BYU Education Week returns to campus, participants invited to seek revelation

Education week attendees walk toward the Harold B. Lee Library on campus. Education Week offers nearly one thousand classes on a variety of topics. (Photo courtesy of Cristina Bolaños)

260 presenters, 500 volunteers, hundreds of BYU employees, nearly one thousand available classes and visitors from around Utah and the country — this is BYU Education Week.

From Aug. 21-25, campus will host classes for youth and adults, presented through “a lens of faith,” according to the Education Week website.

Some of the week’s highlights include a devotional by Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve; classes by the Sunday School, Young Women and Young Men presidencies; and a presentation by the Missionary Department.

During the week, the Church Music Committee will present a class about the new hymnbook, BYU’s Office of Belonging will hold a panel discussion and “Church News” reporters will share their experiences.

“We have excellent presenters with a passion to share their knowledge, and when we get them together with an audience interested in a particular subject it creates a powerful atmosphere of learning where the Spirit can change lives,” Education Week Administrator Bruce Payne said.

This powerful atmosphere is open to anyone 14 years old and up. General registration is required, though all classes are first-come, first-seated, according to the website. At-the-door registration options are available.

This year’s program theme is adopted from “For the Benefit of the World,” a university model announced last fall, Payne said. 

The university invites Education Week participants to consider the following: “Belief enhances inquiry, study amplifies faith, and revelation leads to deeper understanding.” 

For recently-returned Provo native Naomi Yocum, Education Week is a “great week of self-care.” 

Yocum attended Education Week as a high schooler. Since moving back to the area a few decades later, she’s restarted the tradition.

“As a mom especially, you’re always kind of caring for others or filling everyone else’s needs,” Yocum said. “With Education Week, I feel like it’s all about me and what I’m interested in.”

Education Week offers courses on a variety of topics, all taught through a spiritual lens. The annual event began in 1922, and numbers have continued to climb post-pandemic. (Universe Media Library)

Yocum said she’s often drawn to courses by religious educators. However, some of her favorite experiences have been with topics and teachers outside of her wheelhouse.

 “Don’t be afraid to jump into something,” Yocum said.

She also advised first-time Education Week attendees to download the BYU app to simplify their on-campus meals and to peruse the course catalog.

For those unable to walk long distances to and from classes, or are not interested in a midday trek across campus, Yocum has a solution.

“Just go hang out in the Marriott Center,” Yocum said. “You’re bound to have an amazing day.”

This year, classes will be held all over campus. The demolished HFAC and “not-quite-there-yet” Music Building required Payne and his team to stake some new on-campus claims for the program.

Classes will be held in the Life Sciences Building, the Harman Continuing Education Building and the Harold B. Lee Library, among others.

Payne said he is anticipating enrollment to approach pre-pandemic numbers. He mentioned additional overflow capacity to accommodate popular courses.

BYU student employee Jessica Walburger got a sneak preview of the offered courses as she formatted and edited the presenters’ submitted outlines. She said she sometimes found herself taking notes as she read through material.

“Even just from outlines I’ve gained a lot, so I can only imagine what the actual classes will be like,” Walburger said.

She said she hopes attendees will have a similar experience to hers of spiritual growth.

“My hope is that people come away with a strengthened testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, with a desire to improve their lives … and bless others through the things that they learn,” Payne said.

Registration is open through the end of Education Week. It is recommended that attendees coordinate rides or arrange public transportation to minimize traffic and parking issues.

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