my neighbor as Christ loved me, I promise to yield my rights for the sake of others, to refuse to be a stumbling block in another’s way, to consider others before myself and to live a life of personal sacrifice for the good of others and for the glory of God.
Romans 13:9-10, 15:1, 14:13, 12:10, 15:3, 15:6
Love as Christ
I will treat you the way Christ treats me
Clarks Summit University teaches the principle of living in light of the work of Christ on our behalf. Therefore, loving the way that He has loved us and commanded us to love is the most natural response. Loving as Christ loved includes submission to every human authority for the sake of, in the fear of and as though it was Christ.
Yield My Rights
I will choose your benefit over my rights
Clarks Summit University teaches the principle of giving up our rights for the sake of others. This way of life is central to the living and preaching of the gospel as taught and demonstrated by Christ and the apostles.
Don’t Be a Stumbling Block to Others
I will not hurt you
Clarks Summit University teaches the principle of refusing to be a stumbling block in the way of a brother or sister in Christ. In this way we do not use our freedom as an opportunity for the flesh.
Consider Others Before Self
I will not live selfishly
Clarks Summit University teaches the principle of letting the mind of Christ be our mindset as well. This attitude promotes the unity of the body of Christ rather than discord among believers. It also promotes the practice of deference and honoring of others that is the demonstration of true Christian love in the world.
Live a Life of Personal Sacrifice
I will do what is necessary for your growth in Christ
Clarks Summit University teaches the principle of self-sacrifice for the sake of Christ, the gospel and others that characterizes true followers of Christ. This is a defining characteristic of our graduates around the world, and it is our desire that it continue to be for years to come.
Live In Community
As a redeemed image bearer who loves my neighbor as Christ loved me, I promise to live, learn and grow together in the Clarks Summit University community in such a way as to perpetuate the unity and growth of the body of Christ, and to advance the Great Commission for the glory of God.
Ephesians 4:2-3, 13, 15-16, 3:6-11, Matthew 28:18-20
Living in community is an opportunity to demonstrate love, servanthood, sacrifice, consideration and respect for others.
Clarks Summit University has separate housing for men and women. The middle floor lounge of any residence hall is available for coed socializing at designated times. However, persons of the opposite gender are not allowed in the suites or rooms at any time.
All single students under the age of 23 are required to live on campus unless granted a special exemption by the Associate Deans. Undergraduate students over the age of 25 are not permitted to live in the Residence Halls. Guests Permission for guests to stay in residence halls (including alumni) must be requested at least 24 hours in advance from the Office for Student Development (OSD), and a fee for accommodations will be collected at that time.
Guests are limited to three-night visits, must be between 13 and 24 years old and are expected to abide by the Clarks Summit University community standards. Students are directly responsible for the actions of their guests while they are staying on campus. Generally, guests are not allowed to stay in residence halls during the first and last weeks of the semester.
Special Housing Needs
Clarks Summit University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Students needing special housing accommodations should contact the OSD.
In consideration of others who are sleeping, students are to limit noise in the dorm between 11:30 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. (Mon.-Thurs. nights) and 1:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m. (Fri.-Sun. nights). However, general courtesy should be exercised at all times so noise does not interfere with the rights of others. The volume of music, computer games or other activity should be quiet enough so that it cannot be heard by others when your door is closed.
No pets other than fish are allowed in residence halls. Aquarium size is limited to five gallons.
Stewardship of Property
We ask each resident student to diligently follow these community guidelines established for the purposes of good stewardship of our facilities and for the safety, security and good living conditions of our students:
- Students are expected to maintain a clean and orderly room.
- Students will participate in rotating cleaning responsibilities of the public areas and shared facilities of their dorm.
- Students will be held responsible for actions resulting in damage beyond normal use or destruction of campus or another student’s property.
Travel and Sign Out
As a means of showing care and providing accountability for students, Clarks Summit University has established the following guidelines:
- Student travel is prohibited during Bible Conference, Global Ministries Conference and Days of Prayer. Any exceptions must go through the deans.
- Students should be in their residence hall from 10:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., Mon.-Thurs. After 10:30 p.m., students may sign out from their dorm until midnight.
- Students should be in their residence hall from midnight to 6:00 a.m., Fri.-Sun. On any night of the week, students who desire to be out past midnight or before 6 a.m. must get permission from their RD in advance.
