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Peter Susag
Title IX Coordinator
Gullixson Hall Library

Sexual Misconduct

Title IX protection

All members of the Luther Seminary community are entitled to an environment that enables them to develop and contribute in their full capacity. When sexual misconduct occurs, the standards of the institution are violated, and the environment is disrupted. Sexual misconduct is prohibited by law, as well as by institutional policy at Luther Seminary. It will not be tolerated.

Sexual misconduct committed on property owned or controlled by Luther Seminary, by a student, faculty member or staff member against any student, faculty member, staff member or visitor is prohibited and shall be considered a violation of this policy, whether or not prohibited by law. In addition, sexual misconduct committed by a student, faculty member or staff member against a member of these groups anywhere other than property owned or controlled by the seminary will violate this policy if, in the sole discretion of the Seminary, the conduct adversely and significantly affects the perpetrator’s suitability as a member of the Seminary community. Any person violating this policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge of an employee or expulsion of a student.

Romantic relationships between faculty members and students or staff members and students create issues of actual or perceived exploitation and favoritism. Holding to the highest standards of professionalism, faculty and staff members are prohibited from seeking out, encouraging, or entering into a sexual or romantic relationship with any student during the time in which the student is enrolled at Luther Seminary.

Matters of sexual misconduct within the Seminary will be addressed with seriousness and regard for the persons involved. Under no circumstances will Luther Seminary tolerate reprisals against an individual who in good faith reports harassment.

Luther Seminary's Sexual Misconduct Policy

Submit an incident report

Resources for Victims

Any victim of sexual misconduct should consider seeking immediate medical and emotional assistance. Assistance is available by utilizing the following services:

911 (dial 9-911 from an on-campus telephone)

St. Paul Police 651-291-1111
Minneapolis Police 612-348-2345
Regions Hospital Crisis Line 651-254-9200
SOS Sexual Violence Services (Ramsey County) 651-266-1000
Minneapolis Sexual Violence Center 612-871-5111
Rape & Sexual Abuse Center 612-825-4357
Seminary Pastor 651-641-3216
Seminary Title IX Coordinator 651-641-3465


  • Speak to someone. If you are able and willing, speak directly to the person involved. It may be that the person does not understand his or her behavior to be offensive. If you prefer not to address the person directly, or wish to gain a broader perspective, consider talking to a designated leader in this policy. You may engage in this initial conversation without revealing the name of the person or persons involved.
  • Seek information and support. Each of the designated leaders can provide more background on the nature of sexual harassment, the avenues for maintaining confidentiality, and formal and informal steps a student can take to resolve an offensive situation. Such informal steps may include a spoken or written response to the person causing the offense, a mediated conversation, or a decision not to seek further resolution.
  • Do not blame yourself. Your inquiry or complaint will be taken seriously. Your confidentiality will be respected to the degree possible, and your complaint will not be revealed to others without your consent whenever possible. If Luther Seminary becomes aware of sexual misconduct, however, it will promptly investigate to determine what occurred and take appropriate steps to resolve the situation. Your willingness to speak out and seek help contributes to the good of the whole community.

Luther Seminary recognizes that any decision to report sexual misconduct to the police is the right of the victim. However, Seminary personnel responding to an incident of sexual misconduct will inform the victim of the options of criminal prosecution, medical assistance and the Seminary’s complaint process. Campus personnel will assist the victim with these contacts if requested. In addition, confidential counseling, support resources, academic assistance and alternative housing assignments will be discussed as appropriate. Seminary personnel will also inform victims of their rights under the Crime Victims Bill of Rights, including assistance from the Minnesota State Crime Victims Reparations Board and the Minnesota State Office of the Crime Victim Ombudsman.

Complaint Process

Students, faculty or staff may make a complaint of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or to the Title IX Investigators. Complaints will be referred for investigation to Title IX Coordinator. Individuals who are the victim of sexual misconduct have the option to seek assistance from Luther Seminary, law enforcement, both or neither if they so choose.

All Seminary personnel (including faculty, staff and administrators) are obligated to report all suspected or alleged incidents of sexual misconduct to the persons listed above. The only exception to this standard is the position of the Seminary Pastor. This person is not obligated to report incidents of sexual harassment, where in their reasonable judgment they are acting in a counseling capacity and are bound by formal, written ethical constraints to preserve confidentiality.

Complaints need not be in writing initially, and every complaint of sexual misconduct will be investigated. Even if the complainant does not wish to pursue the complaint, requests that no action be taken, or requests to remain confidential or to not participate in the process, the Seminary has an obligation to respond to reports of sexual misconduct. The Seminary’s ability to respond may be limited if a complainant wishes to remain anonymous. No guarantees can be made to a complainant regarding absolute confidentiality, but the Title IX officials will consider and honor a request for confidentiality to the extent reasonably possible consistent with the Seminary’s obligation to investigate and take appropriate action in response to a report of sexual misconduct or other information that the Seminary may otherwise have regarding alleged sexual misconduct.

If, during the course of the investigation, it is determined that no sexual misconduct occurred, the complaint will be filed with the Title IX Coordinator. Records related to sexual misconduct allegations and investigations, regardless of outcome, will be retained by the Seminary for seven years.

The complainant may be requested to submit in writing a detailed description of the alleged violation of this policy, as well as any additional information considered relevant to an investigation. If it appears that the safety or security of a complainant is in jeopardy, appropriate action will be taken to protect the complainant.

