1. The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men and the Divine and final authority for Christian faith and life.
2. In one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
3. That Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross, a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He is now our High Priest and Advocate, until one day when He will personally return in power and glory.
4. That the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and, during this age, to convict men, regenerate the believing sinner, and indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service.
5. That man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is, therefore, lost, and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.
6. That the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His Resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit and, thus become children of God.
7. In the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord; of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment.
8. We believe that God created the cosmos and everything in it, and that He continually rules over all of creation. While we believe that there are several viable interpretations of Genesis 1 and 2, we affirm that God directly created the world. We deny that creation came about merely through a naturalistic process of evolution (evolution understood as time plus chance plus natural selection). Specifically, He created human beings in his image, thus endowing them with an immortal soul, an essential dignity, and a special position as stewards over creation. We have been entrusted by God to develop His creation carefully, creatively, and responsibly, in order to glorify God and love other people.
We expect our staff to reflect the grace and mercy that Christ has shown to them. CISP is a community which is founded on grace. When differences arise, as they inevitably will, teachers must treat those they disagree with as brothers and sisters, never as enemies. Teachers must not gossip or try to tarnish the reputation of others in our community, but rather they should be committed to speaking well of each other. Where there are valid criticisms to be made, teachers should follow the pattern of Matthew 18:15-16. In other words, voice your concerns in private to the one you disagree with, rather than trying to publicly shame him or her. This applies to disagreements with students, parents, or other staff-members. Further, we seek to follow Matthew 7:3-5. That is, when correction needs to be made, it ought to include a healthy dose of self-examination – after all, we are all fallible and sinners, saved by grace. We should seek to gently instruct each other, and be open to where others might have valuable insights. If a potentially divisive issue arises in class, the teacher should seek the advice of the principal on how best to proceed. We expect our teachers to be peace-makers, and so reflect the reconciliation Christ has bought them at the cost of his own blood.
We expect our staff to treat students with love and respect. The students you teach are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), and hence have an intrinsic worth. Therefore teachers at CISP are called to deal with students in a way that nurtures their gifts and gently corrects their faults. We seek to be sensitive to the spiritual needs of our students. While we want every student to come to Christ, teachers must not emotionally manipulate or intimidate students. Such tactics honor neither the Lord nor the students, and they do not produce lasting spiritual results. When discipline is required, teachers are expected to avoid forms of discipline that would degrade and undermine the dignity of the student. Teachers must avoid verbal abuse, ridicule, and the public shaming of the student. We also do not practice corporal punishment. If you are unsure of how to deal with a student, seek advice from the principal.
We expect our staff to respect the authority of parents. We believe that God created the family to be the primary source of earthly authority for children. Our authority as a school is granted to us by the parents. Therefore, we expect that our teachers will treat parents with respect, listening to them and consulting with them. If the parent disagrees with the teacher’s method or content, we expect the teacher to hear the parent out and, where possible, to fulfill the parent’s wishes. There may be instances where a parent’s request? Desire? Expectation? cannot be fulfilled (for instance, when it would disrupt the learning of other students, or give their own child an unfair advantage, or go against the parental agreement they signed). But where possible, we want to make parents feel that they are valuable participants in their child’s education. We are educating their children.
We expect our staff to pursue purity. Christ set us free not for sin, but to follow him. We believe that God instituted marriage as a covenantal bond between a man and a woman, and meant sex to be kept within those bounds. Therefore, teachers must not engage in premarital or extramarital sexual relationships, and should avoid even the appearance of improper behavior (for example, by refraining from sharing an apartment with a member of the opposite sex to whom they are not married). Teachers must also refrain from sexual activity not physically involving other people (for example, chat rooms, phone sex, pornography, etc.). Teachers must refrain from any hint of sexual impropriety involving students. CISP has zero tolerance for any sexual contact with students or other children. Teachers are to model purity before students.
We likewise expect our teachers to pursue purity with respect to substances. Although Christians disagree about whether God permits Christians to drink alcohol, the Bible is clear on avoiding getting drunk, and we expect our teachers to practice moderation. We likewise expect our teachers to avoid non-prescription, recreational drugs, including marijuana. Whether or not Christians have the liberty to use tobacco is also a point of debate among Christians. At the very least, we do not want teachers modeling unhealthy behavior to students, so we insist that teachers not smoke at school or in the presence of a student..
We expect our staff to follow the truth. Christ described himself as the Truth, and his followers must be committed to honesty. Therefore, teachers must not deceive others in our community, but rather they should communicate truth. In class, we expect teachers to teach what they believe is true to the best of their ability and in harmony with our statement of faith. They are to grade as truthfully and accurately as they can. They are not to steal or defraud the school or anyone within the community. We expect teachers to deal honestly with students. We expect teachers to regard the classroom as a place where honesty is valued, and cheating by students is forbidden. Dishonest behavior and communication, either by students or teachers, is inconsistent with our calling to be children of light and followers of Christ, the Lord of Truth.
We do not expect our staff to be perfect. We are sinners and struggle in many ways, and CISP recognizes that. If a teacher violates some part or parts of this code of conduct, CISP will seek restoration and help for the teacher involved. However, CISP reserves the right to suspend and/or dismiss any teacher who violates this code if such a restoration cannot be achieved (perhaps because the teacher involved refuses to repent), or if the violation is deemed too serious a breach of trust as to make restoration possible. But where possible, we seek to show grace to sinners, as Christ has shown grace to us.
If for some reason you feel that you cannot sign this document with a good conscience, please come and discuss your reservations and concerns with us. We want this conduct agreement to be an invitation to further dialogue so that we might love and support our teachers better. Any of the board members or administration would be happy to talk with you, but here are two that are especially focused on our teacher staff: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com