Wilmette Institute Inaugurating New Courses on Courtship and Marriage

Following the Wilmette Institute’s very successful course on Marriage and Family Life, offered in February 2013, the faculty met by telephone and decided to split up the material, now presented in one course, into a series of courses and to amplify the content in order to serve the needs of the Bahá’í community more effectively.

The result is two series of courses. One is called “Preparing for Marriage” and is designed for those not yet married, The second series is called “Strengthening Your Marriage” for those who already are married. At the current time there are two courses in each series.

Becoming a Couple: Preparing for Marriage is the title of the first course in the “Preparing for Marriage” series. It starts September 8 and will look at getting to know the other person’s character, the vital role of friendship, and the Bahá’í teachings about dating, as well as applying spiritual principles to courtship and the decision to marry.

Communicating and Consulting as a Couple: Strengthening Your Marriage follows on November 3 as the first course in the “Strengthening Your Marriage” series. It will cover the spiritual principles of communication and offers practical tips for communicating better at home.

The new Gregorian year, 2014, will open with another course in the “Preparing for Marriage” series: Are We Compatible Enough to Marry? It will start on January 5, 2014, and will explore the principle of equality of men and women, spiritual life and service together, intercultural factors in marriage, and family dynamics.

On February 23, our second course in “Strengthening Your Marriage” course will begin. Called Choosing Our Married Couple Time, the course will look at the ways in which couples can spend time both together and separately, whether one partner can say no, how couples protect the unity of their marriage, and how they can have fun together in a marriage.

All four courses in the courtship and marriage series will last just 5 weeks each, which is on the short side for Wilmette Institute courses. The base price is $60 for individuals; $50 for seniors, students, and pioneers; and $150 for groups of 3 to 6.

Depending on demand, the original four courses will be offered again in the future.

Also depending on how popular the two series are, the Institute is considering another four courses and could eventually offer even more. Suggestions for topics to explore are welcome.

A major challenge the Institute is facing is locating images to use in the courtship and marriage courses to illustrate and beautify them. Almost any image of a couple can make someone feel excluded. It is possible that some of our Wilmette Institute students have high-quality images that we could use. If you think you do, please contact us at wi@bahai.us.

We are using a number of abstract paintings by Cary Enoch Reinstein (who was a student in our Social Action and Public Discourse course) that are particularly fitting. You can enjoy them by registering for one of our four courses or by visiting his website at http://www.enochsvision.com/.