Religion classes: not your average course

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Every student who attends BYU technically graduates with a minor in religion, though the honor is not actually awarded.

Just because you attended seminary or institute classes does not mean you’ll ace a religion class. Just like any other class, you get out of it what you put in. Here are a few things to remember about religion classes at BYU:

Professors

At BYU, students have the opportunity to learn about the LDS religion, and other religions, from some of the most qualified professors in the world. In addition to professors in the religion department, professors from other departments like marketing and biology, also teach religion courses. Margaret Willden, a sophomore from Cedarburg, Wis., majoring in piano performance, had both positive and negative experiences with non-religion professors.

“I had a religion class from a nursing professor that was ridiculously difficult. I had to work like crazy,” Willden said. “My religion class from a chemical engineering professor was one of my favorites, though.” If you’re not sure who to take a class from, ask people who have taken the class already.

Class attendance & note taking

Reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, Pearl of Great Price or Doctrine and Covenants any number of times does not necessarily prepare you for religion classes.

If you aren’t attending class and paying attention, there’s a good chance you won’t do as well.

When registering for a religion class, your book list will include, for example, a copy of the Book of Mormon. If you take notes in a personal copy, your copy might lack the space to take notes for class because of things already marked. Buy a new paperback copy for a few dollars in the Bookstore specifically for note taking.

Tests

While there are tests in seminary classes, religion tests are different. Religion tests will question your knowledge of doctrine, history, meanings of words and identification of people. Lorraine Hilton, a junior from Alpine, double majoring in math and history, said she thinks people underestimate Book of Mormon classes because “they already read it.”

“Professors give a lot of insights in class you would never know from reading on your own,” Hilton said.

Don’t take your religion classes casually, Hilton counseled. You won’t have the opportunity to study religion this way during any other time in your life.

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