Local Spiritual Assembly Supports Individual Deepening with Scholarships to Wilmette Institute Courses

We are happy to share with you a letter that the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Champaign, Illinois, sent to the Champaign-Urbana Bahá’í community and cluster, offering scholarships to Wilmette Institute courses to community members who wish to serve and who wish to deepen individually to be better prepared for service. The Assembly’s only request is that the scholarship individuals bring their learnings back to the community in the form of deepenings, displays, exhibits, or projects involving Bahá’ís and non-Bahá’ís. We will be following this initiative in Illinois and hope that other Spiritual Assemblies will be moved to take similar actions.—THE EDITORS


To the Champaign-Urbana Bahá’í community and cluster:

The Champaign LSA recently consulted on the July letter from the Regional Bahá’í Council [of the Great Lakes States] titled “Exciting developments in the Great Lakes States Region and the needs of the Plan.” A number of action items were formulated, one of which was to identify ways the Assembly can be supportive of the efforts of individual believers who want to serve. Individual deepening was identified as a possible activity.

To that end, the Assembly would like to offer, as funds permit, scholarships for individual members of the community to register for and complete courses through the Wilmette Institute.

The courses available cover a wide variety of deepening areas, from in-depth studies of the Sacred Writings, History and Central Figures of the Faith, to self-improvement, marriage and family, and the arts and sciences.

One request we would make of people who apply for a scholarship is that they find a way, after the course is complete, to bring that material back to the community in some form—as a deepening class, a display or exhibit, or a project involving your Bahá’í or non-Bahá’í friends. (As an aside, we discussed this with the Wilmette Institute and they were strongly encouraging of the idea and are eager to know how it works out.)

The Wilmette Institute’s web site is at http://wilmetteinstitute.org, and the course listings are available from the main page. As a practical concern, we have observed that most of the courses involve a substantial commitment of time on the student’s part, typically 6 to 8 weeks with detailed weekly activities. But we understand from the Wilmette Institute that they give people extra time to complete the work if they need it. We encourage anyone in the community with the time available—and more importantly, a strong interest in one of the course topics—to consider participating. If you are interested, please let us know how we can help.

Wishing each person the best in learning and serving,

The Champaign Spiritual Assembly

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