Godly Women Blog

Why You Should Consider Attending the FI Continuing Education Week

Written by Susan Scott Smith

I’ve been attending the Foundation Institute Continuing Education summer session for several years. This year was great, and next year might be even better!

Many years after graduating from Ambassador College, I began having recurring dreams about returning to college. In the dreams I would try to figure out how I could possibly do that under my present circumstances.

Well, in 2013, the Church began sponsoring a weeklong Foundation Institute Continuing Education course for five days in the summer—and it was even in my home state of Texas! I thought, could this fulfill my dream of going back to school?

I wasn’t able to make it the first year, but have attended every year since.

Because of the larger classroom in the new office, this year we had 48 students enrolled (with ages spanning from 18 to 93 years of age), which was approximately twice the size of classes in previous years. Most of the attendees, including me, were lovingly called “repeat offenders.”

What are the classes all about?

When I come home, brethren in my congregation often ask me, were the classes the same as they were in previous years? The answer is no! Different subjects are covered every year.

Ralph Levy covers an Old Testament book, such as Ezekiel, Isaiah, Genesis, Numbers, Leviticus, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Nahum, Micah, Jonah and Obadiah.

David Johnson covers a New Testament book like Galatians, Romans, Ephesians, 1 John, 1 Peter and James.

Jim Franks, Britton Taylor, Clyde Kilough, Doug Horchak and Erik Jones cover many different topics, such as one of the Fundamental Beliefs, tithing, marriage, voting and politics, the Hebrew calendar, love, godly leadership and other religions such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Additionally, we receive helpful handouts and can ask questions of the instructors.

What is a day of classes like?

During the FI Continuing Education week, our daily schedule was as follows:

  • Doors opened at 8 a.m. for coffee, fruit and breakfast snacks.
  • Morning classes started at 8:30. We had three morning classes, which were separated by 10-minute breaks.  
  • We were given an hour and 10 minutes for lunch. Delicious lunches were prepared by Becky Johnson. This gave us time to socialize with our classmates and instructors. Many of the conversations were about the topics covered in our classes.  
  • At 1 p.m. we went back to the classroom for three afternoon classes.
  • Each day’s classes ended at 4:30. Though we enjoyed the classes, the end of the day gave us a chance to rest our brains and relax for the evening.  
  • In addition to the classes, there were several dinners and socials during the week that gave us more opportunities for fellowship.

At the end of the week we received a certificate for completing 29 hours of classroom instruction. Just for comparison purposes, last year the yearlong FI students received 894 hours of classroom instruction.  

Why you should consider coming in the future

For those who cannot attend the full-year program or those who wonder whether they could handle it, the weeklong summer program is the perfect way to try it out—and at a very affordable price! We were all exhausted by the end of the week, but also very “pumped up” by all the instruction and encouragement we received. It was certainly worth it!

Not only have my dreams of returning to college ceased, the knowledge, understanding and wisdom that have been offered are never-ending. On the last day some of us were saying that this year was the best ever. I believe that the only year that can top this year is next year.  

The best news is that next year the faculty is planning to have two sessions, if possible. This could allow up to 80 students to experience this amazing opportunity. I hope this blog post has encouraged you to consider applying for next year. I await the registration date with great anticipation and hope to see you there!

I’d like to thank the following people who helped me write this blog post: David Johnson, Chant’a Collier and Melanie Bynum.

To learn more about FI, visit the Foundation Institute website

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