The Institute of Religion (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 3 June 2004.

Phone: 785-843-7755


The Institute of Religion, a ministry of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), serves students, faculty, and staff at Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU). HINU is a nationally-known school for Native Americans. The Institute began in 1955, which makes it the oldest LDS institute or ward in Lawrence. Spencer W. Kimball, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at the time, founded it. The Institute has only one paid employee, with the other staff (president, teachers) working as volunteers. Members are expected to tithe, and most do.


Worshipers belong to various Native American tribes and range in age from 18 to 30. (About 150 tribes are represented at HINU.) People of any age and ethnicity are welcome to attend. Institute members speak English and are often conversant in a Native American language. Services often make use of these Native American tongues.

Description of the Center

The Institute occupies a large one-story brick house. There are offices, a kitchen, and two rooms used for worship.

Activities and Schedule

Worship is on Sunday mornings and includes Sunday School, Relief Society (for women), Priesthood (for men), the Sacral Meeting (sacrament or communion), and once a month the Fast and Testimony Meeting. The elements used in the Sacral Meeting are bread and water because of the church policy of abstinence from alcohol. Other activities include Monday night campus dinners and counseling services.