Four Educational Goals for Members in the Pacific

Church members in the Pacific are invited to increase enrollment in PathwayConnect and online certificate and degree programs

During a BYU-Pathway Worldwide Connections Conference in Sydney, Australia, Elder Ian S. Ardern, member of the Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared the following four area challenges. These challenges were given to help local members work toward their goals in the Pacific Area Plan.

  1. Become anxiously engaged in continuing education
  2. Encourage fellow students to complete PathwayConnect
  3. Invite a friend to enroll in an online certificate program
  4. Utilize the companionship of the Holy Ghost in coursework

Elder Ardern explained that 44 percent of 935 students who enrolled in PathwayConnect in 2017 in the Pacific area completed the program. Of those who completed PathwayConnect, 18 percent continued on to the online certificate and degree programs. The Pacific Area Presidency hopes to see these figures increase through local members of the Church accepting the challenges given.

“[Continuing education] is an important part of the [Pacific] Area Plan,” Elder Ardern said. “When I look at the area plan, I look at you and see that you are living it. That’s what we want as an area presidency; people who value education both temporally and spiritually and have education change their lives for the better.”

Elder Ian S. Ardern (right center) encourages local members to enroll in PathwayConnect together.

As part of fulfilling the educational goals in the Pacific Area Plan, Elder Ardern also encouraged BYU-Pathway students to motivate and help one another through their academic journey. He shared personal experiences to help explain that students can make the path toward a certificate and degree easier by cheering each other on.

“What a tremendous blessing it was that I had [my wife] who would motivate me sufficiently to carry on in my education,” Elder Ardern said. “It opened up doors that I have never imagined. I’m [here today] to tell you that same opportunity awaits people who will take the next step and enter into a certificate program, and then let that grow into something else.”

Local Church leaders from the Pacific area invite members to experience the blessings of higher education.

Additional speakers at the Connections Conference explained that BYU-Pathway is a tool to help local members build confidence, deepen discipleship, and increase employment opportunities. The Pacific Area Presidency will continue to invite students to enroll in PathwayConnect to experience the blessings of education.

“Are you ready to enlist in an army?” Elder Ardern said. “Are you the infantry that’s going to get rough? There’s going to be a few bullets flying overhead and you’ll have to get down in the trenches, but you are the soldiers that we need … [Your leaders are] knocking on your door. We’re saying, ‘Can you first help yourself to take the step to do the certificate? And then can you help by taking someone with you?’ Because education is so much easier when you are in the company of another … you can have the confidence to take the next step.”

View a recording of the Sydney Connections Conference (starts at 11:40):

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