The Church’s institute program is evolving.
In an effort to help deepen young single adults’ conversion and commitment to Jesus Christ, the Church Educational System is offering four new“cornerstone” classes and increasing its efforts to encourage young single adults to not only attend institute, but graduate.An official notice explains that “by actively participating in and graduating from institute, young adults will strengthen their testimonies of Jesus Christ, increase their scripture study skills, learn from others and through the Spirit, and gain confidence in making life decisions.”
Benefits and blessings of institute
Many young adults—and even some leaders and parents—may view institute as an optional program, especially when classes conflict with busy young adult lives. But attending institute has benefits and blessings particular for LDS young single adults.“Institute is the perfect way to keep the Spirit throughout my crazy week,” says sophomore Tanner Harvey, who attends the community college in the small town of Colby, Kansas, USA, with just four other LDS young adults. Their tiny but devoted institute class meets twice each week at 6:30 a.m.“It's really hard to keep my Sunday testimony strong throughout the week, especially in college, and I look forward to that time I set aside for the Savior,” she said. “There will never be enough time to get everything done, so making institute a priority offers a chance to get away, regroup, and focus on the bigger picture. The immediate and eternal blessings are well worth a bit of sacrificed time.”According to institute.lds.org, the purpose of institute is to help young adults understand and rely on the teachings and Atonement of Jesus Christ, qualify for the blessings of the temple, and prepare themselves, their families, and others for eternal life with their Father in Heaven.Brontë Bringhurst, a returned missionary, says that her religion classes have helped to develop her faith in Christ because they encourage her to study. “I always have had a habit of reading my scriptures,” she said, “but that process of studying and finding answers to questions really helps.”
Young single adults have reported these additional benefits of institute:
Religious courses are available at institutes of religion worldwide. Parents, leaders, and instructors can help invite and encourage young single adults to make graduating from institute a priority, similar to the current expectation for graduation that exists with seminary students.
To graduate, a student must receive credit for each of the four new cornerstone courses and at least three additional elective courses. They can earn the course credit needed to graduate by:
New “cornerstone” courses
These four new required courses are intended to be cornerstones of students' religious education experience:
According to an official notice announcing the changes, “these and other institute courses are intended to assist young adults in deepening their conversion through an in-depth study of the scriptures and teachings of modern prophets.” To learn more about the new classes, visitinstitute.lds.org.
Institutes of religion are available around the world and at Church-owned universities. Institute is not only for young adults ages 18–30 who are single; married young adults in that age group who desire to graduate are also welcome to attend.