May 12, 2022
Earning a degree that incorporates gospel teachings is an incredible experience. In fact, many students say it’s their favorite part of BYU-Pathway Worldwide! Attending any university within the Church Educational System (CES) is unique because students and faculty follow an honor code that includes academic honesty, respect, and living a virtuous life — all of which contribute to a positive learning environment.
All students seeking an online degree from BYU-Idaho or Ensign College, supported by BYU-Pathway, complete an ecclesiastical interview annually to talk about their willingness to follow the honor code.* But what’s involved in getting an ecclesiastical endorsement? Here are answers from students and ecclesiastical leaders to some questions you might have about the interview.
1. What can I expect during an ecclesiastical interview?
You will meet one-on-one with either a bishop/branch president from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the local leader of your faith to discuss the CES Honor Code. (This is separate from a temple recommend interview for members of the Church.) Your religious leader will simply ask you a few questions about your willingness to live by the honor code.
This is a great time for you to ask questions! If there is something you don’t understand or are concerned about, your leader is an excellent person to talk to. Including them on your educational journey also gives them the opportunity to provide you with support, if needed.
“Members of my ward are sometimes a little apprehensive when they come for their ecclesiastical endorsement interview. However, after the fact, they generally express gratitude for the opportunity to share their educational goals. I love working with members to help them continue their education. I want them to succeed!”
— John Wilson, Bishop, USA
2. How do I set up my interview?
After you have requested an ecclesiastical endorsement as part of your online degree application, you should set up an appointment with a bishop/branch president or the religious leader of your faith. Contact them to briefly explain why you want to meet. Review these endorsement instructions, then share them with your leader before you meet.
“We talked a lot about the honor code…, and I felt prompted to follow those teachings. … The Spirit helped me adapt to student life and prepare me for my [BYU-Idaho degree]. The effects of having the guidance of the Spirit helped me learn more than I ever have before.”
— Vitali Karmanov, Student, Argentina
3. Where can I get extra support?
When in doubt, you can always contact BYU-Pathway Support. They support all online degree applications for BYU-Idaho and Ensign College and are ready to help!
Do you know someone currently in an online degree program from BYU-Idaho or Ensign College? They have already completed the application and could help give you pointers or walk you through it.
If you participated in PathwayConnect, consider reaching out to your service missionaries. They are a great resource and can help you through the process.
After nine months of sobriety, Tiffany Anderson decided to apply for BYU-Pathway, but she hesitated after learning about the honor code. Her service missionaries lovingly assured her that perfection is not expected but that living by the honor code meant trying her best to live the standards. Tiffany found the courage to apply and later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marriage and family studies.
“[My service missionaries’] kindness, love, and acceptance brought me back into the fold. That’s what [BYU-Pathway is] about — bringing God’s children into the fold.”
— Tiffany Anderson, Graduate, USA
Studying at a university where all students are striving to be more like the Savior will help you become a lifelong learner and disciple leader. Embrace the ecclesiastical endorsement as an important tool for your success — because it is! Start or continue your application today.
*BYU-Pathway students are not required to get an ecclesiastical endorsement while they’re in foundational courses (PathwayConnect).