Master of Arts in Religious Education

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Masters of Arts in Religious Education is to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life (BYU Mission Statement) through educational experiences that are spiritually strengthening, intellectuality enlarging, and character building (BYU Aims Document). Specifically this degree program is designed to help full-time teachers in the LDS Church Educational System (CES) better serve the Lord in carrying out His work of bringing eternal life to His children by providing them with advanced training and preparation for teaching in the Church Educational System. Emphasis is placed primarily on five areas of study: Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Church History.
Curricular Structure
Department Information
Graduate Catalog Listing of Courses


Expected Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the master's degree program in Religious Education will be able to demonstrate that they have acquired an understanding of LDS scripture, doctrine and history through the process of rigorous study and personal faith (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118).
Inherent in the process of learning by study and by faith, is the responsibility each student assumes for their part in the learning process. Therefore, students who apply themselves will be able to demonstrate competence in the following areas: Factual, Conceptual, Application, and Spiritual.


Evidence of Learning

Factual Learning Outcome

Students will demonstrate the ability to recall the factual information necessary for a basic understanding of LDS scripture, doctrine and history.

Evidence of Student Learning

  • Explain and evaluate the historical setting and key events studied in each course
  • Identify and evaluate the major source material, both primary and secondary, for each course taken
  • Identify and put into their historical setting the major personalities in each course studied

Conceptual Learning Outcome

Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret LDS scripture, doctrine and history.
Evidence of Student Learning

  • Identify and articulate key principles, issues, problems, or questions for each course with their resolutions where possible
  • Identify key doctrines and principles and explain what they are, their importance and interrelationship, and their place in the plan of salvation for each course studied
  • Understand the culture that sits behind and impacts the period studied in each course

Application of Learning Outcome

Students will demonstrate the ability to apply factual knowledge and conceptual understanding of LDS scripture, doctrine and history in problem solving-tasks.
Evidence of Student Learning

  • Completing research assignments for those classes that call for them
  • Writing papers for every class taken
  • Researching, writing, and defending a top grade thesis

Spiritual Learning Outcome

Students will seek the Holy Ghost as an aid in studying and pondering LDS scripture, doctrine and history.
Evidence of Student Learning

  • Positively effecting the thoughts, actions, and relationships of their students and colleagues as they strive to increase in their Christlike attributes that lead to eternal life.

Direct Measures

  1. Successfully passing exams for all classes with a “B” or better grade
  2. Successfully completing writing assignments with a “B” or better grade
  3. Successfully passing the final oral and written exam over course work
  4. Successfully researching, writing, and passing an oral defense of a thesis

Indirect Measures

  • Student exit survey
  • Church Educational System report
  • Alumni survey


Student Learning Improvement Plan

Data obtained from the above assessment tools will be evaluated and implemented by:

  • The course instructor to determine if learning outcomes are being satisfied, need adjustment, or if new ones need to be introduced.
  • The graduate coordinator who will see that the over all objectives of the program are being met with the students demonstrating proficiency on the final oral and comprehensive exam and thesis defense. He will also recommend changes when he sees the need.
  • The Religious Education Administrative Council to see that all learning outcomes satisfied the objectives and mandates of the university. They will also implement changes recommended by instructors and the graduate coordinator.
  • The College and University committees and CES administrators to see that all aspects of the program are aligned with purposes and expectations of the graduate program and suggest adjustments where needed.