Give Us Your Input on New Courses!

New courses are a way of life for the Wilmette Institute. Its nine courses in 1999 have expanded to some 31 in 2013. Now we need your input about the kinds of courses that the Institute should be adding to its offerings.

Spin-Offs of Existing Courses
THE ARTS. One avenue for developing new courses for the Wilmette Institute is adding spin-offs of popular courses. For example, the Bahá’í Faith and the Arts proved so popular that the Institute had to offer it twice in quick succession.

Now we are spinning off an Arts Workshop. This will be a practical course in which Bahá’ís with specific talents can join with artist practitioners to develop their skills and discuss ways they can use their art to serve the Bahá’í community.

Another spin-off might be a course on Aesthetics.

What additional arts courses can you suggest that would make a permanent and significant contribution to the development of the arts in the Bahá’í community?

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY LIFE. Over the years the Wilmette Institute’s course on Marriage and Family Life has been immensely successful with many people wanting to take it but unable to get in.

Now we are considering a number of spin-offs, including:

Bahá’í Singles and Dating
Bahá’í Courtship and Preparation for Marriage
Bahá’í Marriage for Bahá’í Couples
Raising Children in a Bahá’í Family
Blended Families 

What additional spin-offs of the Marriage and Family Life course might we offer that would strengthen the understanding of dating, courtship, marriage, and raising children?

Expanding Established Categories of Courses
RELIGION COURSES. Since its inception, the Wilmette Institute has had a very strong commitment to the study of various religions (the Bahá’í Faith, Chinese Religions, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and so on). In May 2013, the Institute is adding Introduction to Shi’ism to that list.

Additional courses in the religion category that we are considering or developing include:

Understanding Religion: Conceptual and Experiential Aspects
Understanding Religion: Social Aspects
Sufism and Islamic Mysticism (Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb used its language and ideas extensively)
Comparative Apocalypses

What additional courses might we add to the Religion category?

BAHÁ’Í AUTHORITATIVE TEXT COURSES. Courses on Bahá’í authoritative texts have also been a staple of Wilmette Institute offerings from its beginning. But there are still many we have not covered, such as:

Prayers and Meditations (Bahá’u’lláh)
Some Answered Questions (‘Abdu’l-Bahá)
Memorials of the Faithful (‘Abdu’l-Bahá)
Shoghi Effendi’s collections of letters

In this category, we have the topics. But we need people to help develop such courses. Can you suggest faculty who might develop such courses?

Expanding a New Category of Courses
FOSTERING PUBLIC DISCOURSE. The Wilmette Institute’s commitment to fostering public discourse has expanded greatly in the last two years with the creation of such courses as Social Action and Public Discourse, Climate Change, Economics and the Bahá’í Faith, International Development and the Bahá’í Faith, World Federation, The Advancement of Women, and Science, Religion, and the Future.

What additional courses could the Wilmette Institute offer that would foster public discourse? What courses would you add to these:

Human Rights
Moral Development
Poverty
The Role of Religion in Society
Agriculture
Governance
Interfaith Discourse and Understanding
Reading Social Reality

What courses could we offer about the Bahá’í commitment to world peace?

What other subjects might the Wilmette Institute cover as we are “drawn further and further into the life of society” and are “challenged to extend the process of systematic learning” in which we are engaged “to encompass a widening range of human endeavors” (The Universal House of Justice, to the Bahá’ís of the world, Ridván 2010)?

How to Share Your Ideas
Use this link to send your comments and ideas: wi@usbnc.org. We look forward to hearing from you.