Seminaries seek to be communities where students, faculty, and staff live within a covenant of hospitality, trust, and safety. These covenantal commitments are foundational to the mission of McCormick Theological Seminary, which is to foster academic excellence, formation for Christian Ministry, and faithful witness in mission. Furthermore, as seminaries are charged with the preparation of their students for ministry, they also are responsible for students serving in congregations and agencies in which they are placed. Their responsibilities are theological, ethical, and legal. Theologically, seminaries are responsible for creating an environment that nurtures and sustains their objectives of theological education. Ethically and legally, seminaries are responsible if a student’s abuse of power or role endangers or violates members of the seminary community or the congregations or agencies in which he or she serves.
For these theological, ethical, and legal reasons, McCormick Theological Seminary requires background checks as part of the admissions process for all entering masters students. A release form for such a check is included in the application for admissions. If omissions or misrepresentations come to light after matriculation at the Seminary and are reasonably believed to cast doubt upon a student’s suitability for theological study and ministry, he or she will be subject to dismissal.