LDS Church creates worldwide education program in historic announcement

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the creation of a global higher-education organization, BYU-Pathway Worldwide (BYU-PW). The institution will have responsibility for all online certificate and degree programs offered by the Church Educational System (CES). Pictured from left to right are Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency; Clark Gilbert, current president of BYU-Idaho, will oversee this new organization. BYU-Pathway Worldwide and Elder Kim B. Clark of the Seventy and Church Commissioner of Education. The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the creation of a global higher-education organization, BYU-Pathway Worldwide (BYU-PW). The institution will have responsibility for all online certificate and degree programs offered by the Church Educational System (CES). Pictured from left to right are Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency; Clark Gilbert, current president of BYU-Idaho, will oversee this new organization. BYU-Pathway Worldwide and Elder Kim B. Clark of the Seventy and Church Commissioner of Education. SALT LAKE CITY — BYU Pathway Worldwide instantly became larger than any Brigham Young University campus on Tuesday when LDS leaders announced the new, churchwide online higher education program. The program will take 37,000 students in online programs at the church's colleges and universities and gather them under a single umbrella organization led by BYU-Idaho President Clark Gilbert, the father of the BYU-Idaho Pathway program. The goal is to expand, making affordable higher education available to tens of thousands of Mormons around the world. The announcement came in a major news conference held in an auditorium at the Church Office Building in downtown Salt Lake City. The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had not called a news conference since it reformed in 2008 with President Thomas S. Monson as the new church president and Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf as his counselors. President Uchtdorf made Tuesday's announcement and characterized it as "a historic moment" in the church. "This is a very special day for the Church Educational System," he said, "and a day of hope and joy for many of our young people worldwide who are seeking to educate themselves and to prepare for a successful livelihood." Bridge to college BYU Pathway Worldwide inherits BYU-Idaho's seven-year-old Pathway program, which had about 27,000 students at 500 locations in 50 countries. BYU-I's Pathway provided a one-year entrance program that then led to BYU-I's online degree program. BYU Pathway Worldwide is larger than BYU, which had 33,363 students on the Provo campus in the fall. BYU-Idaho in Rexburg had approximately 18,000 students, BYU-Hawaii in Laie had 2,600 and LDS Business College in Salt Lake had 1,800. BYU Pathway Worldwide also will coordinate all other online higher education certificate and degree programs in the church system, including English language certification, technical- and skills-based certificates and online degrees, said Elder Kim B. Clark, the Church Commissioner of Education. BrandView The Pathway program has served 57,000 students since its launch at BYU-Idaho in 2009. President Uchtdorf called it a bridge into the world of online college education. "Pathway was...

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