Church Educational System
|Church Educational System|
|Type||Elementary, Secondary, and Higher Education|
|Commissioner||Paul V. Johnson|
|Academic staff||ca. 40,000|
17 elementary and secondary schools;
8,039 seminary and institute programs
|Headquarters||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Affiliations||The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|
The Church Educational System (CES) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) consists of several institutions that provide religious and secular education for both Latter-day Saint and non-Latter-day Saint elementary, secondary, and post-secondary students and adult learners. Approximately 1.2 million individuals were enrolled in CES programs in approximately 135 countries during the 2003–2004 school year. CES courses of study are separate and distinct from religious instruction provided through wards (local congregations). Paul V. Johnson, of the First Quorum of Seventy, has been the Commissioner of the Church Educational System since August 1, 2008.
Seminaries and Institutes of Religion 
Religious education programs designed for secondary students are called “seminaries." These are programs of religious education for youths ages 14–18 that accompany the students' secular education. In areas with large concentrations of Latter-day Saints, such as in and around the Mormon corridor in the United States, and some places in Alberta, Canada, instruction is offered on a released time basis during the normal school day in meetinghouses, or facilities built specifically for seminary programs, adjacent to public schools. Released-time seminary classes are generally taught by full-time employees. In areas with smaller LDS populations early-morning or home-study seminary programs are offered. Early-morning seminary classes are held daily before the normal school day in private homes or in meetinghouses and are taught by volunteer teachers. Home-study seminary classes are offered where geographic dispersion of students is so great that it is not feasible to meet on a daily basis. Home-study seminary students study daily, but meet only once a week as a class. Home-study classes are usually held in connection with weekly youth fellowship activities on a weekday evening.
The seminary program provides extensive study of theology using as texts the "standard works" of the church, the (Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants) throughout the school week, in addition to normal Sunday classes. The 4 courses are taught, 1 per year, on a rotating basis (the 2012-2013 curriculum follows the New Testament). Seminary students are encouraged to study each scriptural text on their own time and to memorize a total of 100 scriptural passages or "scripture mastery" verses during their participation in the four-year program.
Unlike use in other religious contexts, the word seminary, in an LDS Church context, does not refer to a higher education program designed to train students that they may obtain a church-based career. LDS seminary students do not get high school credit for their seminary studies.
Recently the LDS Church has piloted an online seminary program to supplement or supplant the home-study program. This online pilot program has seen success in helping to meet the needs of home-study students separated by distances that make meeting daily impractical. Through the church’s online learning system seminary teachers are able to incorporate student participation that includes sharing their own thoughts and ideas, as well as feelings and experiences they have had with the church. This helps provide a greater sense of community and connection as well as a chance to learn the gospel in a similar way that students do in areas with a larger concentrations of LDS youth.
Institutes of Religion 
Religious education is also provided for students who enroll in post-secondary education, or those of student age (generally for students ages 18–30), through institutes of religion. CES Institutes serve more than 150,000 students in more than 500 locations worldwide. Many colleges throughout the United States either have institute buildings or active programs near their campuses. Institute classes are offered in leased or owned facilities adjacent to institutions of higher education. Many LDS chapels, also lend their facilities for institute classes. Institute buildings are designed to provide a place for institute students to increase faith and understanding, learn church doctrines and life skills, carry out service projects, congregate, and socialize. The first Institute of Religion was established in northern Idaho at Moscow, adjacent to the University of Idaho. Currently the largest enrollment is at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. The largest enrollment outside the state of Utah is at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho.
Elementary, secondary, and higher education 
CES institutions that provide secular education, in addition to religious education, include elementary and secondary schools in Mexico and in the Pacific Islands, Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University–Idaho, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, and LDS Business College.
Elementary and secondary schools 
- Academia Juárez
- Preparatoria Benemérito de las Américas (Mexico City) — On January 29, 2013, the LDS Church announced the school would be closed and converted into a Missionary Training Center (MTC) at the end of the current school year. The new MTC is projected to open by July 2013.
