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Religious Education

Religion Requirements


Fourteen hours of religion credit is the standard requirement for students to graduate with a bachelor's degree from BYU–Hawaii. Fewer than 14 hours may be required for transfer students depending on the amount of transfer credit accepted.

The Faculty of Religious Education administers all religion courses sponsored by the university. Courses are available in ancient and modern scripture, Church history and doctrine, and related subjects. Undergraduate majors or minors are not offered in religion because religious education is part of all students' experience at Brigham Young University–Hawaii.

Fourteen hours required as follows:

  • REL 200 The Eternal Family
  • REL 225 Foundations of the Restoration
  • REL 250 Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel
  • REL 275 The Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon (OR REL 121 + REL 122 )
  • +3 Rel electives (one of which must be a scripture course) - See table below

Other Religion Electives Scripture Electives
REL 100 Intro to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints REL 121 Book of Mormon I
REL 261 Family History (Genealogy) REL 122 Book of Mormon II
REL 333 Teachings of the Living Prophets REL 211 New Testament I
REL 341 Latter-day Saint History 1805-1844 REL 212 New Testament II
REL 345 Church History in the Pacific REL 301 Old Testament I
REL 351 Gospel and World Religions REL 302 Old Testament II
REL 390R Special Topics in Religion REL 304 Writings of Isaiah
REL 431 Doctrines of the Gospel REL 324 Doctrine and Covenants I
REL 471 Fundamentals of Gospel Teaching REL 325 Doctrine and Covenants II
REL 480 Church Education and Leadership REL 327 Pearl of Great Price
REL 391R Special Topics in Scripture


All four cornerstone courses (or their equivalent) are required for graduation from any of the Church Universities or from Institute.

All students must fulfill both Residency Hours and Required Content classes to graduate. For students that transfer to BYU–Hawaii it is assumed that they will have fulfilled some of the Religion core requirements from Institute or another CES University and will be transferring them in. If they have completed the core they should not repeat those classes.

Required Content Requirement

ALL students must complete all four cornerstone classes to graduate (can be transferred in or taken at BYU–Hawaii)

Residency Hours Requirement

Number of credits of Religion that must be taken at BYU–Hawaii

Total Transfer Credits (incl. DL credits) Residency Religion Credits Required
0.0 - 14.9 14*
15.0 - 29.9 12*
30.0 - 44.9 10
45.0 - 59.9 8
60.0 - 74.9 6
75.0 - 89.9 4
90 or more 2

*For all students who are required to complete 12-14 residency credits, one of the graduation electives must be the scripture-based elective.

Students of Other Faiths

Students who are members of other faiths are strongly encouraged to enroll in REL 100 Introduction to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, during their first semester in residence. This course is designed to be informational, introducing students to the culture, scriptures, and distinctive doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, thus preparing them for subsequent religion classes.

Religion Credit from Non-LDS Colleges and Universities

Religion credit from non-LDS universities and colleges will not satisfy the religion requirement at BYU–Hawaii. The transfer credit may, however, apply as elective credit toward the total hours required for graduation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do courses offered at BYU–Hawaii that deal with religion or are related to religion count for BYU–Hawaii religion credit?

No. Only courses with the REL designation receive religion credit.

Why can't I take more than one religion class in a given semester?

The Board of Trustees and Administration of BYU–Hawaii maintain that a student should be engaged with religious education throughout their undergraduate career. To prevent students from taking all their religion classes quickly to "get them over with," the general policy is that students may only register for one religion class per semester. Exceptions may be granted for special circumstances, when requested by the academic advisors.

How can I tell if I am on course for graduation?

You may refer to your progress report, which you can currently access in mapper.byuh.edu. Click on the heading "General Education" on the right side of the screen and scroll down to RELIGION CORE. If you have completed the requirement, it will show the grade. If you have not completed it but have mapped to take it, it will show which semester you plan to complete this requirement. If the space shows pink - then you do not have it mapped and should speak with your Advisor to update your plan. There are 3 separate requirements listed: CORE, Scripture requirement, and then Residency requirement.

Residency Hours Requirements

What does the term "residency hours" mean?

"Residency hours" refers to the religion credit hours completed at BYU–Hawaii while the student was pursuing a bachelor's degree. ("UG Career"). Every student is required to complete a specific number of religion hours during their undergraduate experience BYU-Hawaii regardless of the number of religion credits completed elsewhere, including courses taken from BYU–Hawaii Online in a DL program before being accepted as a matriculated student pursing a bachelor’s degree. Only BYU–Hawaii religion courses taken in the UG Career fulfill the residency requirement. There are no exceptions.

How many residency religion hours are required to graduate from BYU–Hawaii?

If you have taken all your coursework at BYU–Hawaii or transferred fewer than 15 hours of credits from any other institution, you are required to take a minimum of 14 hours of religion at BYU–Hawaii (residency hours) to graduate.

