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July 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.

Marilyn Waite

Upcoming Webinars:

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

Marilyn Waite, Emily Chew, and Jenna Nicholas, July 24, 2022, 2 p.m. Eastern

Now on YouTube and SoundCloud:

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

Illumining and Strengthening the Work of Baha'i Writers

A five-session free online symposium:

Writing for Young Children and Their Families

Writing for Junior Youth and Youth

Dr. Joy Angela DeGruy

Historical Narratives: Developing, Researching, Writing

Baha'i Publishers Panel Discussion

Ptehíŋčala Ska Wiŋ (White Buffalo Calf Woman) Divine Messenger to the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (People of the Seven Council Fires)

Kevin Locke

Wilmette Institute News

Wilmette Institute staff

Wilmette Institute Staff Discussed Vision and Pedagogy of Extension Courses at Annual Retreat

The Wilmette Institute staff met at the Los Angeles Baha'i Center June 5-7 to discuss the Institute's non-credit "extension" courses and ways to make them more supportive of the Nine Year Plan. It also considered ways to revise the pedagogy of its courses based on existing guidance from the Universal House of Justice.

Certificates of Completion Awarded to Fifty Learners

The Wilmette Institute has awarded fifty certificates of completion to learners who have taken 15 of its courses since January 2022. In the previous year a computer program partially automated the process, but a change in the way we determine course completion rendered the program obsolete, so the fifty were processed by hand. We hope to have a partially automated system up and running later this year. We seek feedback from our learners to improve the system.

Director's Report

Robert Stockman

The Retreat was Just the Beginning: Wilmette Institute Staff Continue to Reflect and Innovate (GTU)

Since its retreat June 5-7, the Wilmette Institute staff has established tentative learning outcomes for its extension courses, started a process of creating five new courses for 2023 based on our revised pedagogy, has finalized a plan to upgrade five existing courses, and begun a process to systematize its webinars.

Student News

Joyce Harmsen

Thank You for a "life-changing" Course

Joyce Harmsen didn't post in the Forums, but she attended the Zoom sessions and the two plays. "This course has deepened my understanding of the pivotal significance of Anti-Black racism; the depth of bias and discrimination continues to dismay me. I appreciate more deeply the richness and wealth of African/Black culture and the special role of Black women. I have a deeper understanding of the necessity that moral and spiritual solutions are the true basis for resolving these issues."

Victor Chaney

Indigenous Land/Spiritual Acknowledgement of the Miami

As a result of taking the course The Great Spirit Speaks: Voices of the Wise Ones, Victor Chaney of Fort Wayne, Indiana, started on a quest to find out about the original inhabitants of northeastern Indiana, the Miami, and in the process learned about their ancestral spiritual leader, Wesakechak. He has drafted two different statements acknowledging the Miami and indigenous wise ones that have been read at the beginning of local devotional meetings. 

Connie DeMillo

Seeds of Hope Children's Garden

Connie DeMillo of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, took Baha'i Perspectives on Agriculture and Food and Anti-Black Racism in the U.S. and was inspired to obtain a plot at a local community garden. The children's class goes there often to work on the garden and enjoy the outdoors. They plan to expand the community building activities to include picking up trash and they want to invite other children and their parents to join them

Local Gardener Sees Connections Take Root

One believer who took Baha'i Perspectives on Agriculture and Food wrote "Through my involvement with the course, I’ve been enabled to take a few simple steps of social action, which have felt confirmed. I contacted local allotment sites, asking if there were sites available to grow food for community food banks or kitchens."

Tips for Sustainable Living

field of dandelions

Harmful Effects of the Herbicide Glyphosate


Avoid Use of Glyphosate (Roundup) because of the harm it does to a variety of organisms and its potential cancer causing effects.

Transformative Leadership Summer Camps
Summer transformational leadership camps: Two opportunities for high school and college students
Youth can be the change we wish to see in the world! Youth attending this four-day online workshop for high school and college students hosted in collaboration with the Wilmette Institute will reflect on and develop their leadership capacities. The camps will be facilitated by educator Jessica Kerr, and 4 high school and college teaching assistant mentors, who will accompany the students in interactive individual and team processes including arts, games, lessons, activities and journaling. The youth will learn skills and capabilities to face the challenges in society today, clarify their values and transform their relationships. They will gain confidence, clarity and ways of thinking about their leadership from a place of collaboration and service.
Sign up today for one of these two camp schedules. All classes will be online. Please note the time zone is Eastern US Time (UTC-4, currently)
A. Tuesday, July 5 through Friday, July 8, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Eastern, and 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm Eastern.
B. Monday, July 25 through Thursday, July 28, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Eastern, and 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm Eastern.
Register Now - parent consent required - cost $50 per youth.
Leadership 2022 - Info and Registration at the Take Action Institute

July and August Courses

transformative leadership represented by an opening lily

Cultivating Capabilities of Transformative Leadership

July 7 - Aug. 31, 2022

Building an ever-advancing civilization calls for action imbued with concepts, skills, attitudes, and qualities that contribute to personal transformation and positive social change. People from all backgrounds, cultures and traditions long for a world filled with justice, peace, and unity. The world is tired of words. 

Cultivating Capabilities of Transformative Leadership, the second course of the Transformative Leadership series, offers participants continued collaborative support in the development and application of the 18 capabilities of the conceptual framework. We develop and use these capabilities to enhance our personal transformation, improve relationships, and contribute more effectively to social transformation.

Requirement for Participation: Participants get the most out of this course when they have studied and applied the first 4 chapters of Transformative Leadership: Developing the Hidden Dimension.

House of the Bab

The Writings of the Bab

July 7 - Aug. 31, 2022

This course is an introduction to the principal writings of the Bab. Among the works we will study are the Commentary on the Surih of Joseph (Qayyumu'l-Asma); tablets to secular and religious leaders; The Seven Proofs (Dala’il-i-Sab`ih); the Persian Exposition (Bayan-i-Farsi); the Arabic Exposition (al-Bayan al-‘Arabi), the Book of Names (Kitab-i-Asma’); and the Book of Five Grades (Kitab-i-Panj-Sha’n).

Our study will be both historical and thematic: We will study the Bab’s writings in the order in which He revealed them (between 1844 and 1850), and we will also focus on selected themes: the station of the Bab, His major teachings, His announcement about Baha’u’llah (His prophetic successor Whom He referred to as “He Whom God will make manifest”), and the role the themes played in preparing for the revelation of Baha’u’llah.

Man with Buddhist Wheel

Buddhism for Deepening and Dialogue

July 21 - Aug. 31, 2022

Buddhism for Deepening and Dialogue will survey the life and teachings of the Buddha, the development of Buddhist concepts and practices, and the dissemination of Buddhism throughout Asia and eventually to the West. We will read excerpts from Buddhist texts and examine similarities and differences between Buddhism and the Bahá’í Faith (and other religions), including the emphasis both place on personal transformation. The course will deepen your understanding of an important world religion and will prepare you for discussing spiritual concepts and practices with Buddhist friends and neighbors.

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. 

365 (on Demand) Courses

Register anytime and study at your own pace!

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 learn@wilmetteinstitute.org.


Robert H. Stockman


Robert H. Stockman

Niki Daniels

Mim Gottschalk

Debra Lilly


Victor Chaney

Connie DeMillo

Joyce Harmsen

Christine Muller

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

Phone 1.877.WILMETTE (1.877.945.6388)

Email: learn@wilmetteinstitute.org

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.