- Moroni High School (Kiribati)
- LDS Primary School (Fiji)
- LDS Church College (Fiji)
- Church College of Western Samoa (Samoa)
- Sanuniatu Primary School (Samoa)
- Vaiola (Fusi) Primary School (Samoa)
- Church College of Savaii (Samoa)
- Liahona High School (Tonga)
- Saineha High School (Tonga)
- Liahona Middle School (Tonga)
- E'Ua Middle School (Tonga)
- Havelu Middle School (Tonga)
- Saineha Middle School (Tonga)
- Pangai Middle School (Tonga)
- Pakilau Middle School (Tonga)
Higher education 
- Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
- Brigham Young University–Hawaii, Lā'ie, Hawai'i
- Brigham Young University–Idaho, Rexburg, Idaho
- LDS Business College, Salt Lake City, Utah
After the emigration to and settlement of the mountain west areas of the United States, the LDS Church set up a number of "stake academies," which mainly provided secondary education due to the lack of public schools in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A few of these academies eventually evolved into colleges or universities. Most, however, were closed with the emergence of public school districts. These included:
- Bannock Stake Academy (now Brigham Young University–Idaho)
- St. Joseph Stake Academy (now Eastern Arizona College)
- St. George Stake Academy (now Dixie State College of Utah)
- Brigham Young Academy (now Brigham Young University)
- Cassia Stake Academy
- Oneida Stake Academy
- Church College of New Zealand (closed November 2009)
- Weber Stake Academy (now Weber State University)
The LDS Church also established formal colleges and universities:
- University of Deseret (now University of Utah)
- Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah
- Latter-day Saints' University (now LDS Business College)
General administration 
Church Board of Education and Boards of Trustees 
|Boards of Trustees/Education||Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Russell M. Nelson
Dallin H. Oaks
M. Russell Ballard
Donald L. Hallstrom
Linda K. Burton
Bonnie L. Oscarson
Office of the Commissioner of Church Education 
|Commissioner, Church Educational System||Paul V. Johnson|
|Assistant to the Commissioner and Secretary to the Boards||Roger G. Christensen|
Presidents / Administrator of individual CES units 
|President / Administrator||CES Unit||Location|
|Cecil O. Samuelson, Jr.||Brigham Young University||Provo, Utah|
|Kim B. Clark||Brigham Young University–Idaho||Rexburg, Idaho|
|Steven C. Wheelwright||Brigham Young University–Hawaii||Laie, Hawaii|
|J. Lawrence Richards||LDS Business College||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Chad H Webb||Seminaries and Institutes of Religion||Salt Lake City, Utah|
Chronology of the Commissioner of Church Education 
|1||1888–1901||Karl G. Maeser||Superintendent of Church Schools|
|2||1901–1905||Joseph M. Tanner||Superintendent of Church Schools|
|3||1905–1920||Horace H. Cummings||Commissioner of Church Schools|
|4||1920–1921||David O. McKay||Commissioner of Church Education|
|5||1921–1924||John A. Widtsoe||Commissioner of Church Education|
|6||1928–1933||Joseph F. Merrill||Commissioner of Church Education|
|7||1934–1936||John A. Widtsoe||Commissioner of Church Education|
|8||1936–1953||Franklin L. West||Commissioner of Church Education|
|9||1953–1970||Ernest L. Wilkinson||Administrator–Chancellor of the Unified Church School System|
|10||1970–1976||Neal A. Maxwell||Commissioner of Church Education|
|11||1976–1980||Jeffrey R. Holland||Commissioner of Church Education|
|12||1980–1986||Henry B. Eyring||Commissioner of Church Education|
|13||1986–1989||J. Elliot Cameron||Commissioner of Church Education|
|14||1992–2004||Henry B. Eyring||Commissioner of Church Education|
|15||2005–2008||W. Rolfe Kerr||Commissioner of Church Education|
|16||2008–||Paul V. Johnson||Commissioner of Church Education|
See also 
- "First Presidency appoints new CES Commissioner". Retrieved 5 July 2008.
- Mauss, Armand L. (2003). All Abraham's Children. University of Illinois Press. pp. 84–85. ISBN 978-0-252-02803-8. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
- Walker, Joseph (January 30, 2013), "Missionary surge prompts LDS Church to open new MTC in Mexico", Deseret News
- "Church Board of Education execs convene at BYUH". Retrieved 1 March 2008.
- Arrington, Leonard J. (Summer 1967). "The Founding of the L.D.S. Institutes of Religion." Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 2, 137-47.
- Berrett, William E. (1988). A Miracle in Weekday Religious Education: A History of the Church Educational System. Salt Lake City, UT: Salt Lake Printing Center.
- Berrett, William E. (1992). "Church Educational System (CES)". In Daniel H. Ludlow (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Mormonism. New York: Macmillan.
- Church Educational System (2005). Church Educational System Annual Information Update. Salt Lake City, UT: Intellectual Reserve Inc.
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- Institute of Religion
- Brigham Young University
- BYU Adult Continuing Education
- Brigham Young University–Hawaii
- Brigham Young University–Idaho
- LDS Business College
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints