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The Blueprint of BYU-Pathway

“With the temple as our standard and Zion as our goal," BYU-Pathway Worldwide is building Zion by helping students become disciple leaders

Any well-designed building begins with a vision accompanied by a detailed and thoughtful blueprint. This blueprint illustrates how the structure will look and function, and it outlines a plan for how the vision will be accomplished.At his inauguration on March 10, 2022, BYU-Pathway Worldwide President Brian Ashton spoke of one particular blueprint: “It is in the House of the Lord, the holy temples, that we find the divine pattern for education and learning. … Each part of this pattern is designed, at least in part, to bring the Holy Ghost more fully into our lives.” 2
Brian K. Ashton, “Patterned After the House of the Lord” (BYU-Pathway Worldwide inauguration, Mar. 10, 2022),
The blueprint of BYU-Pathway mirrors this divine pattern. The vision? To help students invite the Holy Ghost into their lives so they can contribute to Zion (the kingdom of God), become more like Him, and help prepare the world for the Second Coming. The plan, or blueprint, to achieve that vision? Help students develop the self-reliance and skills they need to become disciple leaders and prepare to keep sacred covenants made in the House of the Lord. 3
See also Brian and Melinda Ashton, “Building Zion” (BYU-Pathway Worldwide devotional, Sept. 20, 2022),
“BYU-Pathway is one of the resources the Lord has prepared for His great gathering ahead of His return to the earth. One of the ways this will happen is by helping students all across the Church deepen their discipleship so they can in turn build others and build the Church.”
Elder Clark G. Gilbert,Commissioner of the Church Educational System 4
Brian K. Ashton, “Patterned After the House of the Lord” (BYU-Pathway Worldwide inauguration, Mar. 10, 2022),

Deepening discipleship through the Holy Ghost

BYU-Pathway seeks to develop disciples of Jesus Christ by following the divine pattern of learning found in temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It accomplishes this by:

  • Focusing students on Jesus Christ and covenants made in holy temples,
  • Teaching pure truth in the context of the plan of salvation and helping students to apply those truths, and
  • Providing students with opportunities to serve and become self-reliant. 5
    See Brian K. Ashton, “Patterned After the House of the Lord” (BYU-Pathway Worldwide inauguration, Mar. 10, 2022),
President Ashton said, “If we do our jobs well, the righteousness and truth that our students embody will cause those they serve to follow [their] lead without regard to [their] callings or positions. This will lead to lasting change among those our students influence. BYU-Pathway and its partners can only build these types of leaders as we help them bring the Holy Ghost into their lives.” 6
See Brian K. Ashton, “Patterned After the House of the Lord” (BYU-Pathway Worldwide inauguration, Mar. 10, 2022),

Equipped with the Holy Ghost, BYU-Pathway students gain the confidence and skills they need to have a lasting impact on their circles of influence. And with an ever-growing student population, these future disciple leaders will spread throughout the world as they build Zion.

BYU-Pathway students are building Zion

Andre Santos-topaz-denoise-enhance-faceai.jpeg
The Santos family was sealed for time and all eternity in the Campinas Brazil Temple.

For André Santos from São Paulo, Brazil, EnglishConnect and BYU-Pathway Worldwide kick-started his path as a disciple leader. His wife, Carla, had a friend who is a member of the Church invite them to join EnglishConnect, which teaches individuals English in an environment of fellowship and faith. André and Carla eagerly agreed, knowing that learning English would bless their family.

André and Carla with their daughters, Luisa (8) and Lavinia (11), at Luisa’s baptism
André and Carla with their daughters, Luisa (8) and Lavinia (11), at Luisa’s baptism

“EnglishConnect has the power to change lives,” André said. “It helped us become more confident and learn how to organize our schedule, prioritize our tasks, and dedicate more time to our self-development. EnglishConnect improved our leadership and made us into professionals that
the job market is looking for.”

