“Gone are the days when a student asked an honest question and a teacher responded, ‘Don’t worry about it!’ President Ballard said during the 2016 announcement for the updated seminary curriculum, doctrinal mastery. “Gone are the days when a student raised a sincere concern and a teacher bore his or her testimony as a response intended to avoid the issue. Gone are the days when students were protected from people who attacked the Church.”
Among the topics included in doctrinal mastery are the Godhead, the Plan of Salvation, prophets and revelation, priesthood and priesthood keys, ordinances and covenants, marriage and family.
“For those teachers that are spending the time on it in class, it is helping students to understand fundamental doctrine better and how it applies to their questions in real-life scenarios,” said Chad H Webb, administrator in the Church Educational System. “It’s not just 100 questions and 100 answers. Rather, it is ‘how do I find answers and view this question with a more eternal perspective?’ Hopefully what we’re doing is helping them to learn how to learn as much as giving them answers to specific questions.”
Seminary teachers worldwide report that as they integrate doctrinal mastery into classroom discussions, they are seeing positive results with the students.
“Doctrinal mastery has helped young people to open up with questions and arguments that are very profound and serious that sometimes are not addressed or shared,” said Paolo Petrollini, a seminary teacher for the Terni Ward in the Rome Italy East Stake. “It helped them to better understand the divine nature and the role of Christ for personal repentance. The best experiences for young people are related to the contextualization of personal life and the actual problems that they live and face in everyday life.”
Lead image from Church News