If, however, you have transferred 15 or more hours of credit from another institution to BYU–Hawaii (or from BYU–Hawaii Online DL classes offered by BYU–Hawaii to students not pursuing a bachelor's degree), the number of religion hours required to take at BYU–Hawaii (residency hours) is listed below:

Total Transfer Credits (incl. DL credits) Residency Religion Credits Required
0.0 - 14.9 14
15.0 - 29.9 12
30.0 - 44.9 10
45.0 - 59.9 8
60.0 - 74.9 6*
75.0 - 89.9 4*
90 or more 2*

*More credits may be needed if the Content Requirement has not been completed.

Why does BYU–Hawaii have a residency requirement for religion courses?

Since BYU-Hawaii grants the undergraduate degree, it is felt that students should take courses at BYU–Hawaii to have the "BYU–Hawaii experience." While one may argue that other religion courses provide the same quality and depth as BYU–Hawaii religion courses, the point is not quality but sponsorship. It is expected that BYU–Hawaii students have a BYU–Hawaii experience, including religious education. Thus, residency ensures that BYU–Hawaii students will be offered the experience for which they sought admittance and that they will continue to have religious education as part of their education at BYU–Hawaii.

Do BYU-Idaho or BYU religion courses count towards the residency religion requirement at BYU–Hawaii?

No. Only religion courses taken at BYU–Hawaii count towards the religion residency requirement for graduation.

Do Institute classes count towards the residency religion requirement at BYU–Hawaii?

No. Only religion courses taken at BYU-Hawaii count towards the religion residency requirement for graduation.

What if I am not a transfer student but I take an institute course while I am at home during the summer? Will this course fulfill my residency requirement?

No. If the course is taken for credit with a letter grade of C- or better, meets the CES Institute standards, corresponds with an existing BYU–Hawaii religion course, and if your institute sends an official transcript to the Admissions Office at BYU–Hawaii, then the institute class will count as two hours towards your total university hours. It may also fill part of your the content requirement. For example, The Eternal Family institute class may fill the content requirement to take REL 200 The Eternal Family. However, it will not count towards the residency requirement at BYU–Hawaii.

Institute / Transfer Credits

Do religion courses taken from an Institute, BYU-Idaho, or BYU count for Required Content credit?

Yes. Corresponding institute, stake institute, BYU-Idaho and BYU courses may fulfill the Required Content religion credits at BYU–Hawaii. Such courses do not, however, fulfill the residency religion requirement. (See Core Requirements)

Do institute credits transferred to BYUHawaii affect my GPA?

No. All institute credits transferred to BYU–Hawaii are accepted only as pass/fail grades.

Do Institute or Stake Institute classes count towards the residency religion requirement at BYUHawaii?

No. Only religion courses taken at BYU–Hawaii count towards the religion residency requirement for graduation.

Do BYU-Idaho or BYU religion courses count towards the residency religion requirement at BYUHawaii?

No. Only religion courses taken at BYU–Hawaii count towards the religion residency requirement for graduation.

What is the difference between "Stake Institute classes" and "Institute classes?" Do they count for BYUHawaii credit?

Stake Institute classes were created to provide religious instruction for those not directly affiliated with a college or university. CES (Church Education System) encourages college and university students to take religion courses from the program affiliated with their college/university. Ideally, a student at the University of Texas, for example, would take courses at the university institute; a BYU–Hawaii student would take religion courses at BYU–Hawaii, etc. Qualified stake institute courses receive institute credit and thus could be transferred to BYU–Hawaii. Like any religion course from another institution, they may fulfill the content requirement but they do not fulfill the residency hour requirement at BYU–Hawaii.

What does it mean to take an Institute course for "transfer credit"?

A student who desires to transfer institute credit must contact the institute instructor at the beginning of the semester/term and request to take the course for credit and a letter grade. This requires the student to complete the academic requirements of the course (exams, assignments, etc.) for transfer credit.

How does an Institute course appear on my BYUHawaii transcript? When?

Your institute director or instructor must send an official "Institute Transcript" to the Admissions Office at BYU–Hawaii. After they receive it, the course is reviewed and posted on a BYU–Hawaii transcript within two or three days.

Do religion courses offered from other universities fulfill the religion requirement at BYUHawaii?

No. For example, New Testament taught at Baylor does not have the same emphasis as New Testament at BYU–Hawaii, and will therefore not receive any religion credit at BYU–Hawaii, but the transfer credit may, however, apply as elective credit towards the total hours required for graduation.

Do Institute transfer credits or BYUHawaii DL courses affect my GPA at BYUHawaii?

Because institute courses are transferred only as Pass/Fail, they do not affect a BYU–Hawaii GPA.
However, DL classes transferred in from BYU–Hawaii Online will affect a BYU–Hawaii GPA.