Email Use Policy

Each Western Seminary student is expected to regularly check their Western Seminary email address. Access to this email address is provided upon initial registration.

1.0 Purpose

Western Seminary's email services support the educational and administrative activities of the Seminary and serve as a means of official communication by and between users and Western. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that this critical service remains available and reliable, and is used for purposes appropriate to the Seminary's mission.

2.0 Scope

This policy applies to all members of the Seminary community who are entitled to email services.

3.0 Policy

Western Seminary provides  electronic mail (email) services to faculty, staff and students, and to other affiliated classes of individuals, including alumni and official visitors. The use of Western email services must be consistent with Western Seminary's educational goals and comply with local, state, and federal laws and Seminary policies.

3.1 Western Email Addresses and Accounts

Faculty and Staff

Email services are available for faculty and staff to conduct and communicate Seminary business.

Email services are provided only while a user is employed by the Seminary and once a user's electronic services are terminated, as stated in Section 3.3 regarding Computer Privileges, employees may no longer access the contents of their mailboxes, nor should they export their mailbox to a personal account before departure.

Faculty and staff email users are advised that electronic data (and communications using the Seminary network for transmission or storage) may be reviewed and/or accessed by authorized Seminary officials for purposes related to Seminary business. Western Seminary has the authority to access and inspect the contents of any equipment, files, or email on its electronic systems.


Email services are available for students to support learning and for communication by and between the Seminary and themselves. The services are provided only while a student is enrolled in the Seminary and once a student's electronic services are terminated, as specified in section 3.3 regarding Computer Privileges, students may no longer access the contents of their mailboxes.

Western Seminary has the authority to access and inspect the contents of any equipment, files, or email on its electronic systems.

Alumni and Others

At this time, Alumni and others will not be granted email privileges.

3.2 Acceptable Use under Seminary Policies

Email users have a responsibility to learn about and comply with Western Seminary's policies on acceptable users of our electronic services. Violation of these policies will result in disciplinary action dependent upon the nature of the violation. Examples of prohibited uses of email include:

  • Intentional and unauthorized access to other people's email;
  • Sending "spam", chain letters, or any other type of unauthorized widespread distribution of unsolicited mail;
  • Use of email for commercial activities or personal gain (with the exception of .edu related discounts or services [i.e. Amazon Prime, Spotify Premium for Students, etc.] provided by third-parties);
  • Use of email for partisan political or lobbying activities;
  • Sending of messages that constitute violations of Western's Code of Conduct;
  • The creation of auto-forwarding rules to emails outside of our organization;
  • Creation and use of a false or alias email address in order to impersonate another or send fraudulent communications;
  • Use of email to transmit materials in a manner that violates copyright laws.

Any abuses of Western Seminary's email services should be directed to our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3.3 Email Life-Cycles


Students are granted access to all electronic services, which includes unlimited storage space for email (Outlook) and documents (OneDrive) in their Microsoft 365 account. Note that this also applies to periods when on leave or upon some types of terminations.

How long services are maintained depends upon the reasons for separation from Western, and if applicable, what is known about the projected readmission date.

For Graduating Students: After the term of your completion, your account will begin its process of shutting off. After graduation, you will have a year to move desired data that would be helpful for your time after Seminary from your account to another space.

Stop-Out or Withdrawn Students: When you have not registered for the upcoming semester, you will have a year to move desired data that would be helpful for your time after Seminary from your account to another space. If during that year of time you decide to come back and take classes, your account will restart active status (and the one-year timer removed) upon re-registration.

Terminated or Expelled Students: Services are expired after a grace period to be determined.


Faculty and staff are to be afforded all electronic services while they are actively associated with Western Seminary, including during leaves with or without pay.

Upon permanently leaving Western, a staff member's services are discontinued the business day following their last day of work.

3.4 Security and Privacy

Western attempts to provide secure, private, and reliable email services by following sound information technology practices. However, Western cannot guarantee the security, privacy, or reliability of its email service. All email users, therefore, should exercise extreme caution in using Western email to communicate confidential or sensitive matters.

3.5 Best Practices in Use of Email


Western Seminary email users should be careful not to open unexpected attachments from unknown or even known senders, nor follow web links within an email message unless the user is certain that the link is legitimate. Following a link in an email message executes code, that can also install malicious programs on the workstation.

Identity Theft

Forms sent via email from an unknown sender should never be filled out by following a link. Theft of one's identity can result.

Password Protection

Western Seminary's policy requires the use of strong passwords for the protection of email. A strong password must contain digits or punctuation characters as well as letters.

Forwarding Email

Western Seminary email users may choose to have their email delivered to a CIS-managed or contracted mailbox or forwarded to another mail repository. However, a non-Western forwarding address should not be used if there is a reasonable expectation that confidential information will be exchanged. Email is not considered a secure mechanism and should not be used to send information that is not considered public.

Staying Current

Official Seminary communications such as urgent bulk email and course email should be read on a regular basis since those communications may affect day-to-day activities and responsibilities.

Compromised Accounts

An email account that has been compromised, whether through password-cracking, social engineering, or any other means, must be promptly remedied with the appropriate means.

The appropriate means will include a password reset, review of account settings, computer scans and malware disinfection to prevent possible leakage of PII, spamming, potentially infecting others, and degradations of network service.  If the account is being used to harm others at the Seminary and the owner cannot be reached in a reasonable period of time (“reasonable” being driven by the negative impact to the Western Seminary community), the Director of Information Technology Operation will direct the Information Technology group to reset the password.

Should the same account be compromised three or more times in any 12-month period, the account will be immediately suspended, and will not be re-enabled until the user notifies the Director of Information Technology Operations to ensure that all remediation has taken place, and is provided with remedial training.