- Students may sign out to visit another dorm after 10:30 p.m. until midnight as long as they have notified their RD and the RD in the dorm they are visiting.
Students are expected to exercise discernment in this area. Failure to do so may result in this privilege being revoked.
Clarks Summit University desires students to dress in a manner consistent with biblical principles of modesty. The specific guidelines included below are shaped by biblical principles, community preferences, and cultural expectations in terms of appropriateness and professionalism.
- Clothing should not be excessively short, tight, or revealing. The following list is a non-exhaustive set of examples to guide students as they consider appropriate dress at Clarks Summit University:
- Tops should not be low-cut or tight-fitting
- Midriff, underwear and buttocks should not show
- Sweatpants should not be tight-fitting
- Shorts should be mid-thigh length or longer
- Skirts and dresses should be to the top of the knee
- Clothing with holes should not reveal skin that is normally covered by shorts
- Clothing should be gender appropriate.
- Clothing should not have slogans that are inconsistent with Clarks Summit University values.
- Students wearing Spandex for exercise should have loose-fitting shirts and shorts over top.
- Pajama pants are only to be worn in the dorms.
- Shoes must be worn in all buildings at all times (except dorms).
- Hairstyles and fashion should be kept neat and clean.
- Students are expected to remove hoods and earphones or earbuds before entering class or chapel.
- Students will be expected to wear business professional dress on designated days.
In addition, our campus culture supports the professional development of students and allows faculty to communicate additional dress guidelines for classes that are consistent with the course objectives.
Clarks Summit University issues each student a photo identification card. This card is the property of Clarks Summit University. A photo ID card is for the personal use of the student to whom it was issued. Any misuse of the card, altering of the card or permitting another student to use the card will result in discipline. Students must have a functioning Clarks Summit University ID card at all times. Replacement cards can be requested and purchased through osd@ClarksSummitU.edu.
Clarks Summit University recognizes that appropriate styles of dance can be a valuable part of art, worship, choreography, celebration, exercise and family events. However, many forms of dancing in today’s culture are sensual and inappropriate, undermining that which promotes godliness. Participation in dance that is sexually provocative, occurs in unhealthy environments and does not reflect a pure and godly lifestyle is prohibited. Clarks Summit University does not sponsor or promote dance socials or lessons.
Clarks Summit University values the sanctity and permanence of marriage as well as its importance as a family event. Therefore, engaged students are encouraged to involve their parents and obtain premarital counseling. Students desiring to get married during the school year are required to obtain premarital counseling.
Clarks Summit University recognizes the significant and strategic role that sexual purity plays in the spiritual maturity of our students. Scripture refers to the issue of purity from sexual immorality as a matter of doing the will of God and pleasing God (I Thessalonians 4:1-8). Therefore, Clarks Summit University provides guidance in the following ways:
- Students, regardless of their relationship status, must strive for moral and sexual purity in body and mind (I John 3:3).
- Physical displays of affection such as holding hands, kissing or any inappropriate physical contact is not acceptable.
- Students, regardless of gender, should not spend time together alone in a private place or location where there is not a healthy level of accountability. Clarks Summit University defines accountability as not simply having “supervision” or a “chaperone,” but the application of the biblical principle “do not make provision for the flesh” (Romans 13:14).
- Students are not to engage in and maintain same-sex romantic or sexual relationships.
- Students are not to share the same bed.
- Students are not permitted to spend the night in an off-campus location, regardless of gender and the number of students involved, without a healthy level of accountability, regardless of the number of students involved (see travel and sign out policies).
- Students are prohibited from accessing pornographic or obscene material or creating links to such sites.
- Clarks Summit University will not support persistent or conspicuous examples of cross-dressing or other actions that are deliberately discordant with birth gender, and will deal with such matters within the biblical counseling and judicial processes of the institution.
Drugs and Alcohol
The use and misuse of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs places college students at risk for the problems often associated with their use. College students in particular often find their judgment impaired, which results in engaging in illegal and/or high risk behaviors such as hazing, date rape, driving under the influence, injuries and fatal accidents. The following biblical principles are applied in our understanding and policies regarding alcohol and the use of drugs:
- Most of our undergraduate students are under the legal drinking age. For them, it is not only unwise, but it is also against the law (2 Peter 2:13-17).
