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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.


  • 1937-1973


Conditions Governing Access

Restricted. Closed for 35 years from the date of creation of the records, and thereafter open to the public in accordance with the University Archives Policy.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical / Historical

Bryan West Belnap was born in Ogden, Utah on March 14, 1921, to Volney B. Belnap and Rose Marie West. He graduated from Ogden High in 1939 and studied for two years at Weber College. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Southern States mission. He received his BS degree from Brigham Young University in 1946 and his MA degree in Philosophical Education at Columbia University in 1950. He then received his PhD in Religious Education from Columbia University in 1951. In order to pay tuition at Columbia, Belnap and his wife Darlene Howard became house parents to twenty boys at Woodycrest, a juvenile facility in the Bronx. Upon returning to Utah, Belnap worked for Brigham Young University as a professor. He also served as acting chair and then chair of the Department of Church Organization and Administration. From 1953 to 1958, he served as director of the Undergraduate Division of Religion. From 1959 to 1961 he served as the chair of the Department of Religious Education. In 1962, he was appointed dean of Religious Instruction. During this time, Belnap served as executive secretary to the All-Church Priesthood Correlation Plan and the Children’s Committee of the All-Church Priesthood Co-ordinating Council where he helped write the first family home evening manual. Belnap passed away on January 13, 1967.

Biographical / Historical

Chauncey Cazier Riddle was born on December 18, 1926 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Alfred Levi and Frances Gazier Riddle. He served briefly in the armed forces before attending Brigham Young University, where he graduated with his bachelor's degree in 1947. He continued his education at Columbia University, earning a master's degree in 1951 and his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1958. He started working at Brigham Young University in 1952, working at the university for forty years as a philosophy professor, as chair of the graduate program in Religious Instruction, as dean of the Graduate School, and as an Assistant Academic Vice President.

Biographical / Historical

The College of Religious Instruction was born in 1959 when the Division of Religion was discontinued due to growth in university enrollment and renamed the College of Religious Instruction. As university enrollment grew, religious class enrollment grew, as every student was required to engage in a religious class each semester. The following individuals served as deans of the college: David H. Yarn, Jr. (1959-1963), B. West Belnap (1964-1967), Daniel H. Ludlow (1968-1971), and Roy W. Doxey (1972-1973). The College of Religious Instruction had a fundamental role in properly integrating religious and moral values with secular knowledge. With the requirement of religious course enrollment each semester, individuals at Brigham Young University had the opportunity of establishing his or her life on a stable ethical and religious basis. Despite its college structure, the College of Religious Instruction did not grant degrees, neither graduate nor undergraduate. Theological classes became part of the College of Religious Instruction at its establishment in 1959. Beginning in 1961, the faculty of the College of Religious Instruction instituted a new class requirement for incoming freshman, that of a Book of Mormon course. A Reading Committee on Publication of Theological Material existed at least in 1963 under the chairmanship of William E. Berret. It was discontinued by 1968. The following departments were a part of the College of Religious Instruction from 1959 to 1964: Bible and Modern Scripture, Biblical Languages, L.D.S. Theology Church Organization and Administration, History and Philosophy of Religion, and Religious Education. These were replaced by the Dept. of Undergraduate Studies in Religious Instruction and the Dept. of Graduate Studies in Religious Instruction in 1964. Three new departments were organized in 1969, replacing the previous two, which included the Department of Ancient Scriptures, the Department of Church History and Doctrine, and the Department of Philosophy.

Biographical / Historical

Daniel H. Ludlow (1924-2009) was the director of the Correlation Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a faculty member at Brigham Young University, and the editor of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism. Daniel H. Ludlow was born on March 17, 1924 and died February 14, 2009. Dr. Ludlow attended Utah State University, Indiana University and Columbia University. He taught at Utah State University from 1947 to 1952, and Brigham Young University from 1955 to 1972, where he served as dean of religious instruction and director of the Institute of Mormon Studies. Dr. Ludlow worked for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in several capacities, including as director of teacher support services for the Church Educational System and director of the Correlation department.


29 boxes (14.5 linear ft.)

1 folder (0.01 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged in ten series: 1. College of Religious Instruction dean records, 1951-1973. 2. College of Religious Instruction meeting minutes, 1958-1971. 3. College of Religious Instruction dean correspondence, 1958-1971. 4. Undergraduate Studies in Religious Instruction chair records, 1963-1966. 5. College of Religious Instruction dean records on general procedures, 1960-1971. 6. College of Religious Instruction printed materials, 1937-1971. 7. Department of L.D.S. Theology, Church Organization and Administartion chair records, 1951-1960. 8. Graduate Studies assistant director records, 1952-1960. 9. College of Religious Instruction dean records, 1958-1973. 10. College of Religious Instruction meeting minutes, 1971-1976.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed finding aid is available in print in the repository.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History

Donated by the College of Religious Instruction.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; College of Religious Instruction.


Departmental records (University Archives collecting policy, July 2003).

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.

Processing Information

Processed; University Archives.

Register of the College of Religious Instruction records
Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library Special Collections Department
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections. University Archives Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo UT 84602 US