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Friday, July 22, 2016

Mormons Are Making Their Mark on Academia

Learn of Me. The knowledge of the gospel
of Jesus Christ is the greatest education
 of all. (See Matthew 11:29.) Apr. 2009.
Accessed July 22, 2016
from the LDS Media Library.
By the time the rest of the world wakes up and discovers what Mormons have accomplished, and are still doing, in higher education; it will be too late for them to catch up or copy us.

What are they doing? I'm glad you asked. Mormons are making higher education inexpensive, high quality and available anywhere in the world.


Few people outside of Mormondom even know what Mormons have already done in academia. 


They may have heard about BYU in a sports context; but that is now a small, and insignificant detail.

Mormons have several types of schools:


A research university: Brigham Young University

A teaching college/university: Brigham Young University-Idaho
An international college with intensive English instruction: Brigham Young University-Hawaii
A business and technical college: LDS Business College

All of these Church schools are working together, along with the Church Education System (CES), to accomplish this ambitious plan. The BYU-Idaho Pathway program and the new Self-Reliance effort will also play a big part.


They are fixing some of the most difficult problems that plague higher education in both the secular and religious worlds.

Here's just a snippet of what they are doing and how they are doing it:
  • The Church is expanding the work of existing higher education schools and efforts. It is not building something entirely new. This will lower costs, because the administrative structure already exists.
  • BYU-Idaho has abolished tenure. This is significant because most professors are forced to compete against each other in their schools as well as with professors in other schools for advancement honors.
  • BYU-Idaho will deliver the educational product. Professors will be focused on teaching and serving students. By de-emphasizing research, professors can be freed from publishing requirements that don't serve teaching needs.
  • The Church is making maximum use of the Internet and digital teaching tools to provide blended and online only educational options.
  • The Church can utilize qualified teachers all over the world, via digital tools. The teachers don't need to be physically close to a campus.
  • This blended and online model doesn't require a lot of brick and mortar buildings to be built.
  • Education can be delivered during the week in existing buildings -- stake centers and meetinghouses.
  • The Church is making judicious use of volunteers. Students starting their schooling by learning English can practice their skills with speaking partners.

It won't be long before other schools across the world take an interest in all this, just like others do the Church's welfare program now.

Sadly, they won't be able to make it work for them. Part of will make the LDS effort successful in the future, and what is making it successful now, is the LDS value structure unique to our faith.

This and combining secular education with religious instruction is an unbeatable combination!

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