OGDEN -- A new director of the Ogden LDS Institute of Religion, near Weber State University, says he's putting into practice what he has taught others throughout the entire educational system of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Kelly David Shepherd comes to the Ogden campus, at 1302 Edvalson St., after service as director of training services for seminaries and institutes of religion for the church in Salt Lake City since June 2005.
"To put it into practice has been great -- to see if it actually works," he said. "Some days it does. Some days it doesn't."
Shepherd also has supervised church education throughout many areas of the United States.
He served as area director over seminaries and institutes for the United States' Southern Plains for eight years.
He was the Gainesville, Fla., institute director for five years and the Cherry Creek seminary principal in Englewood, Colo., for three years.
He was a seminary instructor in Davis County for six years.
Originally from Ogden, Shepherd said he feels like he's "coming home" in accepting this new position.
Shepherd said he is leading a number of changes at the Ogden LDS Institute of Religion that include cutting back programs that are outside the institute's focus statement.
"We hope to provide weekday religious education experiences, social interaction and service opportunities primarily for students in the vicinity of the Ogden Institute," reads the statement in part.
"I want to stay away from weekends, especially Sundays," Shepherd said about offerings at the institute.
He said a number of previously planned Sunday firesides were canceled once he arrived and the institute began to follow this directive.
"We have gotten a little distracted in the last few years," he said. "We have gone back to what we traditionally do."
He said an emphasis on young single-adult wards in the last three years has made institute programs on the weekends a duplication of efforts.
"We are allowing organizations in place to take their responsibilities and run with them and not get in their way," he said of the young single-adult wards in the area.
"We want to focus on students that are here when they're here," he said of an effort to strengthen weekday programs. "If we can be clear and focused, that would be wonderful."
The institute will offer nearly 100 classes, starting in a week, when fall classes begin.
Those wishing to register may visit campus or register online at studentview.ldschurch.org/home.aspx/60037.
Also new this fall are a number of remodeling changes to the institute building.
Crews have opened up the foyer and student lounge area.
New restrooms now are in the upper hallway.
There also is new carpet, lighting and ceiling tiles in the gym.
A landscape upgrade will begin in September.
Also new to the institute is instructor Don Keaton.
Keaton has been with the church educational system and has enjoyed teaching for more than 22 years.
He was previously the director of Westminster Institute.
As the artistic director of several musical theater groups, Keaton has had the opportunity to perform and travel throughout the U.S.
He has had various opportunities to serve in the church and is currently serving on the High Council of the young single-adult stake in his area.