Picture of Johnathan Pritchett
Plagiarism
by Johnathan Pritchett - Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 11:03 AM
 
Dear Trinity Students,

Below is a message from Prof. Johnathan Pritchett regarding plagiarism. I wanted to add that while it may seem strange that Prof. Pritchett would react so strongly, I was naively shocked to confirm plagiarism on the part of one of our students (after it was reported to me by another Trinity professor). Along with the academic committee and Institutional Review Board, I dealt with this through great sorrow. We have students from 120+ countries. Some students come from a cultural context in which the severity of plagiarism is not highlighted. For this reason, we tried to show mercy with respect to the student in question. Nevertheless, the offenses continued. One other case may have now surfaced. I felt the need to add weight to Prof. Pritchett's words here and to clarify that this is not wide spread (thankfully), but the two cases of which I am personally aware are enough to warrant some positive action from Trinity with respect to how we function. Within the next few weeks we will create a video explaining plagiarism and place it in the TOLC. Incoming students will be informed of the video and it will include a very clear explanation of Trinity's guidelines on this. We already have this information available, but we are going the extra mile. Most of you would never dream of intentionally plagiarizing material. I'm so grateful for that. You can be proud that your school is taking these things so seriously in order to protect its reputation which impacts the high value of your Trinity degree. 

Blessings, 
Braxton Hunter, PhD
Executive Vice President
Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary

The other night, when I was troubled, angry, and upset about the several instances of plagiarism we have found here as of late, I posted the following here in the TOLC:

It appears that an outbreak of plagiarism has struck Trinity recently.

As if "You shall not steal" in Ex. 20:15 is not clear enough...

Not only does plagiarism count as sin against God, it is also a sin the person from whom you plagiarized, as well as against your fellow students who are seeking Spirit-guided training in the pursuit of loving God with their own mind rather than stealing the thoughts from the minds of others. It is a sin against this fine institution and its code of honorable conduct.

This shameful behavior is unacceptable. It is unacceptable to God, to Trinity, and all the hard-working students here who apply their skills and scholarship in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty centered on the Logos. Christ, our King Jesus who has saved us from such filth as this, is shamed by this.

Fellow students devoting time, energy, dexterity, and expense putting forth hours of outstanding original work for our Lord are dishonored by those who would seek the easy route of thoughtless copy/paste from Google and expect a degree bearing the same as those who earn it.

Such lazy contempt for God, Trinity, and her fine students is not and will not tolerated here.

I took it down shortly after posting it though. After calming down a bit and reflecting on it some more, I decided that what I initially wrote above was still appropriate in both tone and content, given the seriousness of the subject. 

Having said that, some people may still not be clear on what plagiarism actually is. If that is the case, then I also want to be helpful. 

If for whatever reason you are not familiar with what plagiarism is, look at these links:

http://www.trinitysem.edu/Student/Notice/Notice.html

http://www.trinitysem.edu/Student/LessonInstruction/OutsideSources.html

http://www.trinitysem.edu/Student/LessonInstruction/WritingStandards.html 

(Edited by Christopher Hunter - original submission Sunday, April 19, 2015, 03:27 PM)