Professional conduct is something administrators and faculty at Drury take seriously. The university has formal policies to safeguard against inappropriate activity, and written procedures in the event a faculty member conducts himself or herself inappropriately with a student. Drury also has ongoing programs to educate faculty on related issues.
Drury Chaplain The Rev. Peter Browning says one way that awareness manifests itself is in the precautions he takes when counseling. Confidentiality is a priority, but so is propriety. He explaines that for him, the faculty's open-door policy with students has a double meaning. Figuratively, it means students are encouraged to visit his office for individual guidance. But it also literally means the door stays open. Browning is sensitive to recent scandals, especially in the religious community, and feels one thing parents and students "have to be able to trust absolutely is that we will not harm the students."
Since counseling often means helping students through intensely personal issues or crises that sometimes can blur the lines of relationship, Browning is cautious to keep appropriate boundaries, insisting that students call him Dr. or Rev. Browning.
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But caution isn't the only reason Browning maintains a certain level of separation. He also believes that "students deserve a mentor," as opposed to just another peer. That means not only setting an example for them in the classroom but outside the educational setting as well. Browning feels that consistency in what he professes and in his personal and spiritual life is crucial. "I think people expect and trust me to be a person who takes my own Christian spiritual life seriously...so that means that I am engaged in regular biblical study, prayer and reflection on how to improve the chaplaincy so it supports people's needs."