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BYU-Pathway Worldwide Expands Access to Higher Education

Thousands of students are enrolled in the global program

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is expanding its access to higher education through BYU-Pathway Worldwide. Nearly 45,000 students are now enrolled in the online learning programs.


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“BYU-Pathway Worldwide was created to provide access to an affordable, spiritually based online education to people who couldn’t find access to education otherwise,” said Clark G. Gilbert, president of BYU-Pathway Worldwide. “It operates in nearly 150 countries and more than 500 locations and is really made to work wherever the Church is organized.”

“It has prepared me for leadership roles,” said Barbara Nyagorety, a student in Accra, Ghana, who is pursuing a degree in business management. “Sometimes I feel like I can take charge of things now better than I could before I started this program.”

“BYU-Pathway Worldwide is divided really into two core programs,” said President Gilbert. “The first is what’s called PathwayConnect, which helps students prepare [for] or return to college, and then the second part of the program is the certificate and degree programs that we do in partnership with BYU-Idaho and the other Church schools.”

In addition, returning missionaries receive preapproval for admission to the PathwayConnect program, which is a one-year online program.

At the end of February, it was announced that Ensign College, the new name of LDS Business College, will begin working to offer some of its programs online through BYU-Pathway Worldwide.

“We believe the focus of Ensign College on job skills and career-orientated curriculum will be a powerful complement to the programs already available to BYU-Pathway students through BYU-Idaho,” said President Gilbert.


BYU-Pathway Worldwide is now more than a decade old. It started in Rexburg, Idaho, but the headquarters office is now located in Salt Lake City.

Church educators started BYU-Pathway to give more Latter-day Saints access to higher education.  

"It has always been my dream to go to Ricks College, especially after I found out that Thomas E. Ricks was my 5th great-grandfather! I married right after high school and finished my associate degree three years later when I had three children. Unfortunately, I was not able to finish my bachelor's degree. I was too far away and we didn't have enough money. I gave up hope. "Some years later after some tough trials in my life, I had applied for two positions at work and walked away as the runner up because I did not have a bachelor's degree. One day my daughter-in-law told me she was doing PathwayConnect and explained the process to me. As I followed the direction of my patriarchal blessing and much prayer, I felt that Heavenly Father had blessed me with the opportunity to achieve my long lost goal. Working a full time job and spending 24 hours a week doing homework was a long journey." "I have met many amazing students around the world. Instructors became my mentors, instilling on me faith and a love for the gospel. My advice is to never turn down an opportunity. They are placed in our lives at the right time for the right reason. Heavenly Father knows you and the desires of your heart. Trust Him." —Teresa Bailey #inspiration #quotes #BYUPW #lds #onlineeducation #spiritual #knowledge #gospel #degree #wonderful #blessed #life #inspire #JesusChrist #success #YouCanDoIt

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“Some people think this is a really small category in the Church, but actually, domestically, over 60 percent of the U.S. Church doesn’t have a college degree,” reported President Gilbert. “Internationally it’s over 85 percent of the Church. And so, you know, when we say, ‘Who is BYU-Pathway for?’ This is for the vast majority of members of the Church, who didn’t think they’d have access to education.”

Certificate-First Approach

President Gilbert said a certificate-first approach is now offered, which allows students to obtain an employable skill before taking general education classes or prerequisites for a major.

“We found it was very important for the students to find relevance to education immediately, and the very first year they learn a job skill that has marketability in the job workplace,” he explained.

President Gilbert said the program offers about 30 different certificates in fields such as “applied math, business management, applied technology and applied healthcare. They’re in areas you can find jobs immediately.”

‘Gospel in Action’

“Right from the beginning, you realize the Pathway program helps you have everything you need to be successful to do the right things and get better higher-paying jobs,” said Ricardo Jose Batalhona Filho, a student in São Paulo, Brazil.

“I have not had the opportunity to study abroad because some colleges are very expensive and the selection process is very complicated,” said Filho.

“It’s not just learning for my own self, you know, but to build my own family, the country and the world,” said Samuel Pobee, a Ghanaian student from West Africa who wants to be a construction manager. “It’s really a wonderful opportunity for me to learn more.”

President Gilbert said BYU-Pathway Worldwide enrollment is growing in Africa, Latin America and South America, but more students are also registering for the program in the U.S.

“Our largest PathwayConnect location in the world is in Orem, Utah,” said President Gilbert. More than 10,000 students are enrolled statewide.

BYU-Pathway Worldwide classes are taught in English. Prospective students who don’t speak English can enroll in EnglishConnect first to learn the language.

Pobee said he enrolled in BYU-Pathway to improve his English skills after his brother and sister completed the program.

“I really love the principles we are learning from Pathway when it comes to leadership skills,” he added.

Pobee especially enjoys listening to the general authorities of the Church as part of the curriculum. “They’re not just expressing the gospel, but they’re also successful in their careers and professions, you know, and that really motivates me to do better.”

“No matter who you are and no matter where you live, you have access to an affordable, spiritually based education that leads to career opportunity and spiritual growth and the gospel of Jesus Christ,” President Gilbert concluded. “BYU-Pathway is the gospel in action.”

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