“Teaching of Religion Extended to All BYU Faculty,” Ensign, Aug. 1973, 81
A move that makes the teaching of religion a university-wide concern has been effected at Brigham Young University.
An organization known as Religious Instruction has been created to replace the former College of Religious Instruction. It will not be a university college as such, but will involve faculty members from all colleges and schools in the university in the teaching of religion classes.
All BYU undergraduate students are required to take a class in religion every semester, and more than 50 religion courses are offered.
“We shall continue to depend on full-time faculty in Religious Instruction for the leadership and scholarship necessary to improve further our effectiveness in the teaching of religion,” explains Dr. Dallin H. Oaks, BYU president. He adds that there will be no change in the faculty status of current teachers in the area of religion. Dr. Roy W. Doxey will continue as dean of Religious Instruction.
“Since religion classes will no longer be identified with a single college, this new organization should result in increased concern and participation in the teaching of religion by faculty members in all of the academic colleges,” says President Oaks.
Concerning the change, Dean Doxey commented, “The opening of teaching of religion to faculty outside Religious Instruction will enhance the spirituality of the faculty on a wider basis. It also will expand the opportunity for students to receive religious training from professors in many areas of university life.”
Dr. Allen E. Bergin, professor of psychology who has been teaching religion classes in addition to his psychology classes, noted that “a unique intertwining of psychology and religion occurred. I found myself describing the psychopathic personality traits of Amalickiah on the one hand and citing Book of Mormon references in my psychology classes on the other. While this overlapping occurred only occasionally, a merging of domains developed continuously. I suspect that, as a result of the interspiritual wrestling this required, my views of psychology will never be the same.”