BYU-Idaho president to head LDS church’s online education program

Posted at 10:43 AM, Feb 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-07 23:30:52-05

SALT LAKE CITY — BYU-Idaho president Clark G. Gilbert will oversee BYU-Pathway Worldwide, a "global higher-education organization" that will offer online certificate and degree programs, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced in a news conference Tuesday morning.

"We have felt that now is the right time to give increased focus and direction to Pathway and online higher education in the Church," said Dieter Uchtdorf, second counselor in the LDS church's First Presidency. "Pathway was created to make college educational opportunities available to those who otherwise would not have them. Pathway is a bridge into the world of online college education and a pathway to opportunities for a successful livelihood. The program combines online learning with religious education in local institutes or meetinghouses in an environment of faith, grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ."

BYU-Pathway Worldwide (BYU-PW for short) will be based in Salt Lake City and is expected to begin operations on May 1.

The program, which the LDS church said is rooted in BYU-Idaho's Pathway program, will include English language certification, technical and skills-based certificates and online degrees, but will not seek institutional accreditation.

Students enrolled in BYU-PW will have opportunities for face-to-face gatherings at local institutes and chapels for "religious education, group discussions and workshops," the LDS church said.

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