College of the Ozarks was founded by a group of Christians motivated by a home missionary to the Ozarks. It is an independent, privately supported, fully accredited, co-educational Christian college. The College is intentional in helping students seek and develop a vibrant Christian faith.
The original charter provides for "the Christian education of youth of the area." This position was emphasized by the Board of Trustees in 1968 in the resolution: "The School of the Ozarks shall always maintain as one of its prime objectives the promotion of the cause of Christ and His Kingdom and the maintenance of high academic standards within the context of a Christian environment."
Students are encouraged to participate in religious activities of their own choosing off campus, but only in addition to campus Christian life programs. Community worship is an integral part of life on our Christian college campus. Therefore, a reasonable participation in chapel services and various other campus Christian life activities is considered a student's responsibility and privilege. Chapel services are held each Sunday morning and are designed to challenge and enhance the spiritual life of our students. These services are not used for promotional purposes or for the propagation of any particular denominational doctrine.
Christian convocations are held several times each semester to intentionally present the gospel of Jesus Christ in a culturally relevant way. Attendance at a certain number of these convocations is required of all full-time students.
Discipleship is a major focus of Christian Ministries at College of the Ozarks.
Other Christian life programs are also available, and students are encouraged to participate and share in leadership responsibilities. While students take the lead in many activities, a faculty or staff member is always associated with such programs. The campus Christian life program is designed to help students worship regularly, develop a Biblical worldview, and integrate their faith with classroom learning.
Lifestyle and Sexuality Expectations
College of the Ozarks is guided by a long-standing traditional, biblical worldview which reflects the understanding that human sexuality is a gift from God, and that:
- sex assigned at birth is a person's God-given, objective gender, whether or not it differs from their internal sense of "gender identity" (Genesis 1:27; Leviticus 18:22; Matthew 19:4; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10);
- sexual relations are for the purpose of the procreation of human life and the uniting and strengthening of the marital bond in self-giving love, purposes that are to be achieved solely through heterosexual relationships in marriage (Genesis 1:28; 2:24; Exodus 20:14; Proverbs 5:15-23; Matthew 19:5; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, 7:2-5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3).
Misuses of God's gift of human sexuality will be understood to include, but not be limited to gender expression inconsistent with sex assigned at birth (transgender), gender transition, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault, heterosexual misconduct, homosexual conduct, or possession of pornographic materials. In addition, the College considers indiscreet public display of affection as inappropriate behavior.
Employees and students at College of the Ozarks are expected to conduct themselves at all times in accordance with the highest standards of Christian morality. It is particularly important to the College that high standards of sexual morality be observed among its employees and students.
Toward this end, the College may subject to disciplinary action any employee or student who engages in or encourages:
1. Gender expression inconsistent with sex assigned at birth;
2. Gender transition;
3. Sexual relations with a person other than his/her spouse;
4. Sexual relations with a person of the same sex;
5. Touching, caressing, and other physical conduct of a sexual nature with a person of the same sex;
6. Touching, caressing, and other physical conduct of a sexual nature with a person of the opposite sex that is inappropriate to the time and place in which it occurs.
Disciplinary action may include disciplinary dismissal.
College of the Ozarks' mission statement makes clear its intention to provide an explicitly Christian education for its students. Likewise, the College's vision statement centers on facilitating the development of "citizens of Christ-like character". In order to achieve these aims the College expects its faculty and staff to support and abide by its stated faith and practice commitments. Follow this link for more information about Employee Commitments.