March 22, 2019

    Home-Centered, Seminary-Supported Study of the Scriptures

    What are the changes to the Seminary curriculum?

    The course of study for seminary will shift from a school year calendar (studying a book of scripture from the beginning of the school year to the end of the school year) to an annual calendar (studying a book of scripture from January thru December independent of academic calendars).  Seminary students will study the same book of scripture used for the Come Follow Me curriculum each year. 

    When will these changes take place?

    Beginning in January 2020, seminary students will begin to study the Book of Mormon in seminary classes.  To assist in the transition from the current course of study, seminary classes will adjust their curriculum schedule to teach the first half of the New Testament, beginning June 2019 through the remainder of the calendar year. 

    Why are these changes happening now?

    As part of the ongoing restoration, these changes further support the prophetic emphasis on home-centered gospel learning and the role of youth in the work of the Lord.  Making this change will enhance the home-centered, Church-supported approach to gospel study through a unified study at home, Sunday School, and seminary.  This unified approach can help students as they seek to increase their love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and deepen their conversion to the restored gospel.

    When will students begin their first year of seminary?

    The timing of when youth begin attending seminary will not change. Students will start attending seminary at the beginning of their ninth grade (or the equivalent) and will turn fourteen years of age or older during the school year.

    How do these changes coincide with the Come Follow Me curriculum?

    Seminary students will study the same book of scripture used for the Come Follow Me curriculum each year.  However, seminary and family weekly study guides will not perfectly align each week due to school calendars. Reading the text for the course will continue to be an expectation for students in Seminary. 

    How can Seminary support home-centered gospel learning?

    The objective of seminary is to help youth come unto Christ, qualify for the blessings of the temple, and prepare themselves, their families, and others for eternal life with their Father in Heaven.  This simplified and unified approach will allow seminary students to gain additional insight and strength as they study the doctrine and principles as found in the scriptures.  These students will then be able to further strengthen their family and their own testimony as they explain, share, and testify of these truths at home.

    President Russell M. Nelson said, “Today my message is to you who are of seminary and institute age.  What will help you become a devout disciple of Jesus Christ?  One answer is seminary and institute—not just attending but actively participating in class and faithfully following through with any assignments given.  Seminary and institute can help you with your gospel learning and living.  One of the deep desires of my heart is for you to receive all that the Lord is ready to reveal to you.  Seminary and institute will help you.  Graduating from seminary and institute will increase your ability to excel in the most important things you will ever do in life” (Russell M. Nelson, “A Personal Invitation to Participate in Seminary and Institute,” Feb. 4, 2019).

    Further information regarding these changes is forthcoming.