Institutes of religion provide weekday religious instruction for young single adults. All young single adults should be encouraged to participate in institute classes whether they are attending school or not. Married postsecondary students and their spouses may participate in institute as their time and circumstances allow. In addition to religious instruction, institutes give students opportunities to grow spiritually through service, social interaction, and leadership training.
Stake presidencies and institute personnel counsel together regarding the establishment of institute classes. Where feasible, these classes should be made available for all young single adults.
Stake or multistake institute classes may be organized where campus institute classes are not readily accessible. Classes are generally taught in meetinghouse facilities by stake institute teachers. Institute personnel provide training and administrative support for these teachers.
Institute classes generally meet twice a week for 50 minutes or once a week for 100 minutes. Other options may be considered, as explained here. Independent study courses can be made available for students who are unable to attend regular institute classes. Under certain circumstances, credit for institute classes may be transferred to Church institutions of higher education.
The location and contact information for institute programs worldwide are available at institute.ChurchofJesusChrist.org and through institute personnel.
Institute Advisory Council
An institute advisory council is established wherever there is an institute program. For stake institute programs, these needs may be met by the stake young single adult committee (see General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , 14.1.2). The stake president may serve as chairman of the council or assign one of his counselors to do so.
If an institute serves more than one stake, the Area Presidency or an assigned Area Seventy assigns one of the stakes to be responsible for the advisory council. The stake president may serve as chairman or assign one of his counselors to do so. Stake presidents of other participating stakes may attend council meetings or assign a counselor to do so.
The institute advisory council consists of the chairman, the institute director, and the institute student council presidency. The chairman may invite representation from other stakes as needed.
This advisory council does the following:
- Organizes and directs the institute student council.
- Encourages institute enrollment and attendance.
- Approves the annual student activity calendar and the expenditure of funds for student activities, including any travel.
The advisory council may meet in conjunction with the local board of education.
Institute Class Officers
An institute teacher may appoint class officers as needed. Before making these appointments, the teacher contacts the bishop(s) for approval. The teacher considers all worthy students for class officers, including those who have disabilities. The teacher announces officers in class, but they are not sustained or set apart. These officers assist the teacher as needed.
Policies and Procedures
Institute classes, including stake institute classes, follow policies approved by the Church Board of Education.
Priesthood leaders may access registration, enrollment, and attendance reports through MLS, Leader and Clerk Resources, or institute personnel.
Orientation and Training
Institute personnel orient and train those who have been called as teachers and supervisors.
Institute classes must use approved institute course materials. Institute personnel provide class materials for teachers. Teachers and students are to obtain their own scriptures.
Stake institute activities should be coordinated so they do not interfere with each other or with activities sponsored by local young single adult organizations in the Church. They must comply with Church policies and guidelines.
No money should be collected from students for institute classes and activities.
Where possible, institute sites and facilities are to be shared with other Church units or departments. Where there are no institute facilities, the stake presidency ensures that facilities such as meetinghouses or members’ homes are available for institute classes. However, facilities may be rented for institute classes when authorized by the headquarters office of Seminaries and Institutes of Religion.
In areas outside the United States and Canada, the Area Presidency determines whether stake institute teachers and supervisors may be reimbursed for transportation expenses. When approved, stake presidents may authorize institute personnel to make transportation reimbursements to stake members for travel related to teaching and supervising institute classes and attending inservice meetings.
When institute classes are held in a meetinghouse, audiovisual curriculum materials are stored in the meetinghouse resource center. The resource center also supplies the audiovisual equipment needed for classes that are held in the meetinghouse.
Materials for Those with Disabilities
Special religious education materials are available for institute students with reading problems or other disabilities. Institute personnel can provide information about ordering these materials. Teachers may also find helpful information at disability.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Graduation and Recognition
All students who meet the minimum attendance requirement will be recognized for attending seminary or institute classes.
Students who desire to receive a seminary or institute diploma must meet the following additional requirements:
- Institute personnel verify that the student has completed all course requirements.
- The bishop or one of his counselors endorses the student’s worthiness, confirming that students are worthy and committed to live the standards outlined in For the Strength of Youth or similar standards for young adults. This ecclesiastical endorsement is completed annually for seminary students who desire to graduate. For institute students it is completed previous to institute recognition. The bishop or one of his counselors may complete these endorsements as part of regularly scheduled interviews.
Institute graduation exercises are planned by a member of a stake presidency or a high councilor, assisted by institute personnel and by institute students. A member of a stake presidency presides at institute graduation exercises. For additional information, see A Guide to Seminary and Institute Graduation Exercises.
- Institute Classes for Young Single Adults (April 19, 2011): All young single adults should be encouraged to attend institute classes, whether they are attending school or not.
- Stake-Based Institute Options (September 10, 2018): To better meet the needs of nonstudent young single adults attending stake-based institute programs, stake presidents now have additional scheduling options.