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Ecclesiastical Endorsements and Resources

ECCLESIATICAL ENDORSEMENTS
Whether on or off campus or between semesters, all students are expected to abide by the Church Educational System Honor Code, which also includes (1) the Academic Honesty Policy and (2) the applicable Residential Living Standards. Students are required to be in good Honor Code standing to graduate.

Please visit the Honor Code and Related Policies page to review the Honor Code and other polices in preparation for an ecclesiastical endorsement interview.

Students who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must fulfill their Church duties, attend Church meetings, and abide by the rules and standards of the Church on and off campus.

Students who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are also expected to maintain the same standards of conduct. They are encouraged to participate in services of their preferred religion. All students must be in good Honor Code standing to graduate, to receive a diploma, and to have the degree posted.

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ECCLESIASTICAL LEADER RESOURCES

  • Stake Presidents, Bishops and Mission Presidents, please review the Handbook 31.2.2 for a designation on who is able to complete an ecclesiastical endorsement.

    Students who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may be endorsed only by the bishop of the ward (1) in which they live and (2) that holds their current Church membership record.

    Students who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may be endorsed by (1) the local ecclesiastical leader of their religious affiliation if the student is an active member of the congregation, (2) the Latter-day Saint bishop of the ward in which they currently reside, or (3) the nondenominational BYU chaplain.
  • A student needs to have an active endorsement in order to apply to, continue enrollment at, and graduate from BYU. Endorsements are active for one academic year, fall semester through summer term of the following year, and thus need to be renewed on an annual basis. New continuing student endorsements can be initiated beginning the day after the add/drop date of winter semester.

    Level 1 Endorsements – Bishop Only
    • Continuing students, which is any student that has been enrolled at BYU within the last academic year (Fall or Winter semesters). These students should initiate their endorsement as a Continuing Student.
    • Students applying for graduation

    Level 2 Endorsements – Bishop and Stake Presidency
    • Newly applying students (this includes new freshmen, transfer students, and students applying to a BYU graduate school program)
    • Students who have attended BYU in the past, but not within the past academic year (Fall or Winter semesters). These students should initiate their endorsement as an Applicant.
    • Students who are on Mission Deferment. Once a Mission Deferment is placed on a student’s account, the student needs to complete the Level 2 endorsement, regardless of the amount of time that has transpired since the deferment was placed. Mission Presidents have the ability to complete the endorsement for both the Bishop and Stake Presidency levels.
  • Ecclesiastical leaders are NOT permitted to reveal confessional conversations to the HCO unless the student has voluntarily signed a privacy waiver. A bishop does not share any information with the HCO, and the HCO does not share any information with a bishop or other ecclesiastical leader without a student’s prior written consent.
  • A student’s actions may violate both the Honor Code and standards established by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and, although the student’s actions may be the same, the HCO and ecclesiastical leaders will address behaviors differently. The focus that the ecclesiastical process uses is different than the HCO. The bishops’ process addresses repentance, sin, forgiveness and worthiness. The HCO’s process addresses principles, integrity, recommitment and good Honor Code standing. The HCO does not evaluate sins or determine worthiness and forgiveness. It certainly incorporates God, spirituality and the Church into conversations it has with students, but it is not with the intent to help students seek forgiveness or become worthy. Rather, it is to help students reflect and evaluate their behavior within the framework of the Honor Code commitment that they have made as members of the BYU community.
  • Students who are on formal membership restrictions, have their membership currently withdrawn, or have resigned their membership from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are not eligible to receive an ecclesiastical endorsement.

    Beyond the above-listed guidance, the decision to endorse or not endorse a student falls completely in the hands of the ecclesiastical leader. The HCO will not weigh in or give opinions on whether or not a student should be endorsed.

    The ecclesiastical endorsement reflects a student’s current standing, and can be withdrawn at any time. If an endorsement needs to be withdrawn, after consulting with his Stake President, the Bishop should contact the Honor Code Office at 801.422.2848 to inquire about or to initiate this process. No information will be shared about the reason(s) for the withdrawal.
    • The student must have logged into endorse.byu.edu and followed the prompts, which will ultimately require them to click that they agree to the Honor Code, and then select you as their Bishop. When there are issues, it is common that the student has overlooked one of these steps.
    • In the Bishop’s queue, there are Applicant and Continuing Student tabs. The system defaults to Applicant, so if you are trying to endorse a continuing student, please click to the other tab.
    • If the ecclesiastical leader continues to experience issues, please call the HCO at 801.422.2847.
  • Each fall semester, bishops and stake presidents of YSA and married wards and stakes in the Provo/Orem area are invited to attend a meeting with university administration. The purpose of the meeting is to provide information to ecclesiastical leaders about resources and services available on campus and in the community to assist students and explain any new policies or procedures.

    Each winter semester, bishoprics and stake presidencies of YSA and married wards and stakes in the Provo/Orem area are invited to attend an event hosted by the HCO in which we specifically review pertinent policies, purposes, and other information ecclesiastical leaders might find useful. We also emphasize that private information is not shared between ecclesiastical leaders and the HCO unless a student has signed a privacy waiver.

    Ecclesiastical leaders are welcome to contact the HCO if they have any questions related to policies and protocols by calling 801.422.2847 or emailing hco@byu.edu.