The History of LDS Seminary as It Celebrates 100 Years

First LDS Seminary near Granite High SchoolThe LDS Seminary and Institute programs are wonderful tools in helping young men and young women prepare for full-time missionary service. The year 2012 marks 100 years since the first Seminary class was establish. To commemorate this anniversary, the Church held a worldwide Seminary Centennial Broadcast on Sunday, January 22, 2012 with President Boyd K. Packer as the featured speaker.

A Brief History of the LDS Seminary Program

  • 1912: The first Seminary class is held at a home near Granite High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. Thomas J. Yates was hired as the first teacher and taught afternoon classes to 70 students.
  • 1920: Seminary enrollment was 2,982.
  • 1925: Seminary enrollment was 8,527.
  • 1926: President Heber J. Grant initiated “collegiate seminaries” which would later be called LDS Institutes of Religion.
  • 1938: There were ninety-eight functioning seminary programs in the following US states:  Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.
  • 1950: The early-morning seminary program began in California. The first early-morning seminary classes were taught before school in Church meetinghouses near public schools. Seminary enrollment was 28,677.first LDS seminary class in Brisbane Australian 1969
  • 1962: Early-morning seminary was introduced to Finland and Germany (a total of 34 students) in response to requests for programs outside of the U.S. and Canada.
  • 1967: The first home-study seminary classes begun in scattered rural areas for students are held in Iowa, Indiana, and Illinois.
  • 1975: Seminary enrollment was 183,670.
  • 1980: Sequential Scripture Teaching, the program to use the four books of scripture (Old Testament, New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants) for the four years of seminary, was introduced emphasizing the importance of using the scriptures in the lives of students.
  • 2010: Seminary enrollment was 369, 373.
  • 2012: 100 year anniversary of LDS Seminary.
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