Brand new 'Mormon Studies' minor at The University of Utah

Published 04/01 2014 11:25AM

Updated 04/01 2014 12:38PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Latter-day Saints founded The University of Utah, yet the school has never offered any LDS related degrees… until now.  

It's about time, according to students at the University of Utah.  Brigham Young and a Board of Regents founded the original college, The University of the Deseret, way back in 1850.  The school stands right at the heart of the biggest Mormon community in the world.  

"This university has always seen itself as the State University, and the idea that we represent not The Church and not a religious group, but actually a more secular brand of understanding," said Bob Goldberg, Director of The University of Utah's Humanities Center.  

Now U of U students can finally study the history of religion that brought their ancestors here to the valley.  

"You would be amazed about how much history there is to Mormonism, the anthropology, the sociology..." said Goldberg. 

Right now, the closest thing to "Mormon Studies" the university currently offers is Institute, but students do not get school credit for that. 

"I think adding the academic opportunity for people will create a new avenue," said Jeremiah Morgan, a University of Utah Alumni.  

"In educating and informing, what we're hoping to do is create greater sensitivity and tolerance," said Goldberg.  

Professors say they will also study current issues from the LDS perspective.  Starting next year, the Humanities department will offer classes in Mormon literature, politics, theology, and architecture. Almost 30 thousand students have enrolled at the university, and at least half of them are Mormons.  Students and teachers say this new minor just makes sense.  

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