Skip to main content

Brigham Young University. Division of Religion



  • Existence: 1940 - 1959

Administrative History

The Division of Religion (1940-1959) was an administrative unit at Brigham Young University. The division administered religious education at the university.

The Division of Religion, established in 1940, required that all students enroll in a two-credit-hour religion class each semester as a prerequisite to graduation. It was the responsibility of the division to supervise all religious teaching and activity on campus, and provide instruction in scripture, doctrine, Church history, and religious leadership. Although the Head of the Division of Religion was the President of the University, there did exist a director of Religious Activities, J. Wyley Sessions, who served from 1940 to 1950. Sidney B. Sperry was a prominent religious professor beginning in 1939, and later Director of Religious Instruction.

The Division of Religion was composed of the following four departments: Bible and Modern Scripture, Church History, Theology and Philosophy, and LDS Church Organization. There were also graduate degrees offered in the areas of Bible and Modern Scripture, Semitic Languages, Church History, and Philosophy of Religious Education. The Division of Religion focused mostly had behavioral, rather than intellectual, objectives.

Found in 8 Collections and/or Records:

College of Religious Instruction records

Identifier: UA 584
Scope and Contents

Includes the official correspondence of B. West Belnap, David H. Yarn, Roy W. Doxey, and Daniel H. Ludlow, all deans of the College of Religious Instruction. Includes correspondence from Chauncey Cazier Riddle, Assistant Director of Graduate Studies. Dated 1937 to 1976.

Dates: 1937-1973

Joseph Smith Memorial Building construction time books

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197231013191]
Identifier: UA 436
Scope and Contents

Includes six time books of paid and volunteer hours spent on the construction of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building between 1939 and 1940.

Dates: 1939-1940

College of Religious Education recordings

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 5687
Scope and Contents

Contains sound recordings of firesides, devotionals, forums, and talks from Religious Education about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church history and doctrine, Communism and the Church, the Church and the US government, and spiritual matters. Dates range from 1955 to 1977.

Dates: 1955-1977

Russell R. Rich papers

Identifier: UA 611
Scope and Contents

Includes talks, correspondence, class lectures, and research. Also included are research notes and chapter drafts for "Ensign to the Nations."

Dates: 1951-1984

Russell R. Rich papers on Mormon splinter groups, 1951-1981

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 611 Series 3
Scope and Contents

Contains research files on the numerous offshoots of Mormonism, including a list of groups and their leaders, questionnaire, scriptural warnings, articles and periodicals, correspondence, files on each group, printed literature of the various groups, and other materials.

Dates: 1951-1981

Russell R. Rich personal papers, approximately 1955-1984

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 611 Series 4
Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence, pamphlets, and a sound recording related to Rich's missionary service and other activities. Materials date from between approximately 1955 and 1984.

Dates: approximately 1955-1984

Russell R. Rich professional papers, approximately 1951-1984

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 611 Series 2
Scope and Contents

Contains general files related to Rich's teaching career at Brigham Young University. Includes minutes, correspondence, student papers, class notes, talks, and other items. Materials date from between approximately 1951 and 1984.

Dates: approximately 1951-1984

Russell R. Rich research and drafts for Ensign to the Nations, 1966-1972

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 611 Series 5
Scope and Contents

Contains research, chapter drafts, and other materials used in the production of Rich's book Ensign to the Nations (1972). Dates from between 1966 and 1972.

Dates: 1966-1972