LDS Seminary Careers
Within the Church Educational System of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the Seminaries and Institutes of Religion (S&I) provides religious education for youth and young adults ages 14-30. Called teachers and employees work together in the teaching and administration of this great educational program. Due to the needs and circumstances, S&I employs some men and women as full-time religious educators.
This page answers some questions you might have about the process to apply and prepare for a career in the Seminaries and Institutes of Religion.
What are the personal qualifications for prospective teachers?
An individual who teaches the gospel to the youth of the Church in a S&I setting must:
- Be a worthy and active member of the Church and hold a current temple recommend.
- Exhibit a testimony of the Savior and His restored gospel.
- Exemplify Church teachings regarding marriage and family life.
- Maintain a proper balance.
- Have and maintain a reputation of meeting financial commitments.
- Relate to and be able to manage a classroom of teenagers.
- Demonstrate outstanding scripture-teaching skills.
- Have an appropriate sense of humor. Be willing to abide by S&I policies, including dress and grooming standards.
What career options are available?
The following career options are available in S&I:
- Seminary teacher
- Seminary principal
- Institute teacher
- Institute director
- S&I coordinator
- Other S&I administrator
Most new teachers begin as released-time seminary teachers. Seminary principals, institute of religion teachers and directors, S&I coordinators, and other S&I administrators are often appointed from among the ranks of experienced seminary teachers.
What benefits are available with S&I?
The following are some of the benefits available to full-time S&I employees:
- Medical, dental, disability, and life insurance plans
- Master retirement plan
- Savings plan, with employer matching contributions
What are the education requirements?
The education requirements for individuals desiring a full-time teaching position in S&I include:
- An accredited bachelor's degree (S&I does not specify a major)
- Institute of religion graduation or equivalent, with emphasis on scripture courses
- Completion of Doctrines of the Gospel (Religion 430-31) where available
- Completion of the seminary preservice training process preferred
What is the seminary hiring process?
Interested applicants must successfully complete Seminaries and Institutes of Religion preservice training courses through one of the preservice centers. A prospective seminary teacher should take the following S&I preservice training course at one of the S&I preservice centers.
- Religion 471, Teaching Seminary
This course is an introduction to religious education as a profession. It focuses on basic teaching concepts and the S&I hiring process, and helps individuals become more effective teachers. It prepares them to teach the scriptures and involves them in a brief seminary teaching experience. During the course, trainees are evaluated and screened for Religion 475.
- Religion 475, Seminary Teaching Seminar
This course deals with current teaching issues and needs. Student teachers are also employed part time and may teach from one to three seminary classes. Throughout the school year they are evaluated to determine whether they should be considered for a full-time seminary teaching position with S&I.
Seminary Preservice Training Courses:
- Religion 430-31 Doctrines of the Gospel
- Religion 471 Teaching Seminary (with lab)
- Religion 475 Seminary Teaching Seminar
What if I live away from the preservice centers?
If you live in an area where no S&I preservice center is available, you may also be considered by employment after:
- Successful completion of approved preservice training coursework.
- Completing at least one year as a successful called seminary teacher.
- Being observed and recommended by the local S&I coordinator.
- Being evaluated by a S&I preservice representative.
What are the chances of being hired as a full-time seminary teacher and starting a career in S&I?
There are openings each year for seminary teachers. The number of openings varies from year to year, but typically the number of applicants far exceeds the openings. It would be wise to have other alternatives in mind in case a career with S&I does not develop.
Address further questions to one of the preservice centers or to a local S&I coordinator.