Withdrawn or Denied Ecclesiastical Endorsements
An ecclesiastical leader may withdraw a student's endorsement at any time or may decline to endorse a continuing student if the leader determines that the student is no longer eligible for the endorsement. If an endorsement is withdrawn or if a Continuing Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement is denied, no confessional information is exchanged without authorization from the student. The withdrawal of a student’s ecclesiastical endorsement automatically results in the loss of good Honor Code standing. Students who are not in good Honor Code standing must discontinue enrollment. Also, they are not eligible for graduation, even if they have otherwise completed all necessary coursework. Excommunication, disfellowshipment, or disaffiliation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints automatically results in the withdrawal of the student's ecclesiastical endorsement and the loss of good Honor Code standing. Disaffiliation is defined for purposes of this policy as removal of an individual's name from the official records of the Church.
The decision to withdraw an ecclesiastical endorsement or to deny a Continuing Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement may be appealed through appropriate ecclesiastical leaders only. As a matter of practice, BYU does not intervene in ecclesiastical matters or endorsements. However, a student may petition the Dean of Students Office to allow an exception to the ecclesiastical endorsement requirement. As part of the petition, the student must (i) complete an Application for Exception to Policy (this form may be obtained from the Dean of Students Office); (ii) prepare a written statement outlining the reasons why the university should allow an exception; and (iii) within ten business days of receiving notice that the ecclesiastical endorsement has been withdrawn or that a Continuing Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement has been denied, submit the completed application and relevant statements to the Dean of Students Office for consideration.
When considering the petition, the dean of students will determine whether the student has observed and continues to observe the standards of the Honor Code or has demonstrated other sufficiently compelling grounds to warrant an exception to the university's ecclesiastical endorsement requirement. The dean of students will not review the ecclesiastical leader’s decision to withdraw or deny endorsement or the process for reaching that decision. The dean of students and other university officials will not discuss confidential matters with the student's present or former ecclesiastical leaders unless the student voluntarily signs a release allowing that communication. The dean of students may also choose to personally interview the student, who may further explain the circumstances which might justify an exception to the ecclesiastical endorsement requirement. The student bears the burden of persuasion that he or she should be considered to be in good Honor Code standing, notwithstanding the lack of an ecclesiastical endorsement. The dean of students' decision regarding the petition will be reviewed by the vice president of student life if requested by the student. The decision by the vice president of student life is final.
The Admission Policy provides a separate Application for Exception process for applicants who cannot obtain an ecclesiastical endorsement in support of their application for admission to the university.