Trinity International University

TIU Statement

Human Sexuality Statement

TIU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). As such, we are committed to learning, growing, and deepening our understanding of how we can provide and strengthen support for all students on our campuses.

CCCU institutions ascribe to a number of biblical convictions that are considered counter-cultural, including a historic, biblical understanding of marriage as part of broader convictions around human sexuality and gender. They serve diverse student bodies, and work to care for all students, as the institutions seek for them to believe and feel that they are created in the image of God and therefore possess full dignity, value, and worth.

It is out of these convictions that TIU adopted the following board-approved Human Sexuality Statement in July 2023:

As an institution entrusted with the gospel...

…we celebrate the good news that God loved the world so much that he sent his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life. We give thanks to God that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. As those who have received God’s grace and forgiveness, we desire to share God’s grace and to live faithfully in accord with the mission and core values of Trinity International University. We seek to live and relate to one another and to engage the culture in a Christ-honoring way, practicing convictional kindness and convictional civility. In that light we affirm the following statement.

  • This policy, drawn from Scripture as our ultimate authority, sets forth a Christian vision of human sexuality as a good gift of God. The divine design for sexual expression within the commitment of marriage between a man and a woman is fundamental to the well-ordering of human society and is integral to human flourishing. The divine design is fidelity within marriage and celibacy for all outside of that bond. We desire to articulate this ethic as moral truth binding on us all while recognizing our need of God’s grace and forgiveness in the ways that we all fall short of this divine ideal. Co-habitation, polygamy, and same -sex marriage all fall short of the divine design.
  • We in the Trinity Community regard marriage as a good creation of God, and marriage within the Church as a rite and institution tied directly to our foundational belief of God as Creator who made us male and female. We also regard marriage as a sacred institution which images the mysterious and wonderful bond between Christ and his Church. To us, then, marriage is much more than merely a contract between two persons (a secular notion). It is a covenant grounded in promises between a man and a woman that finds its divinely intended expression in the “one flesh” union of husband and wife, and between the “one flesh” union of husband and wife and God (the divine design). We therefore will only authorize and recognize heterosexual marriages.
  • Recognizing the Trinity Community as a family, we will seek ways to encourage deep spiritual relationships as brothers and sisters in Christ, with a special effort to include those who are single. We in the Trinity Community will model the counter-cultural reality that intimate, loving relationships need not be erotic.
  • In addition, we affirm that God’s creation of human beings as male and female provides a biologically-sexed identity grounded in God’s good design. Because Scripture teaches that human beings are embodied creatures–a unity of soul and body1–this sexual difference ought to be properly recognized and valued in ways that honor God’s purposes for marriage, family, friendships, and the church.
  • Because we live in a world marred by sin that leaves no one and nothing untouched, we acknowledge that we may experience desires toward others and feelings about ourselves that do not accord with the goodness of God’s purpose in creating human beings as male and female. Because our sexuality and its social expression are so integral to human identity, we should also expect that these desires and feelings may seem deeply ingrained. Nevertheless, Scripture teaches that we honor God’s gift of sexed difference and experience true freedom by seeking to conform our desires and feelings to God’s purposes. In submitting to the means of grace God has given, such as meditation on Scripture, patient prayer, and life together in the church, he sustains his people even in the struggles of this life.
  • Our affirmation of God’s design in creating us male and female means that we cannot support or affirm attempts to resolve the tension between a person’s biological sex and their feelings by trying to promote a sense of self discordant with their biological sex, nor can we support or affirm the use of pharmacology or surgery to manipulate sexual characteristics to create the outward impression of the opposite sex or of an indeterminate appearance.2
  • At the same time, the Bible demands that we extend love and compassion to those whose sexual self-understanding is shaped by a distressing conflict between the givenness of their biological sex and the confusion of their feelings about sexual identity.3 This conflict can create immense pain which calls for sensitive pastoral care. The gospel offers us the hope of transformation but not the promise that this transformation will be fully resolved until our bodies are transformed through resurrection when Christ returns. In the meantime, we must not minimize the inestimable value of knowing what is real and good and the vital importance of submitting our lives to the truth revealed in Scripture, even when doing so will be and
    feel costly. And we must seek ways to minister to and support those who struggle with gender confusion, and those who have family members or others close to them who identify as LGBTQ+.
1 This holistic view of humanity is demonstrated most clearly in the fact that to become a human being the Son of God had to assume a human soul and a human body.
2 We recognize that intersex conditions (or disorders of sexual development) exist in which the development of phenotypic and genotypic sex characteristics deviate from standard biological development. While statistically rare, we also recognize the importance of carefully considering them. Treatment (including non-intervention) of these disorders differs categorically from transgender interventions, which are performed on persons with no inherent variability in sex organ development, function, or fertility.
3 This human condition is described psychiatrically as gender dysphoria, i.e., gender distress.