Church education leaders announced Tuesday, Feb. 25, that LDS Business College would soon be changing its name to Ensign College and expanding its educational offerings and reach.
Given those historic developments, school president Bruce C. Kusch is understandably enthused for the future. But he’s quick to add that the school’s distinct, long-established qualities won’t be counted among the many changes.
The Church-owned school, he said, will remain a destination of learning for would-be students eager to make their proverbial marks while deepening their relationships with the Lord.
Traditionally, many have enrolled at LDS Business College with plans to transfer to another institution after gathering general education credits. Others come to “re-skill,” prepare for new employment opportunities and perhaps return to formal learning after decades away from a classroom.
“We serve pretty much every demographic in the Church,” President Kusch told the Church News.
And while some sprawling colleges and universities are home to tens of thousands of students, LDS Business College is renowned for its intimacy — facilitating one-on-one connections with instructors and fellow students.
“Students have repeatedly told me, ‘I came to LDS Business College and I found out I could do more than I ever thought possible.’ It’s a beacon of hope and opportunity.”
Men and women of all ages and from over 80 countries attend the Salt Lake City-based commuter school. Now thanks to developing partnerships with BYU-Pathway Worldwide, students who may never step foot on the downtown campus will soon be calling Ensign College “my school.”
“It’s a place to come and get a start, find yourself and gain confidence in your ability to learn,” said President Kusch. “And because of our small size, students are given opportunities to do things here that they might not have at other places. … This may not be the place for everyone — but everyone who comes here finds a place.”
The school’s wide-ranging curriculum is an extension of its diverse student body. And with plans to begin awarding a limited number of bachelor’s degrees, that range soon stretches even wider.
President Kusch hopes every graduate — regardless of their educational path — leaves with a common pair of Christ-centered traits.
“Our mission statement is to develop capable and trusted disciples of Jesus Christ. If students leave here both ‘capable’ and ‘trusted,’ I don’t know that we could do much better. Those are the things employers want.”
The school will also remain, aptly, an ensign to anyone seeking knowledge and goodness. President Kusch said the school’s future name — Ensign College — doubles as a personal reminder of each graduate’s sacred duty.
“The measure of the success of this institution will be in the quality of the lives of the students when they leave here. That’s how we will be judged as an institution.”
A former mission president (Mexico Cuernavaca Mission), President Kusch still marvels at the assignment he’s been given to lead a school where portraits of the Savior are found just a few feet where students are learning the latest in digital marketing, interior design and cybersecurity.
“It’s about as good as it gets,” he said. “I come to work every day grateful for the opportunity to be involved with these students.
“At the same time, we all feel a great responsibility to ensure we are doing what the Lord would have us do. … Being involved in Church education is a gift and a great privilege.”