> ... Articles > Tips

3 Answers to Your Questions About the Ecclesiastical Endorsement

Find out what to expect during this discussion


Earning a degree that incorporates gospel teachings is an incredible experience. In fact, many students say it’s their favorite part of BYU-Pathway Worldwide ! Attending any university within the Church Educational System (CES) is unique because students and faculty try to live as disciples of Jesus Christ. This includes academic honesty, respect, and living a virtuous life — all of which contribute to a positive learning environment.

All students seeking an online degree from BYU-Idaho or Ensign College, supported by BYU-Pathway, complete an ecclesiastical interview annually to talk with their religious leaders about their willingness to live faithful lives.* But what’s involved in getting an ecclesiastical endorsement? Here are answers from students and ecclesiastical leaders to some questions you might have.

1. What can I expect during an ecclesiastical interview?

You will meet one-on-one with either a bishop/branch president from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the local leader of your faith to discuss the Ecclesiastical Endorsement Questions . (This is separate from a temple recommend interview for members of the Church.) Your religious leader will simply ask you a few questions about your willingness to live by the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.


This is a great time for you to ask questions! If there is something you don’t understand or are concerned about, your religious leader is an excellent person to talk to. Including them on your educational journey also gives them the opportunity to provide you with support, if needed.

“Members of my ward are sometimes a little apprehensive when they come for their ecclesiastical endorsement interview. However, after the fact, they generally express gratitude for the opportunity to share their educational goals. I love working with members to help them continue their education. I want them to succeed!”
— John Wilson, Bishop, USA

2. How do I set up my interview?

After you have requested an ecclesiastical endorsement as part of your online degree application, you should set up an appointment with a bishop/branch president or the religious leader of your faith. Contact them to briefly explain why you want to meet.

“Our goal is that all students and employees feel the love of the Savior, experience the growth from applying gospel principles, and more fully realize the joy associated with being part of a covenant-keeping community.”
— Elder Clark Gilbert, Commissioner of Church Educational Systems

3. Where can I get extra support?

Your mentor
When in doubt, you can always contact your mentor . They are trained to help you apply for an online degree program from BYU-Idaho or Ensign College and are ready to help!

Other students
Do you know someone currently in an online degree program from BYU-Idaho or Ensign College? They have already completed the application and could help give you pointers or walk you through it.

Service missionaries
If you participated in PathwayConnect, consider reaching out to your service missionaries. They are a great resource and can help you through the process.


After nine months of sobriety, Tiffany Anderson decided to apply for an online degree program, but hesitated after learning about some of the standards. Her service missionaries lovingly assured her that perfection is not expected; what mattered most was her efforts to grow closer to Jesus Christ. Tiffany found the courage to apply and later graduated with a bachelor's degree in marriage and family studies .

"My service missionaries' kindness, love, and acceptance brought me back into the fold. That’s what BYU-Pathway is about — bringing God’s children into the fold.”
— Tiffany Anderson, Graduate, USA

Studying at a university where all students are striving to be more like the Savior will help you become a lifelong learner and disciple leader. Embrace the ecclesiastical endorsement as an important tool for your success — because it is! Start or continue your application today .

*BYU-Pathway students are not required to get an ecclesiastical endorsement while they’re in foundational courses (PathwayConnect).