Student Experiences

Terrell Phillips

"For starters, institute is like listening to different lectures and applying them to your life. The lectures are not any type of lectures, instead it is like Christ preaching. The institute have blessed my life by demonstrating the Heavenly Father's love and compassion on this type of journey. I like how there are different institute classes that I can take. It warms my soul to have the knowledge and understanding to witness the truth of the Gospel. I am truly blessed to know that I am not alone in finding answers, furthermore I know that the world would be uplifted in being present when the Holy Spirit is working in our lives."

Landon Barney

"Institute has always been a place where I have been able to feel the true joy of Christ. I have gained so much confidence, and comfortability in sharing my thoughts during lessons, personal stories that apply and also my testimony which is every growing. Having institute during the week provides me with a time, outside of church, to put away all of the stress of school and athletics for a little, and refocus on Christ and our loving Heavenly Father. Being able to attend a class with my teammates has been a huge blessing for me personally because I have been able to strengthen my relationships with them while learning about the gospel together, and institute has made that possible. I will always have a strong testimony on the blessing institute can bring to a persons life, because I have seen my life be changed for better after every class."

Dayna Riddle

"When I returned home from my mission, I craved additional group study time about the gospel. My New Testament class with Bro Moss was so incredible— I felt the spirit every time I went. We talked about Christ and His life every class. It was refreshing that there were people from all different faith journeys in the class and I was able to broaden my perspectives. It’s hard being a college student sometimes and I benefit from the in-week boost— socially and spiritually— that institute provides."

Sally Osterman

"I love institute because it brings thoughts and feelings to my mind that I probably wouldn’t have had anywhere else. I have been able to recognize events in my life that were blessing that I had not recognized before. It allows me to build my testimony on Heavenly Fathers effect in my life! I know that I am here at this time for a purpose and Heavenly Father leads and guides as he walks beside me."

Andrew Knecht

"Institute has blessed my life by giving me opportunities throughout the week to feel the Spirit and remind me of the covenants I’ve made. It also gives us a time to discuss Gospel topics in a non-formal setting."

Mynesha Burrell

"For me Institute is such a big part of my life, coming to Southern Virginia University and not knowing anything about the church. The first way I was introduced to the church was actually through Institute. If it had not been for Institute introducing me to the gospel, I would not be who I am today. I wouldn't be able to say that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the Restored church .

Institute is not just a class, it’s an opportunity to learn more about the gospel and to be in tune with the spirit. I love the Institute so much. I go to at least three a day because I want to learn more. Plus, the professors are so fun! I encourage each and everyone that reads this to try Institute. It's such an awesome experience you don’t want to miss out on!"

Zach Baldridge

“For me, Institute is a great change of pace from my normal schedule as a student. Being able to come to Buena Vista from Lexington puts me in a different headspace, and punctuates my normal busy schedule of academic work at Washington and Lee University. Class environments are a comfortable space for me to comment and interact with my peers, and the Institute instructors I have had do a great job of inviting critical thought and comments from the class. My Institute classes have provided me with readings and study suggestions that add variety to my daily personal gospel study each week, and help me expand my knowledge. Getting to come over and spend a little while in an environment where conversations about the gospel are normal and encouraged has a great positive influence on my weekly schedule and daily existence.”

Mikie Nash

"Institute has given me a deeper look into the gospel that I wouldn't get anywhere else. Even when I have it at eight in the morning, I'm still able to show up and learn something that I've never heard about and rediscover things that I know. It has such a welcoming environment for anyone who shows up, no matter what their beliefs are. Personally, I feel that institute is for people at every level of spiritual progress and the teachers are amazing at meeting you where you're at."

Garrison Cook

"I love Institute because it allows me to set time apart during the week to have an in depth gospel study. I am able to take a break from the stress of other studies and focus on the scriptures throughout the week."

Margaret Fisher

"Each time I attend Institute, I feel the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Over the past two semesters, it helped me focus my scripture study and opened the scriptures for me to a level I had struggled to reach on my own. The classes focus on Jesus Christ and teach about Him with clarity. The spiritual nourishment I get from Institute helps me have greater hope in Christ."

Aaron Freidhof

"I enjoyed being in Institute and I felt most comfortable while taking the Bible classes because that is what I’m used to. Being Catholic, we do not use the Book of Mormon so everything was very new to me. When I was in the classes learning about the Bible, I could relate more and interact and engage with the class rather than sit off to the side. Grateful for the things I learned while in class."

Taylor Berrett

"I love Institute because it is a great way for me to be able to expand my thinking of the gospel and how to more deeply implement the gospel into my life. I love being able to hear others' testimonies and it always strengthens mine and helps me remember my testimony. I know that Institute is a place where we are able to gather together to dive into the gospel and more fully grasp it. I know that it can change our lives and help us grow and become more knowledgeable about this gospel!"

Grace Brotherson

“I remember when I first went to Institute, and I was surprised at how engaged the teacher was, not just in what they were teaching, but also in the lives of their students. In every Institute class I’ve taken, the teacher has made an effort to get to know all the students. This has helped me feel like I belong at Institute and that what they’re teaching really matters and is going to bless my life because I know that they care about their students.”