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August 2022

A monthly electronic Newsletter

News, Web Talks, live events,

upcoming courses

Great Webinars and Podcasts

The talks are live web video programs and are free. Just click to register, or go to our Facebook or YouTube page to watch live. The video will be available later on our YouTube account; the audio may be available as a podcast on our SoundCloud channel.

Filip Boicu

Upcoming Webinars

Science, Religion, and the Baha'i Faith: A Panel Discussion

The Science and Religion course faculty

Sunday, August 14, 2 p.m. Eastern

What is Baha'i Education?

Filip Boicu, Sunday, August 28, 2 p.m. Eastern

Now on YouTube and SoundCloud

Sustainable Banking and Investing for Individuals: Spiritual Foundations and Practical Insights

Marilyn Waite, Emily Chew, and Jenna Nicholas

Our Common Humanity: Reflections on the Reclamation of the Human Spirit

Michael Penn

Symposium on Local Baha'i History

Mark Vaccaro: The Oklahoma Baha'i Oral History Project

Joyce Jackson: The Baha'i History of Nashville, Tennessee

Burton Smith: The Baha'i History of Lansing, Michigan

The Sacred Feminine at the Heart of the Baha'i Faith: An Indigenous Feminine Perspective

Nadema Agard Winyan Luta

Director's Report

Robert Stockman

Zoom Meeting with Faculty Answered Many Questions about Upcoming Plans (GTU)

The Wilmette Institute staff met over Zoom with the faculty on July 22 to review its approach to the extension courses and plans to revise them, beginning in 2023. This will involve some reduction in the number of courses so that the limited staff can work with selected faculty to accomplish a full upgrade of their courses. Others will continue as is or with limited revision until the staff can help the faculty revise their courses.

8th Annual Raymond Flournoy Course on the Baha'i Faith and Islam


Announcement Details in the image

Faculty News

Marriage Preparation Courses for Youth in Thailand Inspired by Wilmette Institute Extension Course

Six Thai youth took the Wilmette Institute's course Foundations for Relationships in June and used its materials (translated into Thai) to offer workshops on marriage for other youth in Bangkok. They are planning to offer additional workshops in the future.

Student News

Baha'i Prayer Hogan

Learner's Faith in Indigenous

Messengers Confirmed

As a child, Pat Chapman heard about her indigenous tradition only in whispers The course The Great Spirit Speaks: Voices of the Wise Ones confirmed the truth she heard as a child, that "we had prophets from God before the Europeans arrived." She is using her newly found truths in Ruhi study circles, racial equity sessions, and informal Zoom sessions with indigenous people. 

One Student's Approach to Interfaith Dialogue as "On-Call Chaplain"

G Stewart Mathison has been serving as an on-call chaplain at a local cancer and infusion center since December and is using aspects of the course Interfaith Dialogue and Collaboration in his work. He shares prayers, often Baha'i prayers, with patients and answers their spiritual questions. He also participates in several online groups focused on meditation and spiritual direction and looks for interfaith opportunities for the local Spiritual Assembly.

Judith Partelow

"Neighbors!" Public Reading of a Play by a Wilmette Institute Student

Judith Partelow took the course Anti-Black Racism in the U.S. and Building a Unified Society and was inspired to write a play, Neighbors!" about the issues she encountered. Judith applied for and was awarded a grant from the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod to develop and produce the play, which will be performed on Sunday, Sept. 11 at the Cotuit Center for the Arts. 

Bill Young

Learning to Promote Economic Justice through Consultation

Bill Young of Pendleton, OR, found that Bahá’í consultation can be utilized to promote economic justice in communities by demonstrating its effectiveness in resolving economic obstacles. The course Economics of Community Building provided Bill with a pathway for using this process.

Tips for Sustainable Living

rain barrel

Use Rain Barrels to Save Water!


A rain barrel to catch the runoff from your roof is a great way to save water for your flowerbeds and lawn. It reduces runoff and flooding and is generally better for your plants than chlorinated city water.

