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As you prepare to start (or potentially start) the Pathway program in your local area, please consider the following:
For Pathway to succeed, local priesthood leadership and support are critical. In areas where Pathway has been most successful, priesthood leaders discuss the program openly in councils, training, or other church meetings. We recommend a tight alignment and investment in the program at the Seventy, stake (presidency, high council, auxiliary), and ward levels.
In most cases, the Area Seventy assigns a stake president to call Pathway service missionaries. These missionaries are typically married, retired couples, but could be any worthy individuals within the stake. Pathway missionaries play one of the most important roles within the program as they head up recruiting and ensure the ongoing success of the program from semester to semester. Learn more about the roles of Pathway service missionaries, and download the Church Service Missionary Form.
Weekly gatherings during the first year of the program take place on Thursday evenings. Students are assigned to a cohort (group) at the time of admission. Cohort assignments are based primarily on age. Individuals age 30 or younger are assigned to an Age 18-30 Cohort. Students age 31 or older are assigned to an Age 31+ Cohort. Combining the two age groups into one cohort is not permitted.
For students age 18 to 30, Pathway is best suited within an institute building (where one exists). For students age 31+ Pathway may be facilitated in a church meetinghouse or stake center. Central locations that can serve a wide radius of stakes are ideal.
The size of Pathway classes plays a key role in the overall student experience. Pathway's minimum class size is 15 students, and the maximum is 40. In areas where the minimum is not reached, students must be instructed to wait until the next available semester. When enrollment exceeds 40 students, the class should be split and additional Pathway missionaries called to facilitate the other group.
Pathway primarily targets young-adult Church members who are not currently attending college, but admission is open to all adult Church members. Identifying such individuals and encouraging them to give higher education a try requires a concerted effort on the part of local priesthood leaders and Pathway service missionaries. Pathway missionaries will head the recruiting effort, but priesthood and auxiliary leaders are asked to help support the missionaries in their efforts.
-U.S. & Canada Locations Only-
If you're ready to bring the Pathway Program to your local area, fill out an application. Applications are submitted to BYU-Idaho and are approved by both the university and the Church Board of Education. To begin Pathway in fall (September), applications must be received by mid December. To begin Pathway in winter (January), applications must be received by mid May.
International locations depend on their respective Area Presidency to support and request a Pathway site. Therefore, we suggest requests to go through appropriate ecclesiastical channels, including bishops, stake presidents and area seventies, who in turn can brooch the subject with the Area Presidency. Once Area Presidencies decide that Pathway would bless their area members, they may contact the International Pathway director at BYU-Idaho to start conversations on the approval process, which requires not only internal approval but also CES Executive Committee and Board approvals (sought three times per year). Once approval is received, preparations will begin to open the new site as soon as reasonably possible.
Download the Pathway Priesthood Leadership Handbook