Student Code of Conduct


Next review
Thu, 23 March 2028

The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework for the standard of conduct expected of Eastern and MST students.

Approved on: 23 Mar 2023
Review cycle: 5 Years
Owned by

Dean of Students

Approved by

Eastern Executive Team

Policy Contact: 
Dean of Students

The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework for the standard of conduct expected of Eastern and MST students.


This Policy, the Code of Conduct, (‘the Code’) applies to all Eastern College Australia (Eastern) and Melbourne School of Theology (MST) students.

College  Melbourne School of Theology and/or Eastern College Australia 
Eastern  Eastern College Australia 
Emotional Abuse  The ongoing attitude or behaviour of one person which is directed at another person, or, the creation of an emotional environment which erodes a child’s development, self-esteem and social confidence over time. Behaviours may include: Devaluing, ignoring, rejecting, corrupting, isolating, terrorising or chronic and extreme domestic violence in the child’s presence. 
Senior Leadership Team  This group comprises the Executive Principal, General Manager, Dean of Students, Dean of Education (Eastern) and Dean of Faculty (MST), Dean of Faculty (Eastern), Academic Dean (MST). 
MST  Melbourne School of Theology 
Staff  A generic term used for all paid and unpaid employees who are accountable to MST ECA Executive Leadership. 
Neglect  Characterised by the failure to provide for the child’s basic needs. Any serious omission or commission which jeopardises or impairs a person’s development. 
Physical Abuse  Any non-accidental physical injury resulting from practices such as: Hitting, punching, kicking (marks from belt buckles, fingers). Shaking (particularly babies). Burning (irons, cigarettes), biting, pulling out hair. Alcohol or other drug administration. 
Sexual Abuse  Any sexual act or threat to perform such upon another person. It occurs when a person uses their power and authority to take advantage of another’s trust to involve them in sexual activity. It does not necessarily involve genital contact but is any act which erodes the sexual boundary between two persons. It may appear consensual, but the validity of consent is negated by the power differential. 


Eastern College Australia and Melbourne School of Theology aim to excel in providing an educational context which intentionally integrates spiritual formation, scholarship, ministry and interpersonal skills in an environment of discipleship. We are committed to equipping students in mind and heart, and with a Christian worldview, to live and work as mature servants of Christ.

MST’s core values:

  • The glory of God
  • Commitment to the Scriptures
  • Academic Excellence
  • Character and Spiritual Formation
  • Active Engagement in Mission
  • A Servant and Partner to the Local Church
  • Diverse learning Community
  • Innovation, Flexibility and Agility

ECA’s core values are:

  • Faith: committed to Christ-centred, biblically-based, character-forming and gift-affirming faith expressed in vocational living, supportive community, service to others and connection to the church
  • Reason: committed to the pursuit of knowledge and truth that integrates theory and practice and values academic excellence, the importance of the mind and life-ling learning
  • Justice: committed to act justly in all human relationships, to exercise responsible care and stewardship of God’s creation, and to seek the just transformation of our world


To this end the Colleges’ Code of Conduct is centred on the following values: 

  1. A passion for God  
  2. Faith in Action  
  3. Commitment to the Scriptures 
  4. Servant and partner to the local Church  
  5. Engagement in mission and justice in our world 
  6. Reason in learning  
  7. Academic Excellence 
  8. Character and spiritual formation   

Code of Conduct 

The Code of Conduct provides guidance and specific direction on the expectations of all students. It provides the references of behaviour that are supplementary to the standard requirements of human resource and professional association expectations. For students, it forms the basis for agreement of conduct by which all students may be included in the College community.

For all Students 

The College’s Code of Conduct for Students aims to foster and maintain public trust and confidence in the integrity and professionalism of Melbourne School of Theology and Eastern College Australia by expecting that students will:

1.     Act with honesty and integrity by: 

  • treating others inside the College community and beyond, with integrity, professionalism, responsiveness, fairness, respect and courtesy; 
  • respecting the privacy and confidentiality of others; 
  • refusing to initiate or engage in cheating, plagiarism or fraud and be willing to report academic misconduct.  
  • complying with ethical standards in research and academic practice; 
  • disclosing conflicts of interest; 
  • being willing to be an active bystander on matters of inappropriate behaviour 

2.     Promote the responsible exercise of academic freedom and academic judgement by: 

  • respecting the integrity and diversity of theological traditions represented at Melbourne School of Theology and Eastern College Australia. 
  • communicating in a respectful manner regarding the individual personal beliefs of those within the College community; 
  • not engaging in any behaviour that would impair the freedom of others to pursue their studies, research and/or involvement at Melbourne School of Theology or Eastern College Australia. 
  • applying structured argument and critical thought 
  • forming an opinion or making a decision on the basis of evidence 
  • pursuing academic excellence.  

