Complaints and Grievances

Central Seminary seeks to serve students while fully adhering to biblical standards and practices. When offenses that require the attention of the administration or higher authorities occur, students should be aware of procedures to ensure proper resolution.

General Complaints (also found in pg. 45 of the Student Handbook)

Complaints can be made orally or in writing.

Students may report harassment orally to any staff, faculty member, or administrator. If the alleged offender is a staff person, the student should go to a faculty member. If the alleged offender is a faculty member, the student should go directly to the administration, beginning with the Provost.

Written complaints should be sent to:

Provost
Central Seminary
900 Forestview Ln N
Plymouth MN 55441

Complaints will be investigated in a deliberate, fair, and expeditious manner by the administration.

The investigation will include a private interview with the person(s) filing the complaint and with all witnesses.

The alleged harasser will be interviewed.

Central Seminary will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct if the investigation shows that harassment did occur and will take appropriate steps to resolve the situation.

When it is appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken.

At the completion of the investigation, the complainant will be informed of the results of the investigation.

All complaints or investigations will be kept confidential. Further, any retaliation against a complaintant or against anyone cooperating with an investigation of a harassment complaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated.


Grievance Policy (also found in pgs. 42­–43 of the Student Handbook)

The purpose of the grievance policy is to resolve any charge brought by an individual against the seminary or employee thereof pertaining to the requirements of federal anti-discrimination legislation.

Any student, prospective student, or employee has the opportunity to use these grievance procedures without jeopardizing his status with the seminary. All records, which are introduced or reviewed during the grievance procedures, will be held in strictest confidence and will in no way adversely affect the individual’s relationship to the seminary.

No decision reached in the process of this grievance procedure can be enforced if it is in clear conflict with the doctrinal position of the seminary as set forth in its Constitution or the exceptions to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 as filed with the U.S. Department of Health.

No grievance will be recognized by the seminary unless it has been presented at the appropriate level within thirty (30) days after the individual(s) knew or should have known of the act or occurrence on which the grievance is based.

The grievance procedure shall consist of the following three stages:

Stage One

The grievant(s) shall verbally communicate with the individual(s) responsible for the grievance in the effort to arrive at a solution mutually satisfying to the parties involved. If a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed one (1) calendar week, has elapsed without a satisfactory solution, the grievant shall proceed to stage two.

Stage Two

If the grievance is not settled in stage one, the grievant shall file a written grievance with the chairman of the grievance committee, normally the vice president of academic affairs or someone appointed by the president. The written grievance shall contain a concise and accurate statement of the grievance, stating all relevant facts and dates. Submitting of the written grievance shall initiate formal grievance action.

The chairman of the committee will be responsible for maintaining all written documents concerning the grievance proceedings and for overseeing the progress and conclusion of all grievance activity. A copy of the grievance shall be sent to each respondent. A written grievance shall be submitted to the grievance committee composed of the chairman and two other members of the faculty. In the case where an individual on the committee is involved in the grievance, the president shall appoint a suitable replacement. The overall concern in the selection of the committee members will be balanced representation to ensure impartiality during the resolution process. The committee shall:

Determine whether or not the written grievance constitutes a legitimate grievance matter.

Attempt to facilitate communication between parties involved to gain a biblical, ethical, and fair resolution of the grievance matter.

Document all contacts, communication processes, and efforts to achieve a resolution.

Hear the grievance together with such witnesses as it deems germane to the grievance.

The committee shall make every reasonable effort to resolve the matter within fifteen (15) days of its formal initiation and to present its report and recommendation to the appropriate parties involved.

Stage Three

If the decision of the committee leaves the matter unresolved in the mind of the individual involved in the grievance, an appeal of the committee’s decision may be made to the president within two (2) calendar weeks. If the appeal is not made, the matter shall be considered dropped or resolved. If an appeal is made, the president will review the facts as presented by the committee and take any action deemed necessary.

When satisfied with the facts, the president will make a final decision in the matter. There is no further formal appeal available following the president’s decision.

Further Action

If a student feels that the institutional process has been exhausted and the matter has not been resolved, the student may wish to report any grievances to the appropriate accrediting body or state authorizer.

Accrediting Body (all students)

Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS)
Box 328 15935 Forest Road Forest, VA 24551
Phone: (434) 525-0539
Fax: (434) 525-9538
Email: info@tracs.org
Web Address: www.tracs.org

State Authorizer

Resident students and distance students whose home state participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (S.A.R.A.)

Minnesota Office of Higher Education
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55108-5227
Phone: (651) 642-0567
Toll Free: (800) 657-3866
Fax: (651) 642-0675
Web Address: www.ohe.state.mn.us
www.nc-sara.org/content/sara-complaint-process

Distance students whose home state does not participate in S.A.R.A. will need to contact their state’s department of higher education. A list of all states that participate in S.A.R.A. can be found at www.nc-sara.org/content/sara-and-institutions.