Must I agree with all of the guidelines to be a student at MVNU?
The answer is "No." Our guidelines are meant to be practical solutions for the differences among us for the time that we are together, as well as idealized standards for the development of good habits and character. We do not consider them to be a judgment on other Christians who "do not do as we do," nor are we foolish enough to believe that our way is perfect. However, our guidelines do represent what we've found to be the most workable and suitable in fulfilling our University mission.
What we do expect is that all of us in the campus community live by the guidelines during our association with MVNU, even if we don't necessarily agree with them, privately or personally. We ask for an understanding of the need for standards, a good spirit in keeping them, and cooperative efforts in improving them. We do encourage students to discuss and evaluate the University standards as part of the growth process that should be taking place on campus.
The guidelines are not legalistic boundaries, snares to catch
the rebellious or showcases to portray the pious, but rather
an endeavor to do the right thing, to be motivated by God's unfailing
and unselfish love, to consider the larger picture -- that what
we do and how we do it affects other people as well as ourselves,
to lay the groundwork for achieving our goals and in all of this
to glorify God in everything that we do.
By aligning our guidelines with these biblical principles, we avoid the extremes of both the right and the left; legalism on the right upholding conformity as the model of Christianity, an end in itself; liberalism on the left exalting love as the final liberator, the substitute for any other law. MVNU guidelines allow us to order our lives with both justice and love, individually and as a community.
You have a big job ahead in your University years. Among other things, we urge you to seriously consider what kind of person you are now and will continue to be. What are your personal convictions or standards? Of course, they're not all of equal importance. For example, there are issues such as: What style of clothes is best for me? How will I use my free time? There are preeminent issues too, such as: What academic major will I pursue? What am I looking for in relationships? How will I contribute to the MVNU community?
In many of these areas, especially the significant ones, your standards are set while you are at MVNU. But we want you to begin preparing for the day when you will live by your own, chosen standards. After you leave MVNU, no one here will be telling you how to live. It will be up to you. We hope that you will make the kind of choices that honor God, make a significant impact on the world for Christ, and give you a great life!