In upholding the biblical teaching and God's ideal for marriage, Biola University seeks to employ people with healthy marriages and a strong commitment to the sanctity of marriage. In considering the employment of individuals who have been divorced, Biola desires to uphold both the biblical ideal of marriage and the graciousness and forgiveness of God. Careful consideration is given to qualified divorced persons, taking into account the character and spiritual maturity of the individual, circumstances surrounding the divorce, and the willingness of Christian people to recognize the work of God in his or her life. The guidelines listed below are for use in this consideration.
It may be deemed inappropriate to have a divorced person in some institutional positions in consideration of the sensitivities of our Christian constituency and because of Biola's leadership role to the whole body of Christ.
If the marriage of a faculty member or other person already employed gives evidence that there may be a separation or divorce, the employee is to inform the dean or the supervisor. The university may provide up to five professional counseling sessions for a full-time employee, either through the Rosemead Counseling Service or some other approved therapist. The person may be asked to take a leave of absence for up to a year or to accept a reassignment to other institutional duties during which time salary and financial remuneration will be determined in accordance with the circumstances. The reason for this is threefold: (1) to give the university and the individual time to make careful decisions regarding future employment, (2) to recognize that in some situations the university would not be best served by a person struggling with a recent separation or divorce, (3) the faculty or staff member may need time away from regular responsibilities to process the impact of the situation. If the separation continues or a divorce occurs, the following guidelines will be used in decisions regarding continued employment in the university:
Guidelines to Accompany University Divorce Policy
- Was the marriage beyond reconciliation, either because of sexual immorality (Matthew 19:9) or such devastating circumstances that make it impossible for the marriage to continue?
- What efforts were made to bring about reconciliation? Were counseling opportunities sought, and if so, with what results?
- If the marriage and divorce were prior to conversion, what effort was made after salvation to reconcile (if reconciliation was at all possible) or what other efforts were made to communicate with the estranged party after conversion, even if only to ask for forgiveness?
- If the person has remarried, what was the length of time between the divorce and remarriage? If children were involved, how were their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs considered? What specific evidence is there of growth and development of the individual, emotionally and spiritually, since the divorce and remarriage has taken place?
- How do people in responsible leadership positions (pastor, mission leader, Christian counselor, etc.) and others who are knowledgeable about the divorcee's situation evaluate the adequacy of this individual to serve at Biola?
- What is the reputation of the individual in the Christian community? How is this person viewed from outside the Christian community?
- If a remarriage has occurred, does the new marriage give substantial evidence of being a solid and stable relationship?
- Does the nature of the position for which the individual is being considered demand a non-divorced person? Would the hiring of a divorced person to this position be offensive to the Christian world?