In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Church Education System provides a seminary for the youth ages fourteen through eighteen. It is attended daily and provides youth with instruction on the scriptures and gospel principles. Those who are not members of the Church are also welcome to participate in seminary classes.
Every year the curriculum focuses on one of the standard works of the Church; the Old Testament, the New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants. Students attend four years of seminary, so they are able to learn about all four in-depth. The classes are free, and the Church Educational System provides manuals and student materials, except for scriptures.
There are three types of seminary, released-time, early-morning and home-study. Released-time seminary is offered in areas where there are large populations of LDS students and where laws to do not forbid it. Seminary classes are attended during school hours in a Church owned building near the school. The teachers are full-time and paid by the Church Educational System.
Early-morning seminary is available in most areas that have a good number of LDS youth. It is held each school day, most often before school. The classes are held in the local church building or at a member’s home, and are taught by volunteers.
Home-study seminary is available in areas where early-morning or released-time seminary attendance is not possible because it is not offered, or because it is too far away. The youth in this type of seminary are provided with materials to help them study the scriptures daily. They then meet with a CES teacher for class once a week.
All youth are encouraged to complete seminary if the opportunity is available to them. President Boyd K. Packer said, “Parents, encourage, even insist, that your students register for seminary or institute. Presidents, bishops, youth leaders, you are responsible to encourage every youngster, without exception, to enroll. Few things you do will benefit them quite as much.”
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