Student Complaint and Grievance Process
State Authorization and Student Complaints about Delivery of Distance Education
Student Academic Complaints & Appeals
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and The College at Southeastern (SEBTS) equip students to serve the Church and to fulfill the Great Commission. Essential to accomplishing its mission is the fair application of its policies and a campus culture that is transparent and promotes personal formation and positive interpersonal relationships. To this end, SEBTS provides a mechanism for students to raise concerns and grievances.
Online and extension center students are allowed to submit appeals and grievances for the same reasons and by the same channels as student on-campus.
Any student that wishes to appeal a grade or present an academic-related concern should speak directly with the relevant faculty member within a semester of completing the course in order to seek clarification or help with the matter. If an issue cannot be resolved directly with the faculty member, the student may raise an informal complaint to an Associate Academic Dean. The Associate Dean may discuss the case with the faculty member to seek resolution. If the matter remains unresolved, the student may appeal to the Dean of the College or the Dean of Graduate Studies. The faculty member or dean must reply to the complaint within 5 days of receiving it.
If an Associate Dean is the relevant faculty member, the student may raise the informal complaint with the Dean of the College or the Dean of Graduate Studies. If the Dean of the College is the relevant faculty member, the student may raise the informal complaint with the Dean of Graduate Studies. If the Dean of Graduate Studies is the relevant faculty member, the student may raise the informal complaint with the Dean of the College. If the matter remains unresolved in any of the above cases, the Dean of the College or the Dean of Graduate Studies may carry the issue to the Provost. If the issue is brought to the Provost he has to respond to it within a week of receiving it.
If the issue is not directly related to a class or faculty member but has to do with general academic policy, students may seek counsel from the Registrar. If the issue is not resolved by speaking with the Registrar, students may request to speak with the Dean of the College or the Dean of Graduate Studies to raise an informal complaint. If the matter remains unresolved, the appropriate Dean may carry the issue to the Provost.
In most cases, the above stated procedures should resolve the grievance by either clarifying the established policy in question or facilitate a resolution for the problem. However, if a resolution to the problem has not been reached via these procedures, any student(s) who so desires may file a formal written complaint with the Provost via the Dean of the College or the Dean of Graduate Studies.
Depending on the issue, the Provost may act to resolve the problem and inform the student(s) of the decision, or he may carry the issue to the President’s Cabinet to seek advice for the resolution and then communicate the decision to the student in an appropriate manner. Any decision made by the Provost, President, or Cabinet in these matters is final. The President’s Cabinet acts under the authority of the institution’s Board of Trustees.
Other Complaints & Appeals
When a student has a complaint about something that is not specifically academic in nature, he or she is encouraged to speak directly with the responsible administrator (e.g., a complaint about housing issues would be discussed with the Director of Housing). For example, a complaint about the food in Magnolia Kitchen would be discussed directly with Chef Virginia. Administrators are expected to act according to the established policies and procedures of the school and with concern for the welfare of all students. Usually, a direct conversation (preferably face-to-face) with the responsible administrator will lead to resolution of the issue.
At any time, however, students may file a complaint with the Dean of Students Office. If necessary, students may also seek a resolution through the Dean of Students Office by emailing William Bowers after speaking directly with the responsible administrator (for roommate issues, students should seek resolution by speaking with the roommate, and if necessary, students may also speak with the House System & Discipleship Supervisors or the Director of College Life). The Dean of Students Office and Student Life Office will seek to help the student resolve his or her complaint according to the established policies and procedures of the institution, and with concern also for the welfare of all students.
If, and only if, a resolution to the complaint has not been reached according to the above procedures, students may file a formal written complaint with the Dean of Students Office. The complaint form may be obtained from the Student Life Office by following this link. The Dean of Students may act to resolve the issue and inform the student(s) of the decision, or he may carry the issue to the President’s Cabinet for advice and/or resolution. The decision will then be communicated to the student(s) in a manner appropriate to the complaint. Any decision from the Cabinet is final.
