"My flabber was completely gasted." - Rating Pending
Question #91653 posted on 10/10/2018 11:48 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,
I was reading the Ensign article about President Oaks and it talked about him becoming a BYU president. He made it sound like a calling, but I feel like the job description is more of a job. So is BYU president a calling or a job? And if it is a calling is it a priesthood calling?

-So many questions


Dear you, 

I couldn't find a source that explicitly says one way or the other. However, my research has led me to a conclusion that I believe is accurate. According to two of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' websites, becoming the president of BYU is more of an appointment than a calling. After finding those sources that don't have any mention of the term "calling", I found an article that discusses former president of BYU-Idaho, Kim Clark. Although Clark did receive an actual call (as in a telephone call), there is this quote: "The church's education director, W. Rolfe Kerr, calls the BYU-Idaho presidency a 'paid job,' not an 'ecclesiastical calling.'" I would submit that the same is true of those at BYU. However, I don't blame anyone for taking it a little more serious than just a normal job (because the prophet hires you).

In short, from my research I am led to believe that being the president of BYU is not a calling (priesthood or otherwise) but is a paid job.

-Sunday Night Banter


Dear You,

Just to reiterate what SNB said, being BYU president is not a calling, and is definitely not a priesthood calling. Someone asked about this in Board Question #90546, and as I explained there, when BYU was looking for a replacement for President Samuelson, they actually considered several female candidates. Obviously they went with President Worthen instead, and to this day BYU still hasn't had a female president, but it is technically a possibility.