- The Old and New Testaments teach leaders to avoid the use and abuse of alcohol (Leviticus 10:9; Numbers 6:3; Proverbs 31:4; 1Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7).
- While many things are lawful, they are not all beneficial, and therefore not consistent with a life characterized by spiritual maturity (1 Corinthians 6:12; 1 Peter 4:3).
- These things impair a person’s ability to make good decisions regarding sex, rendering them more prone to sexual immorality (Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:19-21).
- Impairment of the mind and body through drugs and alcohol decreases our ability to exercise self-control (1 Thessalonians 5:7-8).
- While what we take into our bodies (eating and drinking) is a topic of disagreement among believers, there are biblical principles that must guide us. They are as follows:
- Living for the Lord and not for ourselves (Romans 14:7-8).
- Refusing to put a stumbling block in a brother’s way (Romans 14:13).
- Exercising care in what we approve (Romans 14:22).
- Thinking and acting for the edification of others (Romans 15:2).
We desire a healthy living and learning environment for our students and seek to comply with the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. Therefore the following policies will be enforced:
- Students are not allowed to use, purchase or possess alcoholic beverages, tobacco and nicotine products, e-cigarettes, marijuana or any illegal drug, on or off campus. This includes the occurrences of self-medication and recreational use of marijuana, prescription medications or newer synthetic drugs in both their legal and illegal uses.
- Students are notified of the significant health risks associated with improper use of substances, including those mentioned above. These risks include, but are not limited to, physical and mental dependency, damage to vital organs and, in some cases, death.
- In addition to college prohibitions, state and federal law prohibits the unlawful sale, use or possession of drugs and alcohol. Legal penalties may include fines and/or imprisonment. Students are also reminded that underage drinking is a violation of federal law. Students who engage in underage drinking may be subject to legal sanctions in addition to college penalties.
- Students who struggle with drug and alcohol use may obtain counseling from the OSD and/or the on-campus Foundations Christian Counseling Center.
- Students may not attend bars or clubs where alcohol, tobacco or marijuana is the primary feature.
Clarks Summit University reserves the right to administer drug tests to any student without warning at any time. Refusal to comply is considered an admission of guilt and may result in dismissal.
Participation in gambling and other forms of betting is prohibited.
Clarks Summit University provides support services designed to enhance the academic program and care for the physical and emotional well-being of students. Students are expected to comply with the requests and instructions of security officers at all times.
Safety and Security
- Students who own, use or park a vehicle on campus must pay to register it with Safety & Security each year.
- Students may not advertise the sale of vehicles or store disabled vehicles on campus.
- Students are responsible for the security of their personal belongings. Dorm room keys are available upon request from the Resident Director.
- Students may not possess fireworks on campus.
- Students may not possess weapons of any kind on campus. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Knives with blades over four inches in length
- Bows, crossbows
- BB guns, airsoft guns, blow guns, paintball guns
- Wrist rocket slingshots
The OSD seeks to assist students in finding a person with whom they feel comfortable meeting for counseling and mentoring. Professional counseling services are also available through the on-campus Foundations Christian Counseling Center.
Career Services can help students become familiar with their strengths and abilities through career and personality testing. They can assist students with selecting an academic program that will allow them to use those skills in practical ministry. Cover letter, resume and interview preparation help is available, as well as job placement services.
Learning Support Services
Clarks Summit University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The purpose of accommodations is to provide equal access to educational opportunities to students with disabilities. Academic standards are not lowered, nor are essential elements of programs changed.
The Campus Post Office offers USPS, UPS and FedEx services for the convenience of our students. Each student will be assigned a mailbox and key. Replacement keys can be requested and purchased through the mailroom.
As a learning community dedicated to biblical higher education, Clarks Summit University strengthens the church of God and influences society by cultivating an environment that promotes academic excellence and Christlikeness. Students are challenged to pursue biblical truth and wisdom, to embrace a Christian worldview and to develop professional competence and relational skills. For additional information on academic policies, see the current university catalog.
All members of the Clarks Summit University community share the responsibility of upholding the principles of the Clarks Summit University community commitment. We ask that each member of the Clarks Summit University community work diligently to support and enforce this sacred trust between us.