The Title IX Coordinator will direct an investigation utilizing appropriate investigators. All investigators and decision makers pursuant to this policy will be trained on methods for conducting investigation and hearings, if applicable, in a manner that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability. The investigation will be conducted in an impartial manner that aims to allow both the complainant and the person accused equal rights and equal opportunity to present their experiences, relevant witnesses, and other evidence.

Interim actions may be taken throughout the process to ensure the safety and well-being of the complainant. These actions may include prohibiting the accused from entering or being on Seminary property or contacting the complainant, or requiring a change in the accused’s residency (if the accused lives in Seminary housing), student status, or class schedule.

The Seminary will notify the complainant of the time frame for the investigation. The investigation will afford the accused an opportunity to respond to the allegations. In addition, the complainant and any other persons believed to have information relevant to the investigation will be interviewed. The complainant will have the opportunity to present witnesses and evidence. Resolution of a complaint may occur prior to, during or as a result of an investigation, if appropriate, if recommended by the investigator and if acceptable to the complainant and the person accused. The determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the student violated the Sexual Misconduct policy and the Luther Seminary Student Code of Conduct (a preponderance of evidence). Both the complainant and the accused will be notified simultaneously of the determination in writing and have the opportunity to appeal. Both will also be notified simultaneously in writing of any change in the result upon appeal and when the result becomes final. Rules of evidence as in a court of law, however, shall not apply.

If the results of the investigation indicate sexual misconduct has occurred, the Seminary will take appropriate action. For students, such action may include, but is not limited to, education, counseling, and loss of privileges, housing restrictions, probation, suspension or expulsion. For faculty and staff, such action may include, but is not limited to, education, counseling, oral and/or written warnings, probation, suspension or termination of employment. Both the complainant and the accused will have the opportunity to be present during any disciplinary proceeding and will have the opportunity to be accompanied by a support person from the Luther Seminary Community of his or her choice.

Retaliation or intimidation against an individual who brings a complaint or participates in an investigation of sexual misconduct or pursues legal action is prohibited and will not be tolerated. Reports of suspected retaliation or intimidation should be made using the same reporting procedure described in this policy.

Immediate Action
Luther Seminary encourages individuals who believe they have been victims of sexual misconduct to pursue criminal legal action against the alleged perpetrator. An individual who believes that she or he has been the victim of sexual misconduct may pursue criminal action and an internal Seminary complaint concurrently. Even though the Seminary encourages individuals to pursue criminal legal action, an internal Seminary complaint may be pursued regardless of her/his decision about making a criminal complaint.

Retaliation against an individual who brings a complaint or participates in an investigation of sexual misconduct, or who pursues legal action on such grounds, is prohibited and will not be tolerated. Anyone who believes she or he is being intimidated or retaliated against in violation of this policy should report the matter to one of the authorities of the Seminary designated under this policy to receive reports.

Concerns regarding future security, academic issues or housing arrangements affecting the (alleged) victim should be addressed to the Senior Director of Facilities and Auxiliary Services and the victim will be notified of the options for, and available assistance in, changing academic and living situations, if so requested by the victim and if such changes are reasonably available.

Interim actions may be taken throughout the process to ensure the safety and well-being of the complainant. These actions may include prohibiting the accused from entering or being on Seminary property or contacting the complainant, or requiring a change in the accused’s residency (if the accused lives in Seminary housing), student status, or class schedule.

Luther Seminary will comply with any judicial no-contact, restraining or protective order if in place for a student of the Seminary in accordance with the terms of the order and applicable law.

Title IX Coordinator

Title IX refers to Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, and it prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender by institutions receiving federal money. Generally, the Title IX Coordinator is responsible for the development, implementation, and monitoring of meaningful efforts to comply with Title IX law. This includes overseeing the Title IX complaint process as well as identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems that arise.

Luther Seminary’s Title IX coordinator is:

  • Peter Susag

    Writing Support and Library Acquisitions Coordinator

    Gullixson Hall Library


Additionally, Luther Seminary has six Title IX Investigators:

  • David Fenrick
    Title IX Investigator
    Dean of Students
    Northwestern Hall, NW120
  • Marie Hayes
    Title IX Investigator
    Director, International Student & Scholar Affairs
    Northwestern Hall, NW120
  • Chenar Howard
    Title IX Investigator
    Associate Director, Student Affairs
    Northwestern Hall, NW120
  • Sarah Luedtke-Jones
    Title IX Investigator
    Director of Student Affairs
    Northwestern Hall, NW120
  • Leon Rodrigues
    Title IX Investigator
    Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    Northwestern Hall, President’s Office
  • Ashley Wheeler
    Title IX Investigator
    Candidacy Coordinator
    Bockman Hall, BH239

The Title IX Coordinator will identify any patterns or systemic problems that arise; Title IX Investigators will be engaged to follow up on specific complaints.

Governmental contacts

Minnesota Office of Higher Education
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55108-5227

Phone: (651) 642-0567
Toll Free: (800) 657-3866
Fax: (651) 642-0675

Office for Civil Rights - Midwest Region
Contact: Celeste Davis
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
233 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 240
Chicago, IL 60601

Customer Response Center: (800) 368-1019
Fax: (202) 619-3818
TDD: (800) 537-7697