August and September Courses

Sunrise over the earth from space

The World Order of Baha'u'llah: Selected Letters

Aug. 11 - Sept. 28, 2022

The World Order of Baha’u’llah: Selected Letters, a compilation of letters written by Shoghi Effendi, identify the essential character and distinguishing features of the Baha'i Faith in contrast to other political and religious systems. In studying the letters, we will examine what Shoghi Effendi identifies as the defects of the prevailing world order, the guiding principles of the Baha'i system that will bring about World Order, and the necessary steps world leaders must take to rectify these defects. This course is designed to strengthen our understanding of the times in which we live and our certainty that humankind will pass through a daunting period of world history, knowing that world peace, the dream of the great thinkers of all ages, is not only possible but inevitable.

man with economic charts on the wall

Promoting Moral Excellence in Business

Aug. 11 - Oct. 5, 2022

Promoting Moral Excellence in Business allows learners to explore and redefine the fundamentals of a new business and management paradigm founded on revolutionary spiritual and moral principles drawn from the Baha'i Revelation. To provide a contrast, we will first review current understanding of business ethics and then challenge commonly held assumptions in business and management. We will take time to rethink the purpose of business, examine the meaning of such spiritual and moral values as unity, justice, nobility, and service, and explore how these values and operational principles such as consultation apply in a business environment. We will then explore groundbreaking concepts of leadership, power, and corporate governance.

people looking at a model of the solar system

Science, Religion and the Baha'i Faith

Aug. 18 - Oct. 19, 2022

Science and religion are “the two most potent forces in human life” according to Shoghi Effendi. In Science, Religion, and the Baha'i Faith, we explore how science and religion relate to each other from a Baha'i perspective. We examine the Baha'i writings as they relate to physics and cosmology, biology and evolution, and technology; and consider perspectives they inspire with regards to the crises of our age. We investigate the relationships between science, the scientific method, and the systematic endeavors of the Baha'i Faith. A major focus is the idea that the "Baha'i Revelation... is scientific in its method."

Man, child, and a nine-pointed star inside a circle

Tabernacle of Unity

Aug. 25 - Oct. 5, 2022

The five tablets in The Tabernacle of Unity proclaim some of the central tenets of Baha'u'llah's Faith and the universality of His prophetic claims. In this course we will undertake a careful reading of the five tablets, exploring the Baha'i concepts of progressive revelation and the role of religion in advancing human civilization; the relevance of the tablets to interfaith dialogue; and what the tablets teach us about the process of revelation. The first tablet to the Zoroastrian admirer discusses a variety of questions about the tenets of Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic religions, emphasizing what is right and true in the various doctrines and beliefs under examination. When the admirer indicated that he had hoped for more detailed answers, Baha'u'llah revealed a longer tablet (the second one in the book) elaborating on each of the questions. As a group, the tablets show Baha'u'llah's love for the followers of a religion that arose in Iran, where His own revelation was born.

woman with symbols of art around her

The Seven Valleys and the Arts of Transformation

Aug. 25 - Oct. 19, 2022

The Seven Valleys and the Arts of Transformation focuses on exploring Baha’u’llah’s The Seven Valleys through creative expression, both for those with background in the arts and for those with interest in but little or no experience in this approach. Rather than through intellectual or academic discussion, each week the learner will be responsible for reading and then exploring materials related to elements and stages of spiritual development through the process of artistic expression, such as the creation of a poem, drawing, or music. At the end of the course the learners will be asked to present a compilation of art created in the course, or an artwork that summarizes what they have learned and how this experiential process has influenced their personal growth. 

woman sitting on grass with laptop computer

Writing about the Writings

Sept. 1 - Oct. 19, 2022

In the past, the practice of exegesis, or drawing the meaning out of scriptural texts, has been the province of scholars specially qualified to produce scholarly commentary. In Writing about the Writings: The Art and Craft of the Personal Reflection Piece, however, students will engage in a different kind of exegesis with the goal of writing a more informal and accessible kind of commentary that does not require scholarly background—the personal reflection piece. The assumption behind the course is that all readers have a share in the multiplicity of meanings, which, according to `Abdu'l-Bahá, are embedded within scripture. 

