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Positional Statements

God-Honoring Diversity

As a Christ-centered, caring community of learners, Azusa Pacific Online 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 failure 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).

Biblical Foundations
Matthew 28:19-20 – The Great Commission
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

Matthew 22:37-40 – The Two Greatest Commandments
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Truth
We believe that diversity can only be properly understood in light of God’s revelation to humankind through the Bible (John 14:6; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Love
We advocate a behavior regarding diversity that is anchored in the prerogative of love—God’s love for all people (John 3:16) and His command to love Him and each other (Matthew 22:37-40).

This love:

In addition to those mentioned above, a Christian approach to diversity should be characterized by the following:

To this end we are committed to the following principles:

Human Sexuality

As a Christ-centered, caring community of learners who embrace the historic Christian understanding of Scripture, Azusa Pacific Online University holds that sexuality is a gift from God and basic to human identity as well as a matter of behavioral expression. We hold that the full behavioral expression of sexuality is to take place within the context of a marriage covenant between a man and a woman and that individuals remain celibate outside of the bond of marriage. 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.

Biblical Foundations

Foundational principles from the Bible on human sexual relationships are as follows:

Humans, being created in the image of God, are inherently relational beings (Genesis 1:26).

The inherent relational nature of humankind is expressed in a variety of contexts including family, marriage, work, and for Christians, the body of Christ (Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Corinthians 12:14).

Humans were created as gendered beings. They were expressly blessed by God to be fruitful and multiply and to exercise dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28).

Heterosexuality is God’s design for sexually intimate relationships. Sexual union between a man and a woman is only to take place within the marriage covenant (Genesis 2:18, 21-24; Hebrews 13:4).

Jesus reaffirms the marital covenant as existing between a man and a woman (Matthew 19:4-9).

The New Testament teaches that followers of Christ are to remain celibate outside the bond of marriage. In sexual union, both body and soul are deeply impacted. A person who engages in sexual unions outside the bond of marriage sins against his or her own body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:13, 18-20).

The sexual union between a husband and wife has been designed by God to bring them together as “one flesh,” creating a solid foundation on which to build a family (Genesis 2:18-24; Ephesians 5:31).

In Scripture, several sexual behaviors are expressly forbidden, which include but are not limited to: fornication, adultery, incest, unnatural sexual intercourse, and homosexual acts (Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 18:7-23, 20:10-21; Matthew 5:27-28; Romans 1:20-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 4:17-19; Colossians 3:5).

Azusa Pacific Online University pledges to guide the university community toward understanding and embracing their God-given sexuality as reflected in this statement. Any deviation from a biblical standard of sexual behavior is sin and therefore is an opportunity for repentance, grace, and redemption, so that as a community we might honor one another and glorify God.

From a student:
"I know that these classes will encourage my spiritual, mental, and personal growth and I look forward to discovering where they will lead me."