Sexual Harassment (Title IX)

Church Divinity School of the Pacific is committed to creating and maintaining a community in which students, faculty and administrative and academic staff can work together in an atmosphere free of all forms of harassment, exploitation or intimidation, including sexual. Specifically, every member of the CDSP community should be aware that Church Divinity School is strongly opposed to sexual harassment and that such behavior is prohibited both by law and by CDSP policy.

Definition: Sexual harassment is an activity or behavior, which consists of the exploitation of power or a power imbalance in an inappropriate sexual manner. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of instruction, employment or participation in CDSP activities;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making academic or personnel decisions affecting an individual; or
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive CDSP environment.

Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Verbal Harassment – epithets or derogatory comments.
  • Physical Harassment – assault, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work or movement.
  • Visual Forms of Harassment – derogatory posters, notices, bulletins, cartoons, or drawings.
  • Sexual Favors – unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, which is conditioned upon an employment benefit or student status, that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an offensive work environment.

In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, consideration shall be given to the record of the incident as a whole and to the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.

If the alleged perpetrator of the sexual harassment is a member of the faculty or staff, or a student of another GTU member school, the GTU itself, or one of its affiliates, then the CDSP representative who receives the complaint should notify the Dean, President, or Director of the alleged perpetrator’s school or affiliate. The investigation and resolution of the complaint will be conducted by and according to the policies of the alleged perpetrator’s institution. A copy of that institution’s procedures should be made available to the complainant as soon as possible. The Dean of CDSP should maintain close communication with those conducting the investigation from the alleged perpetrator’s institution and insure that the CDSP complainant is treated justly. If the complainant is a member of the CDSP community, the resources listed below will be made available to him/her.


Resources for Counseling and Consultation. The immediate priority in the case of alleged sexual harassment is to provide a safe, informal and confidential atmosphere for the alleged victim to talk with person(s) about the incident, to check out feelings, talk through the incident, and otherwise do a “reality check” on the incident. CDSP will have on file a list of resources, independent from the school that may be used in this manner. The President and Dean’s Office shall compile and update this list on a regular basis. This list will be available from the Dean of Students. All faculty advisors will be made aware of this list on an annual basis for referral purposes. The Dean of Students will publicize the availability of these resource people to the CDSP community. Recognizing that an individual may experience a time of delayed reaction between the alleged occurrence of sexual harassment and the reporting of the incident, the aforementioned resource list will also be available to persons seeking advice regarding past incidents. Additionally, should any such person decide to file a complaint of sexual harassment, an investigation would proceed in the manner described below.

CDSP Investigation of Complaints. A formal investigation into any allegation of harassment will begin upon notification of CDSP of the alleged incident(s). If the complainant is a student, notification should be made to the Dean of Students; if the complainant is a faculty member, notification should be made to the Dean of Academic Affairs; if the complainant is a staff member, notification should be made to the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; if the complaint arises in the context of Field Education, notification should be made to the Director of Field Education. If, in any situation, the allegations of harassment are against or involve the individual to be notified, the complainant may notify any other individual listed or the President and Dean to commence an investigation. Upon notification, the President and Dean will appoint appropriate persons from the community (faculty, staff and/or student) to investigate the incident.

When a CDSP student is involved in an incident of alleged harassment, a student (such as the Ombudsperson) shall be appointed to the investigative committee. The President and Dean will also take necessary actions to defuse the situation, separate the parties, or maintain the status quo, as deemed appropriate under the circumstances. The complainant and the respondent, who will be advised by the President and Dean of the pending investigation, shall agree upon all members of the investigative committee. Either complainant or respondent may petition the President and Dean that a member of the investigative committee not serve in this particular situation if there is a question about the member’s ability to be impartial. Further, either or both complainant and respondent may be permitted to have an advocate come with them to the meeting(s) of the committee. Every effort shall be made to maintain the confidentiality of the parties involved. However, disclosure of the specific allegations and individuals may be necessary to conduct a complete investigation. It is against CDSP policy for anyone to retaliate against a complainant who pursues a complaint or any witness or participant in an investigation.

The committee shall review the incident as a whole and consider the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred. Following a reasonable investigative period (1 or 2 weeks) the committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the President and Dean.

Corrective Action. The committee recommendations may include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. A verbal and/or written statement admonishing the alleged offender.
  2. A request that the alleged offender apologize personally to the complainant.
  3. A recommendation of therapy for either or both the alleged offender and/or complainant.
  4. Other action which may include request for resignation if employment is involved, suspension or dismissal where enrollment is involved, withdrawal of Field Education Certification where Field Education is involved, or other appropriate actions determined by the President and Dean.
  5. Other action may also include notification of appropriate ecclesiastical authorities, as deemed necessary.
  6. The complainant may also choose to pursue litigation in the civil courts.

Prior to making any decision or taking action, the President and Dean may seek additional counsel from persons of his/her choice, including, but not limited to, the Chair of the Board of Trustees. The President and Dean may also take other action, as he/she deems appropriate. The decision and action of the President and Dean is final.

In the event that the President and Dean is alleged to be involved in a case of sexual harassment, the following procedures will be followed: The Dean of Academic Affairs, the Dean of Students, or the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer shall form the investigative committee. The Chair of the Board of Trustees shall be notified of the allegations. The Chair may appoint a member of the Board of Trustees to serve on the committee. The committee will conduct a timely investigation and report their findings to the Chair of the Board. The final review process shall be, in this instance, by the Chair of the Board of Trustees and other persons named by the Chair. The decision and action reached by the Chair of the Board of Trustees is final.

Contact information for each of the officials named in this policy is available on the Executive Team page of the website.