woman riding a bicycle

Sustainable Development and Human Prosperity

Sept. 8 - Oct. 26, 2022

Our headlong pursuit of economic development since World War II to respond to the needs of a rapidly expanding world population has created great wealth and lifted many out of poverty, but also pillaged the planet's natural resources, polluted the environment and overshot planetary boundaries, while increasing inequality and leaving half the world population struggling to meet basic needs. The UN has called for a fundamental transformation towards sustainable development to assure that future generations can also meet their own needs. The Bahá'í teachings shed useful light on what this alternative should look like and how we might get there. We shall explore the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN. How do these translate into things we can do ourselves and in our local communities to live more sustainably? Combining science and spirituality can help us to work with both our head and our heart to build a more just and sustainable world. 

man and woman in dialogue

Introduction to Shaykhism

Sept. 15 - Oct. 26, 2022

This introduction to Shaykism will explore the history and teachings of a community whose founders and ideas were essential to the rise of the Bábí Faith. In additional units we will read and discuss biographies of Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i and of Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti. In additional units we will examine their teachings, focusing particularly on their concept of God.

Thoughout the course, we will explore the relationship of Shaykhism to Shi'i Islam and to the Babí Faith as well as the role its founders played as forerunners of and preparation for the Báb. Many of the readings will come from the brilliant work of the French scholar A.L.M. Nicholas, available in English translation or summary, but we will also use the works of other Shaykhi scholars.


many raised hands of different colors

Race Unity: The Role of Persian Americans (in English)

Sept. 15 - Nov. 16, 2022

The course curriculum is designed for participants of Persian/Iranian descent. The Regional Baha'i Council of the Northwestern States will pay the fee for the residents of Oregon and Washington. Use the discount code "NWENG22" to register for free.

Scholarships are available for anyone who needs help paying the fee. Please email the Registrar, Niki Daniels, at [email protected]. Click this link to see the fees: Tuition Fees.

many raised hands of different colors

Race Unity: The Role of Persian Americans (in Persian/Farsi)

Sept. 15 - Nov. 16, 2022

The course curriculum is designed for participants of Persian/Iranian descent. The Regional Baha'i Council of the Northwestern States will pay the fee for the residents of Oregon and Washington. Use the discount code "NWENG22" to register for free.

Scholarships are available for anyone who needs help paying the fee. Please email the Registrar, Niki Daniels, at [email protected]. Click this link to see the fees: Tuition Fees.

Baha'i House of Worship, India

Introduction to Baha'i History

Sept. 15 - Nov. 30, 2022

Introduction to Baha'i History will explore the major themes of Baha'i history from the 1850s to the second decade of the twenty-first century, emphasizing the development of the Baha'i Faith over the last century and a half. We will cover the period from the exile of Baha’u’llah (1817-1892), the founder of the Baha'i Faith to Baghdad in 1853 to the end of Baha’u’llah’s life in 1892; the ministry of Baha’u’llah’s successors, ‘Abdu’l-Baha (1892-1921) and Shoghi Effendi (1921-57); the period from 1957 to 1996, which saw the election of the Universal House of Justice; and the period marking a new direction in community life and outreach to the public (1996-2017).

We will be reading from Peter Smith's The Bahá'í Faith: A Short History as the principal text, Used copies of the book are available on Amazon.


365 (on Demand) Courses

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Browse 365 courses

The Wilmette Institute eNewsletter 

The Wilmette Institute eNewsletter is published monthly by the Wilmette Institute, which offers quality online courses on the Baha'i Faith. The Wilmette Institute is committed to engaging a broad and diverse international community of learners in deep study of the Faith and to fostering love for study of the Faith. The Wilmette Institute was established in January 1995 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States.

Information from the eNewsletter may be copied or reproduced, provided that the following credit is given: "Reprinted from the eNewsletter of the Wilmette Institute," followed by the issue's date. Recipients are encouraged to forward the eNewsletter to friends. If you have questions, please email us at [email protected].


Robert H. Stockman


Robert H. Stockman

Niki Daniels

Debra Lilly


Pat Chapman

G. Stewart Mathison

Christine Muller

Judith Partelow

Diana Schaffter

Bill Young

Wilmette Institute, 1233 Central Street, Evanston, IL, 60201 USA

Phone 1.877.WILMETTE (1.877.945.6388)

Email: [email protected]

Web: https://wilmetteinstitute.org

Courses: https://wilmetteinstitute.org/community-learning-courses/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/WilmetteInstitute

© 2022 National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the U.S.