Human Sexuality

Wheaton College's Convictions Regarding Human Sexuality

The Wheaton College view of human sexuality begins with fundamental truths from the creation narrative: we are created in God’s image, our physical existence as living beings is blessed by God, and God’s original intent is for human beings to exist as male and female. Further, Scripture teaches that sexual intercourse in marriage binds husband and wife together as one flesh, enables the divine gift of children, affords mutual pleasure, fosters marital intimacy, and serves as a living metaphor of Christ’s oneness with the church. Scripture also teaches that faithful singleness characterized by sexual chastity is a blessed state. Single and married Christians can reflect the full likeness of Jesus Christ, as the experience of Christian community and practice of kingdom service fosters deep friendships and leads to the enjoyment of many pleasures of human companionship outside of sexual intimacy. Sexuality is a good gift from God in harmony with being made in his image—the imago Dei.

Sadly, humanity’s fall into sin introduced brokenness, rebellion, and confusion into every aspect of creation, including our sexuality. Yet not even the consequences of sin can erase the fundamental goodness of God’s gift. God redeems our sexuality in Jesus Christ, through his purposes revealed for us in the Holy Scriptures, and through the transforming and purifying work of the Holy Spirit. Sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman. Both celibate singleness and holy matrimony can express devotion to God and manifest godly character. Whether we are single or married, Jesus Christ offers abundance of life. All who are called to new life in the body of Christ have the opportunity for ongoing transformation of their sexuality. Embodying God’s design and intent for our sexuality is a lifelong process that one day will be perfected in glory.

Wheaton College's Expectations for Sexual Behavior

Wheaton College believes that sexual intimacy was created as a gift by God to be an expression of love between a woman and a man in the context of a life-long marriage commitment. Therefore, all students, regardless of age, residency, or status, are expected to abstain from cohabitation with the opposite sex, premarital sexual intimacy (specifically, the stimulation of the breasts or genitals), any and all extramarital sexual behavior, any and all same-sex sexual behavior (including same-sex dating relationships, civil unions, or marriages), viewing pornography, and any and all sexual violence. Sexual behavior can include physical expressions of, written descriptions about, and/or visual images suggesting sexual intimacy. The College will respond to prohibited sexual behavior, wherever it is observed or reported (including on social media), with grace-filled correction and spiritual accountability.  Source:  Sexual Behavior Policy, Wheaton College Student Handbook

Wheaton College's Convictions Regarding Sexual Immorality

Wheaton’s convictions regarding human sexuality are summarized in our Community Covenant, which all community members agree to live by.  We believe that sexual immorality is sinful and define it as behavior that includes “the use of pornography (Matt. 5:27-28), premarital sex, adultery, homosexual behavior and all other sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage between a man and woman (Rom. 1:21-27; 1 Cor. 6: 9-10; Gen. 2:24; Eph 5:31).”

Wheaton College's Recommendations for Pursuing Christ-Center Sexuality

Participate in a gospel-believing, Christ-centered church.

Pursue a relationship with Jesus by developing the habits of the spiritual disciplines.

Approach God with an obedient and humble posture, seeking Him and offering all longings and desires to Him. 

Find need-meeting intimacy and encouragement in Christ-centered friendships.

Actively seek to understand God’s purpose and plan for human sexuality, and his purpose and plan in creating two different, complementary sexes.            

Live in obedience to God’s plan for human sexuality as celibate single persons, or as persons faithfully married to someone of the opposite sex.

Wheaton College's Perspective on Sexual Orientation

Wheaton College believes that the desires, attractions, and actions of Jesus’ followers are under the authority of God’s Word and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, with the prayers and encouragement of God’s people in the Church toward Christ-like obedience. We believe further that all people need God’s help in order for their desires and longings to come into growing alignment with what He wills and desires, because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Rom 3:23-24).

Wheaton College accepts the testimony of Christian brothers and sisters who do not experience a significant shift in their same sex attraction and pray for the help of the Holy Spirit to remain faithful as followers of Christ. The College also accepts the testimony of brothers and sisters who say that by the help of the same Holy Spirit they have experienced sanctifying change in their sexual desires.

We have a confident hope that the Holy Spirit can empower us all to walk in holiness, even while the full transformation of our bodies, minds and spirits remains incomplete until our resurrection.