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Student Symposium

Photo of a student receiving a Student Symposium award

Students enrolled at BYU can participate in an annual student symposium to present papers on religious topics. Held in February, the symposium strives to improve student writing and research skills, foster a climate of student scholarship in religious education, reward excellence in such scholarship with prizes and awards, and improve the academic profile of Religious Education at BYU. Originating in 1998, the symposium is celebrating over twenty years of success with thousands of student participants, including several BYU graduates who are now on the faculty of Religious Education. As its first chair, Richard E. Bennett brought the vision of student scholarship and excellence in writing to the symposium.

Why Participate?

Photo of Student Symposium Participant with a Stack of Books

“The student symposium was a memorable and challenging experience for me . . . I found it immensely rewarding to be able to do two things I love—researching and writing—and to be able to do them in a formal and competitive setting.”


Photo of Symposium Speaker with Screen at Right

“The symposium was a life-changing first step toward a new and very fulfilling academic journey. For anyone who participates, the symposium will give you the opportunity to strengthen your faith through rigorous academic work, helping accomplish Neal A. Maxwell’s hope for “disciple-scholars” at BYU.”


Photo of a Symposium participant shaking hands with Mark Ogletree

“Participating in the Religious Education Student Symposium was one of my favorite experiences from my time at BYU. The symposium motivated me to dive into a deeper study of the scriptures than I had ever approached before, and the opportunity to share what I was learning deepened my love for the scriptures and for teaching the gospel.”


Call for Papers

Symposium: February 16, 2024

Students will present their papers on Friday, February 16, 2024 at the Wilkinson Center in three sessions, beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at noon. Cash awards will be announced later that afternoon at an awards luncheon for the student presenters.

Submission Deadline: November 27, 2023

Purpose of Conference:

To provide a forum for students to research, write, and present papers about religious subjects from a faithful perspective.


All full-time BYU undergraduate and graduate students attending BYU-Provo Winter Semester 2024 on campus are invited to submit one single-authored paper.

Cash Awards for Winning Papers

Contest Guidelines:

Photo of a student speaking at the Student Symposium

Papers submitted must be solely the author’s original work, faith promoting, and must not be submitted to other conferences or journals. If accepted, each author should plan on fifteen minutes to present his or her paper. Papers may focus on a topic of religious significance including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Scriptural topics
  • Religion and family life
  • Doctrinal topics
  • Family history
  • History of the Church
  • Teachings of living prophets
  • Ancient religious history
  • World religions
  • Interfaith engagement
DEADLINE: November 27, 2023

Photo of two Student Symposium participants

Students submitting papers will be notified of acceptance by mid-January 2024.

Papers must be formatted Chicago style, typed (double-spaced), and 10-12 pages in length (not including endnotes). All quoted sources must be fully cited in endnotes. Submit papers as a Word document via email to Please include the following information on a cover page:

  • Title of the Paper
  • Student’s Name  (Do not include your name on any other pages, even in the header)
  • Major and class (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, or Graduate Student)
  • Contact Information:  BYU address, phone number, e-mail
  • Statement that the paper is solely your original and individual work and has not nor will not be submitted for presentation or publication elsewhere

On a separate page at the end of your paper, provide an abstract or summary (150 words or less). Please retain documentation of the sources you cite should your paper be accepted for publication.


Contact Beverly Yellowhorse: 801-422-3611 or

The Student Symposium also includes a display of student religious art. Information about Visualizing Learning through religious art and how to participate in that portion of the Student Symposium is available on the Visualizing Learning webpage.