Bridging Religious and Cultural Divides

Policy Statement

UTS is committed to providing a working and learning environment where all members feel valued and are fully empowered to claim a place in and responsibility for our shared working, living, and learning community. Members of UTS community, guests, and visitors have a right to be free from discrimination and harassment and to be treated with respect. The Seminary does not discriminate in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarships and loan programs, athletic program, and other Seminary programs and activities, and does not tolerate discrimination or harassment of its faculty, administration, staff, students, or visitors.

The school prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or religious belief, citizenship status, sex, marital status, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, military service or affiliation, genetic information, age, and any other characteristics protected by law.

Scope of Policy

This Policy prohibits discrimination against or harassment of members of the Seminary community and guests. Its scope is inclusive of, but is not limited to, any individuals regularly or temporarily employed, studying, living, visiting, or with an official capacity at UTS (such as volunteers and contractors).

The filing of a complaint under this Policy is independent of any external investigation or court proceeding, and the Seminary will not necessarily wait for the conclusion of any external investigation or proceeding to commence its own investigation and to take immediate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the campus community. An allegation of discrimination or harassment is not proof of prohibited conduct, and a claim will not be taken into account during performance review, promotion, reappointment, or other evaluation unless a final determination has been made that the Policy has been violated, or an agreement has been reached as part of an informal resolution process. If necessary and appropriate, decisions regarding extension, reappointment, or promotion may be deferred, in consultation with the appropriate supervisor or review committee, until the matter is resolved.

Relationship to Academic Freedom and Responsibility

As articulated in UTS statement on academic freedom, UTS is dedicated to freedom of inquiry in the pursuit of truth, is vigilant in defending the right of individuals to free speech, and is dedicated to the cultivation of an atmosphere in which all of its members may study, live, and work free from intolerance, discrimination, and harassment. The Policy will not be construed as undermining the principle of academic freedom, which may include the introduction of controversial and challenging matters and demanding methods of inquiry within the teaching environment. However, discrimination and harassment are not legally protected, nor are they excused by reference to academic freedom of expression. Discrimination and harassment undermine the educational mission of the institution, its integrity, and the intellectual, working, and living environment for members of our community.


A. Discrimination is any distinction, preference, advantage for, or detriment to an individual compared to others that is based on an individual’s actual or perceived race, color, religion or religious belief, citizenship status, sex, marital status, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, military service or affiliation, genetic information, or age that adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s education, living environment, or participation in a Seminary activity, or is used as the basis for or a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s education, living environment, or participation in a Seminary activity.

B. Discriminatory Harassment is unwell-come conduct directed toward an individual based on the individual’s actual or perceived race, color, religion or religious belief, citizenship status, sex, marital status, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, military service or affiliation, genetic information, or age that is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or abusive environment for that individual’s education, living environment, or participation in a Seminary activity.

C. Retaliatory Harassment is intentional action taken by an individual or allied third party, absent legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons, that harms an individual as reprisal for filing a grievance or for participating in an investigation or grievance proceeding.

D. Sexual Harassment is a form of unlawful gender-based discrimination. It may involve harassment of women by men, harassment of men by women, and harassment between persons of the same sex. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome gender-based verbal or physical conduct that it sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives someone of the ability to participate in or benefit from the Seminary’s educational program or activities or employment benefits or opportunities.

The unwelcome behavior may be based on power differentials (such as in quid pro quo harassment where submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.

The school’s policy on sexual misconduct may also apply when sexual harassment involves physical contact. Examples of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to,

• Egregious, unwanted sexual attention or   other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature

• Implied or overt threats of punitive action, a result of rejection of sexual advances

• Conditioning a benefit on an individual’s acceding to sexual advances

• Unwelcome, sexually explicit messages, statements, or materials

• Attempting to coerce an unwilling person into a romantic or sexual relationship

•  Sexual violence

•  Intimate partner violence

•  Stalking, including cyberstalking

•  Gender-based bullying

Record Retention for Discrimination and Harassment Complaints

The Campus Safety office is responsible for maintaining records relating to dis-crimination and harassment reports, investigations, and resolutions. Records will also be maintained in accordance with Seminary records policies, generally for at least seven (7) years after the date the complaint is resolved. Records may be maintained longer at the discretion of the security office in cases where the parties have a continuing affiliation with the school. All records pertaining to pending litigation or a request for records will be maintained in accordance with instructions from legal counsel.

Reporting Obligations under the Clery Act

Certain campus officials also have a duty to report sexual assault and other crimes for federal statistical reporting purposes (Clery Act). All personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be passed along to campus law enforcement regarding the type of incident and its general location (on-or off-campus, in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given) for publication in the annual Campus Security Report.

This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crime, to ensure greater community safety.   Mandated federal reporters include: student conduct administrators, safety and security personnel, coaches, athletic directors, residence life staff, student activities staff, human resources staff, advisors to student organizations, and “any other official with significant responsibility for student and campus activities.” The information to be shared includes the date, the location of the incident (using Clery location categories), and the Clery crime category.

This reporting protects the identity of the victim and may be done anonymously. All Clery reports of sexual assault and other crimes should be reported to Campus Safety.

Refer to the Student Handbook for a detailed description of all of the policies concerning sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment, reporting of incidents and crimes as well as all complaint and grievance processes. Additionally, the Student Handbook contains all contact information that students need with names, positions, and contact information noted.

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Statement on Charlottesville by Dr. Hugh Spurgin, UTS President
The Unification Theological Seminary community calls for racial and religious tolerance in the wake of another outbreak of hatred and violence in Charlottesville. We repudiate racism, white supremacy and all hate groups.

Our hope is that America will always seek love, unity and the higher ground. Let us pray for healing rather than condemnation, peaceful activity rather than violence, and love for all people rather than racial and religious conflict.

Kathy Winings 3 profile left sml

Dr. Kathy Winings, who has served as UTS Vice-President for Academic Affairs, has accepted a new position as Director of the UTS Instructional Site in Clinton Maryland. She will continue as Director of the UTS D.Min. Program and as faculty in Religious Education and Ministry. 

Dr. Winings pioneered establishment of the NY Extension Center at 4 West 43rd Street in Manhattan beginning in 2000. Now Dr. Winings will be responsible to oversee developments for UTS at the Maryland campus, reporting directly to President Hugh Spurgin. 

keisuke noda 2 profile smlDr. Keisuke Noda will assume responsibility as UTS Academic Dean and continue as faculty in Philosophy.

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