J.D. Griffith is the Vice President of Administration for BYU-Pathway Worldwide, an online higher education organization serving nearly 60,000 students from over 180 countries, and was its first employee in 2009 when he assisted with the creation of the original Pathway program. He previously worked at BYU-Idaho as a faculty member in the College of Business and as an administrator in the Division of Continuing Education. J.D. holds a bachelor’s degree in business management, and an MBA and a PhD in business administration. His previous church callings include bishop, counselor in the bishopric, high councilor, elders quorum president, Young Men president, ward clerk, Gospel Doctrine teacher, and missionary in the Ireland Dublin Mission. He currently serves as a primary activity leader. He and his wife Tasha have five children and one grandchild.


03:45 Introduction to J.D. Griffith and how Pathway began back in 2009.

05:50 How is BYU-Pathway Worldwide different from an online university? J.D. explains why this program was formed.

12:00 While the majority of BYU-Pathway is online, they meet weekly in person.

14:00 How does it work? Can you get any degree?

15:40 J.D. talks about who BYU-Pathway is for.

21:00 BYU-Pathway is so unique and possible through the Church that would not be possible through other universities. The Church has been able to subsidize tuition, use senior missionaries as volunteers, and allow access to the Church buildings to hold classes.

24:30 What to expect in BYU-Pathway
Step 1 – PathwayConnect (first year)
Step 2 – Certification
Step 3 – Associate Degree
Step 4 – Bachelor’s Degree

29:30 The first year is a transition into college. It’s about coming together and helping each other on a weekly basis. The first year has life skills, university skills, and other basic classes.

32:15 BYU-Pathway is for the unemployed or underemployed. It can help them get job ready certificates.

33:40 How can leaders use BYU-Pathway in their ministry?

34:50 Leaders can help the young single adults that get left behind when everyone else is off to college by inviting them to do BYU-Pathway. It also helps these individuals get involved in institute.

37:50 Mission leaders and bishops should offer BYU-Pathway for recently returned missionaries.

41:15 BYU-Pathway is a great way for a leader to connect with individuals who are less active in the church. It’s less intimidating than inviting them to go to church.

42:20 Leaders can connect with part member families with BYU-Pathway.

44:00 BYU-Pathway can help recent converts and help continue to nurture them.

45:20 BYU-Pathway is also for non-native English speakers. They will have the opportunity to learn English along with the curriculum.

47:30 How can leaders better promote BYU-Pathway?

  • Find the local BYU-Pathway missionaries
  • Invite BYU-Pathway missionaries to your ward counsel
  • Have a stake education specialist
  • Identify individuals in your ward and talk with them

51:10 J.D. elaborates more on how special the BYU-Pathway program is and how it can serve so many different kinds of people.

53:15 Even though the costs are low there are also scholarships available to those who need it.

54:20 J.D. shares more about himself and his own education.


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