Institute of Religion

Ensign College is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The College is funded largely by the tithes of the Church. It is anticipated that students will achieve a balanced education, will leave Ensign College built up in their faith and commitment to the Lord and His kingdom as they are prepared to engage the world of ideas and work through education or training in their chosen field. A knowledge of the gospel and an individual testimony can lead to peace and happiness in this life and prepare students for eternal life hereafter.

Because regular gospel study should be a continuing part of a student’s college experience, it is strongly encouraged that students take one religion class each and every semester they are enrolled. Elder M. Russell Ballard said, “If you are attending a church school, consistently include a class each semester in religious education” (Ensign/Liahona May 2015).

Graduation Requirements for Degrees and Certificates

There is no degree, major, or minor, offered from the Ensign College Institute of Religion. To earn any degree offered by Ensign College, the Religion Course requirements listed below must be met.

Content Requirement

Graduation requirements for AAS and AS degrees:

  • Two of the four cornerstone courses as core requirements, plus two additional courses (four credits).

Certificate program requirements will have the following guidelines:

  • Certificate programs with 15 credits or less will not require any religion courses.
  • Certificate programs with 16 – 29 credits will require one religion cornerstone course.
  • Certificate programs with 30 or more credits will require two religion cornerstone courses.

Courses with the same number and similar title are considered equivalent across all CES institutions and whether taken at or transferred into an institution, will fulfill the content requirement for graduation (see residency requirement below). Additionally, to earn credit, a student must attend at least 75% of classes.

Residency Requirement

Each institution determines how many religious education credits a student must complete on-campus. For transfer students, this requirement may increase the number of credits needed to graduate. For example, if a student has completed several courses at one CES institution before transferring to another, depending on the residency requirement of the institution, the courses transferred may meet the content requirement but not the residency requirement. Each student at Ensign College will be required to take at least one (2 credit) religion course at the college to fulfill the residency requirement (if their program is more than 15 credits).

Transfer Students

Depending on the total number of credit hours a student transfers, each CES institution uses a formula or scale for determining the number of religion credits (residency) remaining for graduation (see table below).

Credit Hours Transferred to Ensign College Minimum Religion Credit Hours 
 45 or more  2
 30-44  4
 15-29  6
 0-14  8

Second Religion Class in the Same Semester

Students will only receive religion credit for one religion class per semester.  Any exceptions to this must be approved through the Office of the Registrar. Exception to this policy are courses: REL 110R and REL 190R.

Transfer of Religion Credit from Other Universities

Religion credit earned at other LDS Church schools will transfer to Ensign College as an equivalent religion course or elective credit so long as the course is taken for credit and such credit is noted on an official transcript. While religion credits from other LDS Church schools may transfer to fulfill required religion content, they do not satisfy the Ensign College resident religion requirement (religion courses taken while attending Ensign College). Coursework in religious studies from any institution other than an LDS Church school or Institute of Religion will not be accepted toward filling the Ensign College religion requirements.

Transfer of Religion Credit from CES Institutes of Religion

Religion credit earned at Church Education System (CES) Institutes of Religion will transfer to Ensign College as an equivalent religion course or elective credit so long as the course is taken for “Church University” or “BYU” credit and such credit is noted on an official Institute transcript. Qualifying Religion credit taken from CES Institutes of Religion do not count as residency religion requirements.