LDS Perspectives #49: Mormon Education with Casey Paul Griffiths

Schooling and Being Schooled in Religious Education with Casey Paul Griffeths, interviewed by Stephanie Dibb Sorensen

Casey Paul Griffiths is an expert on LDS Church education and its globalization efforts.

The formal foundation of education in the Mormon Church began in 1888 when the church board of education was established. Around this time, the United States initiated a free schools program. Wilford Woodruff, president of the church at that time, became very concerned that the federal education system was exclusively secular. Starting in the 1890s, he instructed every stake to launch their own academy. In the early 1900s the academy system was discarded for the more affordable seminary model. But this led to a whole new problem — training religious instructors in a lay church. By the 1930s the the existence of professional theological scholars created tensions the church is still grappling with.

Stephanie Dibb Sorensen (in her inaugural LDS Perspectives interview) talks with Griffiths about what this first generation of scholars faced when they came back to Utah to teach after studying in the liberal classrooms of the University of Chicago, as well as how the Church’s Pathways program is continuing this legacy of uniting secular and religious education.

Stephanie Dibb Sorensen is a mother to three and teaches Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. She blogs about finding faith in motherhood at her blog, Diapers and Divinity, and is the author of Covenant Motherhood.

1 thought on “LDS Perspectives #49: Mormon Education with Casey Paul Griffiths

  1. That’s funny that the very feature that made the University of Chicago willing to admit Mormons to their programme is the same reason the religion Mormons learned there was so avant garde and non-traditional.

    I remember being at a University of Chicago Ward once and making comments like I always do, only learning later that the rift between the traditional BYU types there for secular education and the non-traditional U Chicago-trained intellectuals is so great that my comments bordered on riot-inducing. Ah, the perils of being a thinking Mormon who believes the Church is actually true.

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