Released-Time Seminaries Ruled Constitutional

“Released-Time Seminaries Ruled Constitutional,” Ensign, Feb. 1979, 76

Released-Time Seminaries Ruled Constitutional

A U.S. federal judge ruled December 14 that granting school credit for seminary Bible classes is unconstitutional, but that released time for those classes is not. In his comments he praised the good done by the seminary program.

Judge Clarence A. Brimmer, Wyoming federal district judge, ruled that Logan, Utah, school districts cannot grant credit to students for Bible classes taught through the Church’s seminary program. Three Logan residents had challenged the Logan policy of granting credit for Bible classes, and also the policy of releasing students for the classes. At the same time, Judge Brimmer ruled that releasing students from school to attend such classes is permissible under the guidelines of a 1952 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Judge Brimmer found that giving credit for released-time seminary is “Constitutionally flawed,” but he had high praise for the program itself:

“We find that the aims and objectives of the program—its development of character, faith, integrity, and industry in the youth of the LDS Church—are most laudable and praiseworthy. We admire the deep sense of good citizenship and responsible concern for inculcation of such necessary values in their youth that has inspired the leaders of the LDS Church to strive to indelibly impress those virtues in the minds of young people.”