For issues related to meal plans or Magnolia Kitchen, please send an e-mail to [email protected], or talk directly with the Magnolia Kitchen staff.
For technical assistance, please contact our Information Technology Department or our Housing Department.
Disciplinary Action & Institutional Status Appeals
Any student who feels he or she has been unjustly issued a decision and letter of disciplinary action related to institutional status (e.g., probation, suspension, etc.) has a maximum of 15 business days from the date of ruling to appeal the decision to the institution. The appeal must be made in writing and must be submitted directly to the Dean of Students Office by the end of the 15th business day following the date of ruling.
If the Dean of Students issued the ruling, or if the student is not satisfied with the Dean of Student’s original ruling, the student may then appeal in writing to the President’s Office (per the 15-day policy above). (1) The President himself may then make a decision regarding the matter; (2) he may also seek the advice of the Cabinet; or (3) appoint a committee (refer to below) to hear the appeal of the student. In any of these three avenues of ruling, the President has full authority to act as he deems most appropriate. Any decision made by the President, Cabinet, or appointed committee at this level is final.
Student Disciplinary Committee
If the President chooses to appoint a Student Disciplinary Committee, it will be comprised of the Associate Vice President of Student Life (who will serve as Chairman), two faculty members, two staff members, and two students. The committee will listen to the testimony of the student and the administration. After considering the facts and the welfare of the student, the committee will recommend to the President whether to uphold previous disciplinary decisions or to propose a new course of action. The administration will consider the committee’s recommendation, plus any new facts that may have come to light, and the President and/or Dean of Students will notify the student and the committee in writing of the administration’s final decision.
Complaints Against the Institution to Accreditor
For Southern Association of Colleges and Schools / COC, students may also file a grievance against Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary regarding a possible violation of the Principles of Accreditation, the Core Requirements, and Policies or Procedures, as well as to address possible violations of the institution’s own policies and procedures. To file a grievance, students should obtain a copy of the latest edition of Complaint Procedures Against the Commission or its Accredited Institutions. Complaints against SEBTS, regarding issues related to the Principles of Accreditation, filed in accordance with the SACSCOC procedure, are filed in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
They are as follows:
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools / COC
1866 Southern Lane Decatur, GA 30033-4097
North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints Unit
The State Authorization Unit of the University of North Carolina System Office serves as the official state entity to receive complaints concerning post-secondary institutions that are authorized to operate in North Carolina. If students are unable to resolve a complaint through the institution’s grievance procedures, they can review the Student Complaint Policy (PDF) and submit their complaint using the online complaint form at https://studentcomplaints.northcarolina.edu/form.
For more information contact:
North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints
223 S. West Street, Suite 1800
Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone: (919) 962-4550.
To file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division of the North Carolina Department of Justice, please visit The State Attorney General’s web page at: http://www.ncdoj.gov/complaint. North Carolina residents may call (877) 566-7226. Outside of North Carolina, please call (919) 716-6000. En Espanol (919) 716-0058.
If you choose to mail a complaint, please use the following address:
Consumer Protection Division Attorney General’s Office Mail Service Center
9001 Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
SARA – NC
SEBTS is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement- North Carolina (SARA-NC) which is the portal for North Carolina. Students may also file a complaint through SARA-NC. Students should follow the SARA-NC Complaint Process and use the SARA-NC Complaint Form.
SARA-NC Contact Information:
SARA North Carolina
North Caroline State Education Assistance Authority
P.O. Box 41349
Raleigh, NC 27629.
Telephone: (855) SARA-1-NC (727-2162)
Telephone: (919) 549-8614, ext. 4667
Email: [email protected]
If a student wishes to contact the state portal entities for his or her home state, contact information for state portal directors in each state can be found on the NC-SARA website. State by state contact information for agencies responsible for receiving student consumer complaints can be found online.
Currently SEBTS does not offer any programs that lead to professional licensure.