EnglishConnect was the Santoses’ introduction to the Church. In each course, they learned more about Jesus Christ and His gospel, and in December 2020, they chose to be baptized.

After completing EnglishConnect 3, André felt inspired to continue his education with BYU-Pathway. As he started courses, his desire to serve deepened, and he was called as the first counselor in his ward’s Sunday School presidency. However, the academic part did not come easily.

“I can better support my family when I follow the principles of Jesus Christ, when I serve well in my Church calling, and when I can be a good professional in my job by applying all the new things I learned in BYU-Pathway."

André Santos, Brazil

As a new English learner, André struggled with assignments and didn’t attend many weekly gatherings. Although he failed PC 101: Life Skills, he was determined to continue. In PC 102: Professional Skills, he learned principles to become a better leader in his family, church, and professional life, but he still struggled to apply what he was learning. After deciding to restart PathwayConnect, he prayed for help and created a success plan: “I said I would get a grade A in all three semesters, and I did it!”

When André started looking for a job, many of his interviews were in English. With his new portfolio of skills, he was hired as a financial planning and analysis expert for HP Inc. in Brazil. To stay competitive in the job market, André is pursuing a bachelor’s degree online in applied technology from BYU-Idaho, supported by BYU-Pathway.

In June 2022, the Santos family was sealed in the Campinas Brazil Temple, and André was later able to baptize his daughter. As Elder D. Todd Christofferson shared at the inauguration, “There seems to be no end to the good that can come from being a part of BYU-Pathway Worldwide.” 7
D. Todd Christofferson, "Remarks at Inaugural Dinner" (BYU-Pathway Worldwide inauguration, Mar. 10, 2022),

Emulating the divine pattern of learning

So what details in BYU-Pathway’s blueprint are helping students like André to become disciple leaders so they can contribute to Zion? Here are a few of the ways BYU-Pathway is providing such an opportunity to potentially millions of students:

Providing English learning opportunities
Many students enter BYU-Pathway through EnglishConnect. In 2022, EnglishConnect for Missionaries was launched for young, full-time missionaries who do not speak English. With courses offered in English, BYU-Pathway also helps non-native English speakers to improve their skills and increase their opportunities for education, employment, and service.
Removing technology barriers
Access to affordable data and devices is a luxury many BYU-Pathway students do not have. To improve the student experience, continual efforts are made to decrease the amount of data needed to participate in BYU-Pathway, simplify systems, and find new ways to provide students with access to laptops and the internet.

Making higher education affordable
Scholarships are one way BYU-Pathway is removing cost barriers for students. The Heber J. Grant Tuition Discount is needs-based and allows all students to receive up to 50% off. The Returned Missionary Scholarship offers 25% off to PathwayConnect students who have returned from a mission in the past 60 months. Lastly, peer mentors can offer the Mentor Bridge Scholarship to students with additional financial need.

Decreasing the time to graduation
With the average BYU-Pathway student only taking one or two 14-week courses at a time, it could take seven or more years to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. In 2022, the first two PathwayConnect courses were adjusted to last seven weeks each. Eventually, all online BYU-Pathway courses will be moved to a seven-week block schedule, making it possible for students to graduate in three to four years.
Preparing students for careers
In an effort to help students become self-reliant leaders, BYU-Pathway began partnering with third-party staffing companies to help connect students with potential employers. Using its own students as peer mentors has provided additional job opportunities . BYU-Pathway’s certificate-first curriculum design has continued to help students earn milestones on their way to a degree and improve employment.

"Now as we build disciple leaders and make the blessings of education available and affordable to more of God’s children — thus bringing the Holy Ghost more fully into their lives — we will assist in filling the world with truth and light and help bring an increasing number of the willing hearted and their families to Christ."
President Brian K. Ashton,
BYU-Pathway Worldwide 8
Brian K. Ashton, “Patterned After the House of the Lord” (BYU-Pathway Worldwide inauguration, Mar. 10, 2022),