In joining COBA, students, faculty, and staff covenant to abide by the following ethical principles.

To lead and serve well requires competence. And to become competent requires diligence and hard work. We owe it to all who have prepared the way and who will follow in our footsteps, to be good stewards of opportunities and resources. Thus, in all you do: set priorities, seek excellence and professionalism in your work, satisfy requirements, and take responsibility for your learning and performance. You cannot build competence if you lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.

A reputation of good character is built slowly through testing, yet can be destroyed in an instant by compromise or careless work, just as it can through injustice. Guard your character; it is worth more than a grade or promotion. “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1). You cannot build character if you lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.

A spirit of fellowship and mutual encouragement holds each community member accountable. Accountability leads to a healthy community through adequate preparations for the tasks at hand, respectful truthfulness in all situations, and adding value to the tasks at hand. As a community, we must hold each other accountable to the principles of competence, character, and community. You cannot build community if you lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.


COBA supports ACU’s Academic Integrity Policy. This important policy offers examples of academic infractions and a process for assigning consequences and voicing appeals. Ignorance of this policy is never an excuse. Individual instructors will define course specific definitions, however, in general you should avoid:

  1. Plagiarism Copying or even paraphrasing words or ideas from another source (including current or past students) without giving adequate credit.
  2. Lying Inventing data or sources or making false attributions about the origin of material or offering a deceptive reason for an absence or delay in the completion of academic work.
  3. Cheating Facilitating or participating in any process that circumvents the intent of any exam, test, quiz, paper, or assignment.

Any dishonest act observed or reported will be investigated and if proven, be reported in administrative offices and records, and may be subject to any or all of the following outcomes based on severity:

  1. A zero for the assigned work
  2. A failing grade for the course
  3. Dismissal from the university