Weekend of “Firsts” at Weimar Institute

Weimar Institute was a trailblazer this past weekend, according to Neil Nedley, MD, president, as Weimar was the first self-supporting ministry to graduate nursing students since Madison College 60 years ago. Also, Weimar had a record number of baptisms from its NEWSTART program this weekend, and graduated nine students with certificates as medical assistants, a new medical missionary opportunity provided by the college.

The first six nursing graduates from Weimar Institute (l to r) are: Stacey Philpott, Brenna Rittenour, Cody Acmoody, Elias Baquero, Ruriko Kinjo, and Lauralea Leffler.


Claiming the counsel of Ellen White, the tone of Sunday’s graduation with comments from Dr. Nedley and commencement speaker John Shin, MD, a fellow in hematology and medical oncology at Mayo Clinic, was of being “one accord” one mind and one soul.

“She wrote in the book Education of how students no longer had their hopes set on worldly greatness but that Christ filled their thoughts,” stated Dr. Nedley. “The advancement of His Kingdom was their aim.”

Two students graduated with bachelor of science degrees in natural science and minors in health and wellness: Katelyn Antuna and Jessica Chon from Oroville, WA and Kalispell, MT, respectively.

Six graduated with associate degrees in nursing including Cody Acmoody, Nevada, CA; Elias Baquero, Venezuela; Ruriko (Michelle) Kinjo, Carnation, WA; Lauralea Leffler, Weimar, CA; Stacey Philpott, Colfax, CA; and Brenna Rittenour, Mead, WA.

The ten students who earned medical assistant certificates were Danielle Baquero, Venezuela; Brittany Boomgaarden, Kennewick, WA; Narlon Edwards, Ringgold, GA; Shiana Fowler, Stanwood, WA; Dara Jaklic, Antelope, CA; Samantha Liu, San Diego, CA; Natalie Loredo, Watsonville, CA; Vicky Morrissy, Lisle, IL; Kristi Olson, Fortuna, ND; and Julie Schafer, Ukiah, CA.

NEWSTART, the scientifically researched lifestyle-change program revolving around eight fundamental principles proven to help achieve optimum health: Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunlight, Temperance, Air, Rest and Trust, has had guests on Weimar’s campus for the past two plus weeks. There are currently 16 in the 584th class with origins from Jamaica to Alaska. Five NEWSTART guests were baptized this past Sabbath at Weimar’s Moses’ Rock.

“This is the largest number of baptisms at a NEWSTART session,” stated Dr. Nedley. In addition to the five NEWSTART baptisms, there were two other baptisms this Sabbath with acapella hymns of rejoicing interspersed from a hillside of well-wishers including students, faculty and staff, family, and friends.

Dr. Nedley shared that NEWSTART is on track to baptize about 65 souls this year.

“Lots of firsts this weekend. We prayerfully want to position Weimar Institute to be a place used by God…an institute of Higher learning. A place where we can train students to be medical missionaries, and a place where we can show Jesus through health education,” he concluded.