Ecclesiastical Endorsements and Resources
Students must obtain and maintain an active ecclesiastical endorsement in order to be admitted to BYU, continue class enrollment, and graduate.
The ecclesiastical endorsement focuses on a student’s efforts to grow spiritually and meet ecclesiastical standards.
The first step in obtaining an ecclesiastical endorsement is to review the CES Honor Code and other related policies. Here is the url to start this process. Following your review and commitment to abide by the CES Honor Code and other related policies, you will be automatically directed to the endorsement system.
ECCLESIASTICAL LEADER RESOURCES
Toggle ItemHow will the changes to the student ecclesiastical endorsement questions contribute to the accomplishment of the mission of CES?
The student ecclesiastical endorsement has historically emphasized the CES Honor Code and dress and grooming policies. This change better aligns the topics addressed by Church leaders in their interviews with their core ecclesiastical responsibilities. Thus, as an ecclesiastical interview, it will focus on a student’s efforts to grow spiritually and meet ecclesiastical expectations, which is an important part of accomplishing the religious mission of CES institutions. The administration of internal university policies, including the Honor Code and Dress and Grooming, will now more fully reside with the CES institutions.
Toggle ItemWhy do the Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement questions differ from temple recommend questions?
There is a difference in the standard of worthiness to receive saving ordinances in the House of the Lord and being eligible to attend a CES institution as a student. The questions for temple recommend interviews and ecclesiastical endorsements are appropriate for their different purposes.
Toggle ItemThe student ecclesiastical endorsement includes some questions about “striving.” What is the intent of this language?
CES recognizes that students are striving to deepen their faith and testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Recognizing that we sometimes fall short of perfectly realizing these aspirations, and in order to encourage continued growth, students are invited to strive toward certain ideals while upholding foundational standards of conduct. As has happened prior to these changes, this allows ecclesiastical leaders to work with students who are trying but may sometimes struggle. It does not mean Church leaders should ignore clear violations of ecclesiastical standards, but it does allow them room to counsel with and help individuals progress.
Toggle ItemWho can conduct an ecclesiastical endorsement interview?
Please refer to the Church 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) a Latter-day Saint bishop, or (2) the nondenominational BYU chaplain.
Toggle ItemWhen does a student need an ecclesiastical endorsement?
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 year
Level 1 Endorsements – Bishop Only
· Continuing students, which is any student that has been enrolled at BYU within the last academic year. 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. 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.
Toggle ItemIs Information shared between bishops and the Honor Code Office (HCO)
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.
Toggle ItemWhy does the Honor Code Office get involved in issues that a student is already working on with their bishop?
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 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.
Toggle ItemAre there any limitations on who can be endorsed?
The Church as provided the following guidance:
At the ward or branch level, interviews should be conducted by bishops or branch presidents (See Handbook 15.3). In reviewing the ecclesiastical endorsement questions with students, priesthood leaders should not seek to minimize or excuse sin. New student candidates who are not living the requirements, are less active, or who have had formal membership restrictions or withdrawal, should not be endorsed until the issues have been fully resolved and the requirements met. When continuing students are repentant and willing to change, the seriousness of the violation should still be considered, but priesthood leaders have discretion as they consider the individual student’s attitude, commitment, and sincere repentance.
Individuals who have resigned their Church membership are not eligible for an ecclesiastical endorsement.
The decision to endorse or not endorse a student is completely determined by ecclesiastical leaders. Ecclesiastical leaders who are considering a decision to endorse or not endorse may reach out the Church’s endorsement office with questions. The HCO will not weigh in or give opinions on whether or not a student should be endorsed.
Toggle ItemCan an endorsement be withdrawn after it has been given?
The ecclesiastical endorsement reflects a student’s current standing and can be withdrawn at any time. Questions regarding this process should be directed to the Church’s office that handles ecclesiastical endorsements.