Student Complaint Procedures

Northern Seminary students may file a complaint according to these procedures.

Academic Complaints of a Student Against a Professor, Including Contesting a Grade

If a student has an academic complaint against a faculty member (regular, affiliate or adjunct) and the matter cannot be resolved with that faculty member, the student has the right to appeal to the Dean, who has final authority. If the student so chooses, he or she has ten business days after receipt of the decision to file an appeal with the Dean’s Office. The appeal will be heard by the Faculty/Student Guidance Committee, which will consist of three faculty (not currently teaching the student) and two students, all of whom are appointed by the President of Northern. The student filing the appeal may challenge the appointment of one professor and one student. See the Academic Catalog for details.

Complaints Regarding Compliance with Accrediting Standards

Any student has the right to file a formal complaint related to the Seminary’s compliance with the accrediting standards of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Such complaints should be submitted to the Vice President of Academic Affairs in writing. It will be the responsibility of the Vice President of Academic Programs to investigate the complaint and respond to the student in writing within thirty days. A record of such complaints will be maintained in the Dean’s Office for review by the Association of Theological Schools. Unresolved complaints can also be submitted to the Illinois Board of Higher Education at For other stated, please click here to view a listing of State Contact Information for Student Complaints.

Complaints Regarding Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading, or is otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights, may discuss their problems informally with the Registrar. If the decisions are in agreement with the students’ requests, the appropriate records will be amended; and they will be informed by the Office of the Registrar of their right to a formal hearing. Student requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the Vice President of Academic Programs, who, within a reasonable period of time after receiving such requests, will inform students of the date, place and the time of the hearing. See the Academic Catalog for details.

Students who believe that the adjudications of their challenges were unfair, or not in keeping with the provisions of the Act may request, in writing, assistance from the President of the Seminary. Further, students who believe that their rights have been abridged, may file complaints with the Family Policy Compliance Office, US Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202, concerning the alleged failures of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary to comply with the Act. Revisions and clarifications will be published as experience with the law and the institution’s policy warrants. For more information about FERPA, see here.

Grievance Regarding Harassment or Discrimination

The Seminary affirms its commitment to equality of opportunity, under God, for all individuals. There shall be no harassment or discrimination against any applicant, student or employee on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or handicap. This policy is intended to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and 1992, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975.

Any person(s) who believes he, she or they have a grievance on account of an occurrence of being harassed or discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or handicap shall, within 30 days after the occurrence, attempt to resolve it by either or both of the following actions: 1) conferring with the person(s) against whom he/she has the grievance; or, 2) conferring with the Director of Academic Operations/Chief Compliance Officer, who serves as the designated Title IX and Section 504 Coordinator. Anonymous reports may also be made to the Campus Conduct Hotline at 1-866-943-5787.

If resolution is not reached in the above manner, then the person shall make a written request to the Vice President of Academic Programs for a hearing with an ad hoc Grievance Committee, which written request shall set forth in detail the facts in connection with such harassment or discrimination. See the Academic Catalog for details.