Seminary
Stake Seminary Graduation Guide
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“Stake Seminary Graduation Guide,” A Guide to Seminary and Institute Graduation Exercises (2021)

“Stake Seminary Graduation Guide,” A Guide to Seminary and Institute Graduation Exercises

Stake Seminary Graduation Guide

Graduation Guidelines

  • Graduation exercises provide one way to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of all seminary students.

  • Seminary graduation should be held annually on a stake level.

  • To qualify for seminary graduation, a student must complete eight semesters of seminary and receive an ecclesiastical endorsement.

    • To complete a course of study, students must attend at least 75 percent of class sessions, read in the book of scripture for the course of study at least 75 percent of semester calendar days, and complete the course learning assessment with at least 75 percent.

    • Makeup work is available for students who have not met these requirements.

  • Only the preprinted signatures of the chairman of the Church Board of Education and the administrator of Seminaries and Institutes of Religion appear on seminary diplomas.

  • If possible, seminary graduation should not be held prior to the end of the school year so that diplomas can be awarded at the graduation ceremony. The diplomas are given to the stake representative (usually an assigned high councilor) to be distributed at stake seminary graduation.

  • If seminary graduation is held prior to the end of the school year, graduates can be presented with an empty diploma cover. When diplomas are available, they can be mailed to graduates or delivered to stake or ward leaders to distribute.

  • Diplomas of students who are not ecclesiastically endorsed are given to bishops to award to those students at a later time. Unendorsed seminary students are not recognized at graduation.

Certificates of Completion

Certificates of completion can be awarded to students when they complete a semester of seminary by attending at least 75 percent of the class sessions held, reading in the book of scripture for the course of study for at least 75 percent of semester calendar days, and completing the learning assessment with at least 75 percent.

Depending on stake need, local seminary program administrators, in consultation with stake leaders, determine if, when, and where certificates of completion are printed and awarded. Certificates of completion can be printed and distributed each semester, at the end of every year, or not at all. Certificates can be distributed at seminary graduation, in seminary classes, or by some other means.

Roles and Responsibilities

The stake president:

  • Consults with the stake’s assigned seminary principal or coordinator to prepare and plan the stake seminary graduation.

  • Oversees the ecclesiastical endorsement of projected graduates.

  • Assigns the stake seminary supervisor or high councilor to coordinate the stake seminary graduation program.

The bishop:

  • Determines whether to endorse each potential seminary graduate. The endorsement status of students should not be shared with seminary programs.

  • Informs a seminary student who is not endorsed as to the reasons why. The bishop should take special care to inform the student’s parents or guardians if the student will not participate in the seminary graduation program.

  • Provides the stake president a list of endorsed students to be added to the stake graduation program.

The Seminary Ecclesiastical Endorsement

For stake presidents and bishops:

  • The bishop’s endorsement of a student for seminary graduation “verifies that a student is worthy and committed to living the standards of the gospel” (General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [2020], 15.1.5, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).

  • The bishop or one of his counselors may use regularly scheduled youth interviews as the basis to determine whether to endorse a student who is projected to graduate. It is not necessary to hold a separate ecclesiastical endorsement interview for these students.

  • It is left to the bishop’s discretion whether to endorse each potential graduate.

  • Seminary principals or coordinators ensure that each stake president understands the ecclesiastical endorsement requirement to become a seminary graduate.

  • The stake president ensures that each bishop or branch president understands the ecclesiastical endorsement requirement to become a seminary graduate.

  • Only endorsed students who have academically qualified for a diploma should be recognized at stake seminary graduation.

Sample Seminary Graduation Program

[Name of stake]

Seminary Graduation

[Date/time (recommended length: 1 hour)]

[Place]

Presiding:

Conducting:

Pianist:

Chorister:

Welcome:

Opening hymn:

Invocation:

Remarks on participating in the seminary program:

Student speaker (one or more):

Musical presentation:

Student speaker (one or more):

Brief remarks by S&I representative:

Remarks by a member of the stake presidency:

Awarding of seminary diplomas:

Closing hymn:

Benediction:

The following is a suggested list of names to include in the printed program: