Church Education System Announces Temporary Guidelines to Address COVID-19 Concerns

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Several changes are being implemented through the Church of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints educational system in response to growing concerns related to COVID-19.

The CES has issued a statement on the temporary guidelines for higher education institutions which will come into effect on March 16.

The Church’s educational system has students worldwide and on higher education campuses in three states. CES schools include Brigham Young University, BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii, LDS Business College, and BYU-Pathway Worldwide.

“CES cares deeply about the health, education and spiritual growth of each of these students and those who serve them. COVID-19 concerns have impacted all sectors of society, including education,” the statement said.

Guidelines will be applied to how CES institutions meet and come together.

There will be no large gatherings.

“There will be no gatherings for major events such as commencements, convocations, devotions, lectures, public lectures, performances and concerts,” the statement read.

Events may be streamed, recorded, or canceled as determined by the management of each institution. BYU will make decisions regarding hosting sporting events.

Instructors have been urged to consider guidance from public health officials in decisions to hold classes. Classes will continue, but teachers are encouraged to consider remote alternatives.

Stake seminary and institute programs will follow the decisions of local congregations. The Release Seminar will follow gathering decisions from local high schools or college campuses. Zone presidencies will decide gatherings for local devotions and graduations, according to the release.

“The Church will continue to monitor these evolving circumstances and make any necessary adjustments,” the statement said.

Janice G. Ball