Students Voluntarily Seeking Help
Because grace is so important to the Christian community, we encourage students to voluntarily seek help for any personal problems, including those that involve violation of community standards. When a student voluntarily confesses to an action of which the university has no prior knowledge, they can obtain confidential support from the counseling service staff or a willing faculty or staff member. Counselors, faculty or staff are not obligated or expected to share this information. In order to allow for grace and restoration, information about the student’s behavior will not necessarily result in disciplinary action. However, confidentiality cannot be promised in situations where the behavior poses a threat to the student or others or is in violation of the law. Students seeking help should:
- Cease all involvement in the activity that violates community standards.
- Take the necessary steps for restoration as determined by faculty, staff or counselors.
- Be aware that seeking counsel from a faculty or a staff member does not void an investigation or discipline that may occur from information received from other sources.
- Understand that their voluntary act of repentance and acts of restoration will be taken into account if disciplinary steps are necessary.
The Clarks Summit University Judicial system seeks to be redemptive and restore students to a good standing before Christ and in the Clarks Summit University community. However, punitive measures may be used to enforce community standards and policies. The OSD is not required to impose the same discipline in all situations involving the same offense. Clarks Summit University reserves the right to instruct, correct, discipline or dismiss students whose conduct it deems does not conform to university standards and the Community Commitment—including those not specifically addressed in this handbook.
Clarks Summit University utilizes a notification system (points) to reinforce community standards. Students may appeal any point with their RD within 48 hours of receiving the notification. The accumulation of points results in the following actions:
- Three: $10
- Four: $25
- Five: $45 and J-Board
- Six: $70 and second J-Board
- Seven: $100 and Student Affairs Board
Students may appeal any point with their RD within 48 hours of receiving the notification.
J-Boards are made up of the dorm president and vice president and one member from each floor. J-Boards are formed for the purpose of providing resident students with an opportunity for self-government and peer review. J-Boards seek restoration and correction of students in violation of community standards. Students may appeal J-Board decisions to the Student Affairs Board (SAB) for further review.
Student Affairs Board
The SAB consists of the OSD deans, two faculty members, the president and vice president of the Student Leadership Council (SLC) and four upperclassmen elected by the SLC. This board meets to handle more serious disciplinary situations and to consult about student-related issues. Students may appeal decisions of the SAB to the Dean of Students.
Clarks Summit University reserves the right to dismiss or deny the enrollment of those whose behavior or influence upon our community should prove to be contrary to the best interests of our students, the Clarks Summit University Community Commitment and to our Lord Jesus Christ. The dismissal of a student occurs at the discretion of the Dean of Students. Students who are dismissed are not permitted to return to campus for the remainder of the school year. Subsequent visits must be approved by the deans. Dismissal may be without the benefit of refund.
Clarks Summit University recognizes the God-given responsibility of parents and seeks to involve them, whenever possible, in the disciplinary process. Students are encouraged to keep their parents informed regarding all aspects of their Clarks Summit University experience, especially disciplinary action. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides guidelines for releasing any information that is included in a student’s educational record, including records of discipline. Access to educational records is limited unless the student has signed a form consenting to the release of his or her educational records. However, Clarks Summit University is permitted to notify parents concerning:
- Medical or mental health emergencies
- Discontinuation, extended absence, or dismissal
- Violation of a Clarks Summit University drug or alcohol policy
Clarks Summit University considers the behavior described in the following sub-sections as in opposition to the Community Commitment set forth in this document as well as in violation of local, state and/or federal laws; and for both reasons therefore, not permitted. These behavioral expectations apply to all students, on campus or online. Clarks Summit University encourages community members to report to University officials all incidents that involve the following actions:
Any student to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to (but not limited to) legal consequences, as well as institutional sanctions such as fines, suspensions and/or dismissal.
Violations of Integrity
- Academic Dishonesty
- Unauthorized Access
- Violations of Trust
- Election Tampering
- Taking of Property
- Stolen Property
Violations of Community
- Disruptive Behavior
- Unauthorized Entry
- Damage and Destruction
- IT and Acceptable Use
- Fire Safety
- Ineligible Pledging or Association
- Animals and Pets
- Wheeled Devices
Violations of Righteousness and Justice
- (Unwelcome) Harassment
- By Standing
- Abuse of Conduct Process
- Retaliatory Discrimination or Harassment
Violations of Respect
- Harm to Persons
- Threatening or Intimidating Behaviors
- Bullying and Cyberbullying
- Hazing and Humiliating Pranks
- Intimate Relationship Violence
- Sexual Misconduct
- Public Exposure
Violations of Responsibility
- Prescription Medications
- Failure to Comply
- Financial Responsibilities
- Other Policies
- Health & Safety
- Violations of Law
As an image bearer who practices discernment, I promise to think and act biblically as I engage the culture, interact with media, be a light in my society and behave ethically for the glory of God.
