Ambitious Expansion of Courses Planned for 2014

The Wilmette Institute’s 2014 course schedule is beginning to take shape as its most ambitious effort yet. Once a few more courses are finalized, the Institue will be offering some 34 courses, almost three per month. This is approximately 10 percent more courses than 2013. The line-up for 2014 will include: 

Courses on the Writings of Baháu’lláh

The three courses on the writings of Bahá’u’lláh are part of a cycle of seven courses on specific books of Bahá’u’lláh, which are offered in chronological order based on the dates of revelation.

  • The Kitáb-i-Aqdas
  • Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas
  • Tabernacle of Unity

The year 2014 will also see the return of the popular overview course:

  • Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation: A Systematic Survey

Courses on the Writings of the Báb and the Bábí Community

 Two courses will explore the writings of the Báb and the Bábí community He created:

  • The Writings of the Báb
  • Discovering the Dawnbreakers: The Báb and the Bábí Community

Course on the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

In 2014 a single course will also be offered on the writings of `Abdu’l-Bahá:

  • The Exemplar: The Life and Ministry of `Abdu’l-Bahá

Courses on the Ministry and Writings of Shoghi Effendi

Three courses are planned on Shoghi Effendi ministry and his writings:

  • The Ministry of Shoghi Effendi
  • The Advent of Divine Justice
  • The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh: Selected Letters

Learning How to Read Bahá’í Texts

To help Bahá’ís learn how to read the Bahá’í authoritative texts more carefully and insightfully, the Wilmette Institute is offering the popular:

  • How to Study the Bahá’í Writings

Bahá’í History Courses

In addition to courses on the Dawnbreakers and the Bábí community and on the ministry of Shoghi Effendi, the Wilmette Institute is offering an additional history course that explores the history of the twentieth century.

  • Century of Light

World Religion Courses

A number of courses on world religions and their scriptures continue to be part of the Wilmette Institute’s offerings, including a new one on Sufism:

  • Exploring the New Testament
  • Christianity for Deepening and Dialogue,
  • Islam for Deepening and Dialogue
  • Introduction to Sufism (a new course)
  • Buddhism for Deepening and Dialogue
  • Chinese Religions for Deepening and Dialogue

Religion, Philosophy, and Theology

In addition to the courses on five world religions, four other courses will explore comparative religion, philosophy, and theology:

  • Understanding the Conceptual and Experiential Aspects of Religion (a new course)
  • Understanding the Social and Historical Aspects of Religion  (a new course) (these two are based on Moojan Momen’s The Phenomenon of Religion and will provide comparative background for studying world religions)
  • Bahá’í  Faith and Philosophy
  • Bahá’í Theology

Community Building

Four courses on aspects of Marriage and Family Life (spinoffs of the popular course of that name) will be offered (the first in late 2013). The topics of the new courses are still under consideration, but two will focus on people who are not yet married, while the other two will focus on married couples.

Practical Applications for the Betterment of Society

A number of courses are planned to offer practical application of the Bahá’í teachings or aspects of the Bahá’í Faith that have implications for either social action or public discourse. These include:

  • Preparing for Interfaith Dialogue
  • The Bahá’í Faith and the Arts (a course designed to aid Bahá’í artists of all kinds to contribute their talents more effectively to community building, whether in Feasts and Holy Days; Ruhi study classes; educational classes for children, youth, and adults; or teaching and expansion)

Strengthening Local Spiritual Assemblies

Finally, one course to aid Local Spiritual Assemblies in preserving their histories will be offered:

  • Introduction to Archives for Bahá’í Archivists

Overall, 2014 will see the most ambitious effort to date by the Wilmette Institute to deepen Bahá’ís and their friends in the basic verities of the Bahá’í Faith and to prepare them to share them with a world increasingly in need of guidance to face the challenges confronting it in every arena.