On Thursday, the Church Board of Education announced the approval of updates to Student Ecclesiastical Endorsements, the Honor Code and Dress and Grooming Principles and Expectations for all Church educational institutions.

press release from the Church said the changes are “principle-based, provide consistency across CES institutions and better align student endorsement interviews with church leaders’ ecclesiastical responsibilities.”

The changes create a common set of expectations across all schools.

Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement

The following are updated interview questions for the CES ecclesiastical endorsement:

— Are you striving to deepen your testimony of God, the Eternal Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost?

— Are you striving to deepen your testimony of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

— Are you striving for moral cleanliness in your thoughts and behavior?

— Do you obey the law of chastity?

— Do you sustain the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators?

— Do you support or promote any teachings, practices, or doctrine contrary to those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

— Do you regularly participate in your church meetings and strive to keep the Sabbath day holy?

— Do you strive to be honest in all that you do, including keeping the commitments you have made?

— The Church Educational System is supported and funded by the tithes of the Church of Jesus Christ. Are you a full-tithe payer?

— Do you obey the Word of Wisdom?

— Are you striving to live the teachings of the Church and keep the covenants you have made to this point in your life?

— Are there serious sins in your life that need to be resolved with priesthood authorities as part of your repentance?

The new questions no longer include concerns about following the CES Honor Code or Dress and Grooming standards. Excluding these questions better aligns students to follow their spiritual responsibilities, according to the news release.

“Our goal is that all students and employees feel the love of the Savior,” said Elder Clark G. Gilbert, the CES Commissioner of Education. Photo credit: Isabelle Justice.

CES Honor Code

The updated CES Honor Code asks students to maintain an Ecclesiastical Endorsement, among other standards, including:

— Being honest.

— Living a chaste and virtuous life, including abstaining from sexual relations outside marriage between a man and a woman and same-sex romantic behavior.

— Abstaining from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, vaping, marijuana and other substance abuse.

— Participating regularly in Church services.

— Respecting others, including the avoidance of vulgar language.

— Obeying the law and following campus policies, including the CES Dress and Grooming standards.

— Encouraging others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code and Dress and Grooming standards.

CES Dress and Grooming Principles and Expectations

The updated Dress and Grooming standards invite each student, employee and volunteer to:

— Represent the Savior Jesus Christ, the Church, and the Church Educational System.

— Preserve an inspiring environment, without distraction or disruption, where covenants are kept in a spirit of unity so the Holy Ghost can teach truth.

— Promote modesty, cleanliness, neatness and restraint in dress and grooming.

— Maintain an elevated standard distinctive to educational institutions of the Church of Jesus Christ.

The new Dress and Grooming standards allow shorts and open-toed shoes, and encourage the following:

— Dress must be modest in fit and style. Dressing in a way that would cover the temple garment is a good guideline, whether or not one has been endowed.

— Accommodations may be made for athletic participation.

— Be neat and clean. Sloppy, overly casual, ragged or extreme clothing is not acceptable.

— Hair should be clean, neat, modest and avoid extremes in styles and colors.

— Men’s hair should be neatly trimmed. Men should be clean-shaven. If worn, mustaches should be neatly trimmed.

These changes are uniform with BYU–Pathway Worldwide, Seminaries and Institutes of Religion standards and local Church dress and grooming standards.

These updates will take effect on Aug. 30. Photo credit: Isabelle Justice.

Additional changes

These notable changes are meant to unify standards across all schools. For example, BYU-Idaho students, who previously could not wear shorts to class, are now allowed to do so if they meet modesty standards as outlined above.

No changes were made to standards for LGBTQ+ students. Same-sex romantic behavior continues to be contrary to the Honor Code, though each situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

“LGBTQ students are a welcomed and valued part of the campus community and share a common identity with every student as sons and daughters of God,” CES said as part of its press release.

The updates were developed with the input of focus groups of randomly selected students conducted at BYU, BYU-Idaho and Ensign College. These were approved by CES presidents C. Shane Reese of BYU, Alvin F. Meredith III of BYU–I, John S. K. Kauwe III of BYU–Hawaii and Bruce C. Kusch of Ensign College.

“Our goal is that all students and employees feel the love of the Savior, experience the growth from applying gospel principles, and more fully realize the joy associated with being part of a covenant-keeping community,” said Elder Clark G. Gilbert, the CES Commissioner of Education.

These updates will take effect on Aug. 30. More information on the CES standards updates can be found on the Church Newsroom.