According to a study by Barna, a Christian polling company, 31 percent of Christians expressed interest in continued professional development that focuses on integrating faith and applying it to their career.
Barna concluded that Christians who are stronger in their faith are even more pragmatic and career-focused than non-Christians. For believers, moral and spiritual development are important as they pursue a higher education.
Involving faith is an important aspect in academic learning here at BYU-Idaho. For students at BYU-I, integrating faith into their classes has helped them learn better.
Landon Cook, a sophomore studying public health, said that he likes attending BYU-I because he has learned to strive harder both academically and spiritually.
“The university does put a heavy emphasis on spiritual things like making sure you’re reading your scriptures and saying your prayers, but at the same time they stress for us to work hard and study hard,” Cook said. “They emphasize both because this is the Lord’s university. You have to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and effectively.”
Lindy Girardelli, a freshman studying elementary education, said that she enjoys attending a university operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because she wants to grow not only spiritually, but also academically.
“Here at BYU-I, we are learning about educational truths, but what I’ve learned is that anything that’s truth is also from the gospel.”
Although many students come to BYU-I for different reasons, many come to strengthen their faith.
“I think what I’ve learned by being here is that the gospel doesn’t change no matter where you are; it’s always the same,” Girardelli said. “So many people are on different levels with their testimonies here. Some are stronger and others weaker, but we can all be strengthened.”
Both Cook and Girardelli agreed that by being strong in their faith, they are provided with insight and revelation while attending school. Both discussed the power of education and how BYU-I has prepared them for their careers.
“I feel that if I didn’t have my faith or any religious perspective, I would have no idea what to do with my life or why I’m here,” said Tylona Pettijohn, a junior majoring in marriage and family studies. “Currently, I’m pursuing a degree in psychology and marriage and family. Both studies will help me know how to raise a functional family and be an effective member in the community.”
Students here at BYU-I find that by attending this campus, they are encouraged to develop careers within the Church.
“I don’t really know what kind of careers my degree will point me towards,” Pettijohn said. “I’ve definitely considered LDS Family Services which is church-based. I feel that it’s encouraged more here to tie your faith into your career.”