CES conference to train seminary and Institute teachers

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    By Laura Austin

    The annual CES conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held at BYU, will begin Tuesday, Aug. 14.

    The conference is open to Church Educational System teachers, administrators, retirees and their spouses. People come from all over the United States and Canada to attend the conference, said Gary Bauer, BYU facilities coordinator for the CES conference.

    Mari Manwaring, CES continuing education program assistant, said the annual CES conference is sometimes the only training volunteer CES workers get.

    “The seminary teacher out in Ohio who”s called to teach seminary, who has never done it before, doesn”t always know where to start,” she said.

    Manwaring said the chance to learn from those who have taught for years is a great help to those who are new to CES work.

    “I think it gives some teachers a lot more confidence than they normally would have had,” she said.

    From 1954-1970, a CES seminar was held alternating years during the summer at BYU for full-time seminary and institute teachers, said David Giles, director of CES curriculum services.

    Giles said classes were offered throughout the summer. During the seminar there was a general meeting that everyone attended, he said. Eventually, church education got so big that a seminar was no longer possible.

    In 1977, the annual CES conference was started. It is always held the week of summer graduation because classrooms are empty, Giles said. Now, part-time and volunteer teachers can attend. Giles said about two-thirds of those who attend now are part-time and volunteer teachers.

    Those who attend the conference will attend workshops on The Book of Mormon. Bauer said some of the lectures deal specifically with how to teach the gospel in the Book of Mormon. This makes the conference more pertinent than Education Week to gospel educators, Bauer said.

    Activities at BYU will begin with general workshop sessions and an address from Elder Henry B. Eyring. There will be workshop sessions on Aug. 15 and 16.

    Workshops are taught by CES workers and administrators, as well as some BYU professors, Manwaring said.

    Bauer said the activities at BYU will then be open to all CES workers, whether full-time, part-time, or volunteer, and their spouses.

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