“By Study and Also by Faith”: Balancing the Sacred and the Secular at Brigham Young University in the 1930s and 1940s
This week we are featuring our article, "By Study and Also by Faith." Brigham Young University, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has always combined the sacred and the secular in its mission. In the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, while most other universities in the United States curtailed their religious affiliations and prioritized academic learning, BYU became more closely tied to its sponsor. BYU President Howard S. McDonald (1945-1949) helped accomplish this goal by several methods, including having prospective faculty and students be interviewed by Church leaders to ensure their commitment to the Church. He oversaw the creation of congregations specifically for students, renewed religious instruction, and asked Church leaders to speak on campus to establish personal relationships. BYU remains dedicated to the development of disciple-scholars.