3.     Be courteous in their behaviour and communication towards all persons by: 

  • complying with reasonable directions issued by responsible persons; 
  • not engaging in any behaviour that contravenes federal, state or local law, including sexual assault or sexual harassment; 
  • being respectful of differences and remain non-discriminatory on the basis of religion, Christian denomination, gender, race, sexuality, disability, cultural background, marital status, age, political conviction or family responsibilities; 
  • avoiding behaviours that may be reasonably perceived as harassing, intimidating, bullying or physically or emotionally threatening; 
  • avoiding behaviours that would endanger the health or safety of another person; 
  • avoiding behaviours that would unfairly harm the reputation and career prospects of other members of the College community; 
  • treating other members of the College community with respect and courtesy in all interactions including online communications; 
  • reporting genuinely suspected or known fraud or corrupt conduct to appropriate staff through the appropriate procedures. 
  • Dress on campus: Appropriate clothing to be worn in all learning and placement settings   

4.     Protect themself and others from harm, especially children, young people and vulnerable adults by: 

  • refraining from and refusing to participate in abuse, harassment, bullying and assault; 
  • supporting activities that ensure the College is a safe and healthy environment; 
  • being willing to report general misconduct. 

5.     Use College resources responsibly by: 

  • avoiding behaviour that is detrimental to the operation of the College or causes damage to the College’s property or reputation; 
  • supporting activities that promote environmental and economic sustainability; 
  • ensuring that resources are used in a manner which minimises harm to the environment; 
  • ensuring that any College property, or official information is not used, without authorisation, in order to gain a financial or other benefit for themselves or any other person or group; 
  • making judicious use of staff time, library collections, physical spaces, and technology; 
  • reporting any risk of damage or need for maintenance, to ensure safety for use.  

6.     Comply with College policies and procedures and applicable Australian laws by: 

  • being informed of and complying with all relevant policies and procedures; 
  • complying with any contractual arrangements entered into with the College. 

7.     Students studying at all levels demonstrate their commitment to the outcomes of their course by: 

  • knowing the requirements of their course, being proactive in developing a course plan and ensuring the requirements for progression are understood and are being followed; 
  • taking responsibility for their own learning and participating in learning and research processes; 
  • adhering to attendance requirements and policies for each unit; 
  • submitting assessment tasks on time and in accordance with assessment policies; 
  • complying with the conventions of academic scholarship and upholding academic integrity including, using information correctly according to copyright and privacy laws, the correct acknowledgement of others' work and ideas and conducting research ethically and truthfully; 
  • approaching studies with an open mind, seeking to understand the intricacies of vocation, theology, ministry and practice in order to develop personal positions and convictions; 
  • being familiar with the resources available to assist in studies and research; 
  • seeking help and support whenever necessary, to engage fully with the learning experience

 8. Value the history, culture and languages of First Nations people by:

  • acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the College resides;
  • seeking to make the College environment culturally safe;
  • giving special consideration to First Nations people towards their academic success in the College’s courses.


If there is either an informal or formal complaint made about the conduct of a student that breaches this Code of Conduct but is not addressed by any other policy (such as the Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy or Academic Integrity Policy), the matter will be addressed by either the Dean of Students or Dean of Studies. The student will be given the opportunity to explain his/her case. The student and any complainant will normally be offered pastoral care.  If it is found that there is a valid complaint the Dean of Studies will report the matter to the Academic Board. The Academic Board or a subcommittee appointed at a meeting convened for this purpose will decide what measures should be taken. These may range from warnings for less serious matters; through to suspension in more serious cases, which means the cancellation, for a specified period of time, of enrolment and all rights and privileges of being a student of the College, including the right to be on the College premises; or in extreme cases of serious misconduct, a student being expelled from the College, which means the cancellation of enrolment and all rights and privileges of being a student of the College, including the right to be on the College premises.

All outcomes of complaints will be reported to the Governing Board of the College