Ephesians 5:3-21; Philippians 2:14-15; I Peter 2:11-12; Titus 2:11-12
Transition into Adulthood
Clarks Summit University believes that students are adults. However, adulthood does not occur simply by enrolling in collegiate classes. We are committed to being involved in this process with students as we teach and challenge them to apply their faith to every area of life.
Engage the Culture
Clarks Summit University seeks to help students interact with other cultures in such a way that they will be able to build relationships that will provide a context for communicating the transcultural truth of the gospel of Christ.
Clarks Summit University seeks to assist students in understanding the impact of various worldviews on thought and life. We help students develop a biblical worldview through which they can relate to their world more accurately as image bearers.
Clarks Summit University helps students defend and articulate their faith transculturally. Students are trained to conduct this creative endeavor that requires thoughtful integration of biblical theology with the inter-cultural social norms, beliefs, values and practices.
Clarks Summit University prepares students for a life of servanthood by providing a variety of opportunities to serve our local and regional communities in the name of Christ.
Interact with Media
Because of the influence of entertainment and media in our culture, the development of godly wisdom, discernment and discretion in this area is very important in the selection of the media we let students use or create. Biblical discernment flows out of a love for God, love for neighbor and consideration of community.
We call upon our students to let the following biblical passages pervade every area of their lives, including their use of the arts and media: Matthew 10:16; Ephesians 4:17-20; 5:1-21; Romans 14:4-10, 19-23; 1 Thessalonians 5:13b-14; Galatians 5:25-6:10; James 5:16-20.
- Piracy of any media is prohibited.
- “R” rated or “unrated” movies are not to be viewed on or off campus unless prior approval from the Associate Deans has been obtained. NC-17 and X-rated films are prohibited both on and off campus.
- TV programs, movies, computer programs and games, theater and dramatic productions, reading or writing of literature and music with obvious pornographic, profane or coarse language and themes that are morally degrading are inappropriate forms of media and are prohibited.
- Music that does not dishonor God is permitted, regardless of style.
- The virtual worlds which some games present have themes which stand in opposition to biblical principles. Therefore, please refer to the above media policy when gaming.
- Sexually suggestive and explicit internet sites, TV programs and other such material are prohibited both on and off campus.
- The content of web pages, profiles, blogs, photo pages and online communications belonging to students must be in accordance with the standards reflected in the Scriptures as well as the Clarks Summit University Community Commitment.
- The Clarks Summit University network is monitored at all times.
- Student use of the Clarks Summit University network to violate any law or the Clarks Summit University standards and Community Commitment is not permitted and may result in fines, loss of internet privileges, legal action or possible dismissal as determined by the OSD.
Be a Light in Society
Clarks Summit University challenges students to live out the principles of pure religion found in James 1:27. This involves seeking the proper application of law, service and redemption for those suffering and afflicted in society and globally.
Respect for Authority
Clarks Summit University teaches students to honor and respect all forms of authority established by man in accordance with the admonitions of 2 Peter 2:11-13, for the Lord’s sake and the testimony of Christ.
Respect for Neighbors
Clarks Summit University students represent the Lord Jesus Christ in the respective communities in which they may live, work, recreate and worship. The name of Christ and the hard-earned, good reputation of those associated with Clarks Summit University is one that students are expected to maintain. Living up to the Clarks Summit University Community Commitment means:
- Ensuring that conduct and behavior in and around their residence is kind, self-controlled and consistent with Clarks Summit University standards.
- Showing consideration to neighbors regarding cleanliness, noise, driving, parking and tenant expectations.
- Establishing integrity by fulfilling all financial obligations and tipping expectations of local businesses.
Clarks Summit University encourages students to work for one’s employer as for the Lord (Colossians 3:23). This work ethic includes the principles of going beyond what is required as well as honesty and integrity in all of their business transactions.
Clarks Summit University teaches students to excel in sports through diligent preparation, personal discipline and teamwork. Faithfulness, perseverance and attention to detail are biblical principles that honor God, and skills acquired in sport that are transferrable to all of life (Luke 16:10-12).