By Kathryn Richards
A new publication produced by BYU”s religion department finally fills a large niche in church publications.
“The Religious Educator” is a publication geared toward religion teachers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“It is specifically for people teaching religion on a regular basis,” said Richard Holzapfel, associate professor of church history and doctrine at BYU, and editor of “The Religious Educator.”
“It could be a seminary teacher in Southern California or Minnesota. It could be a UVSC institute teacher or a religion professor at BYU-Hawaii,” he said. “There are thousands who are alone in teaching. We want to interconnect and be a resource to those other teachers.”
The publication was born from a vision of Robert Millet, former dean of BYU”s religion department.
“The Religious Educator” focuses on three specific topics of interest to religion teachers: doctrinal insight on scripture and church history, pedagogy and teaching techniques and family life, Holzapfel said.
He said “The Religious Educator” is not designed to replace existing publications of BYU and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He said he hopes its quality can be comparable to the high quality of these publications.
“We want it to be respectable, responsible, inspiring and spiritually enriching,” Holzapfel said.
While there are several publications geared toward the church in general, “The Religious Educator” is devoted to helping teachers strengthen their skills, said Bryan Weston, executive assistant to the administrator of CES.
Weston said he thinks “The Religious Educator” is a wonderful new resource.
“It fills a new area that hasn”t been previously addressed very well,” he said.
The first volume of “The Religious Educator” was published last spring.
“We”ve received positive feedback on the first issue,” said Paul Hoskisson, associate dean of the religion department. He said it helps reinforces readers” personal testimonies.
“People are starving for it,” Holzapfel said. “People are calling from all over wanting a copy.”
Although the first volume did not receive wide circulation, Holzapfel said CES plans to distribute the next volume to a wider audience.
Holzapfel said the second edition should be released this spring. The editors” goal is to make “The Religious Educator” a biannual publication.
“We”re pleased with the efforts of the BYU faculty to prepare and publish this kind of thing,” Weston said. “We hope it”ll be a big help to people on the art of teaching.”
To subscribe to “The Religious Educator,” visit the Web site at tre.byu.edu.