LDS Education Initiative to provide educational opportunities to members around the globe.
Elder Kim Bryce Clark, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Commissioner of Church Education announced last February during a meeting that was held at Brigham Young University, that this coming fall the Church would launch a new initiative to provide religious and secular education courses to the Church members wherever the Church is organized.
The new Doctrinal Mastery program was launched last month during the 2016 Seminaries and Institutes Annual Training Broadcast that was held at the Salt Lake City Conference Center Little Theater. Elder Clark, during the event, said that this initiative would bring education to the Church members all around the world, in the “Lord's way.” ” It’s a greater work than we’ve ever done before… The Lord is working in power to strengthen teaching and learning in his true and living church.” The new initiative would take the Church members into new educational and spiritual terrain.
Since the event was streamed online, LDS Church members from all around the world were able to be part of this historic moment. Over 50,000 instructors along with their partners, from around 150 countries, listened to the Church leaders speaking about the youth of the Church today and about the educational system. The administrator for Seminaries and Institutes of Religion, Chad H. Webb, and the second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, Sister Neill F. Marriott, also spoke during the event.
The Church Education System (CES) Global Education Initiative was born out of a desire to offer educational opportunities to more members of the Church. By coordinating between the different Church programs, the CES program would be able to provide educational courses, ranging from high school education to master's degrees and to students around the globe at an accessible cost.
According to Elder Clark, for the initiative, spiritual focus to online learning would be essential. The program would collaborate with all the CES institutions. It would also partner with Church departments and Self Reliance Services. Instruction will be delivered online. Priesthood leaders would help the students to access programs through their local Church units.
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Another important part of the initiative is obtaining instruction from local schools, along with religious education at an institution.
Sister Marriott, while speaking at the event, said that it is essential to make the students understand the daily reality of Christ's redemption. It should be a priority in the minds of the instructors. When the classroom becomes a place of connection, the students will learn with mind and heart.