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March 2022

A monthly electronic Newsletter

News, Web Talks, live events,

upcoming courses

Great Webinars

and Podcasts in March

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 will be available as a podcast on our SoundCloud channel.


Symposium: Studies in Bahá’í Epistemology with panelists Jean-Marc Lepain, Jack J.A. McLean, Peter Terry, and Mikhail Sergeev

Sunday, March 6, 2 pm Eastern

Now on YouTube and SoundCloud:

God Tests the Sincerity of an Emperor: Baha'u'llah's First Tablet to Napoleon III

Shahrokh Monjazeb

Ideas, Approaches, and Social Change: Emerging Insights from the Baha'i Community's 75-year engagement with the United Nations

Julia Berger

The Public Reading of the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha: Perspectives of Some Western Believers

Angelina DiLiberto Allen

The Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Baha: Perspectives of Six Western Believers

Angelina DiLiberto Allen

'Abdu'l-Baha as Architect of the World Order of Baha'u'llah

John Hatcher

Student News

A Spiritual Gift

Terry Edwards of Knoxville, TN, reports that the course Ambasssador to Humanity immersed him in the life of 'Abdu'l-Baha, and that was a great spiritual gift.

Healing Hearts with Horses (Sustainably!)

Kathy Rutan-Sprague of Redding, CA, recently completed the Wilmette Institute course Sustainable Development and Human Prosperity. It has enriched and strengthened her efforts to help people see themselves as beautiful, authentic, and unique human beings via Authenticity Workships set on a rural ranch and using horses.

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Wilmette Institute News

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Graduates of WI Course on Racism Gather to Share Local Initiatives

On Sunday, February 13, 2022, 41 graduates and teaching team members of the Wilmette Institute course Anti-Black Racism in the U.S. and Building a Unified Society gathered on Zoom to share and to learn about a number of local initiatives aimed at addressing freedom from racial prejudice as service within their families, communities, institutions, and clusters. This was the first of a series of regular (quarterly) gatherings planned by a team of volunteer teaching staff, led by faculty member Jeanais Brodie.

Four initiatives--from friends in Alabama, Arizona, and Minnesota, were pre-selected by the team. A description of each initiative is presented in this report.

Director's Report

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A New Approach to Measuring Course Completion

Since 2000, the Wilmette institute only required completion of a "learning self assessment" to finish a course and receive a certificate of completion. A new system, launched in January, should provide a better measure of learning and will help track student engagement, allowing faculty to revive flagging courses and the Institute to find ways to improve student learning.

Tips for Sustainable Living


An Interfaith Resource about the Earth

A book representing the "essential, unshakeable reverence that all religions have for creation and nature" has just been published. It includes the Baha'i Faith. It's a great source for a devotional meeting or for reflective reading during the fast, and the download is free.

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Anti-Black Racism in the U.S. and Building a Unified Society

Mar. 10 - May 11, 2022

This immensely popular course will examine anti-Black racism and racial prejudice in North American society in some of its most serious manifestations, explore the content and significance of relevant Baha'i authoritative texts, and consider how Baha'is can initiate meaningful conversations and public discourse in a variety of contexts. It will begin with an exploration of definitions of race, racism, and prejudice. It will then turn to such subjects as understanding colonialism and slavery; the prison/industrial complex; Black Lives Matter and policing issues; white privilege and bias/stereotyping; housing and education segregation; violence against black women; Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement; and "one human family"—the experience of the Baha'i community.

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Transformative Leadership for Youth: Cultivating Capabilities for Change

Mar. 10 - May 7, 2022

Transformative Leadership is a new conceptual framework based on 6 elements that nurture our understanding and attitudes toward service-oriented leadership and includes 18 capabilities that help us better personal, interpersonal and social relationships. This 8-week seminar brings together our two short core courses for Youth: Cultivating Transformative Leadership for Youth, and Being the Change: Cultivating Capabilities. It is for youth aged 11 to 17 tears old. Parental consent is required on registration.

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Introduction to the Kitab-i-Aqdas

Mar. 17 - May 11, 2022

About the Kitab-i-Aqdas, Shoghi Effendi has written that it “may well be regarded as the brightest emanation of the mind of Baha'u'llah, as the Mother Book of His Dispensation, and the Charter of His New World Order.” We will read the Kitab-i-Aqdas and supplemental texts related to it, while studying several of its main themes: covenant, succession, and manifestation; Baha'i institutions, including the rulers and the learned, the Universal House of Justice, Houses of Worship, Feasts, Holy Days, and the Baha'i calendar; the nature and purpose of Baha'u'llah’s laws; Baha'u'llah’s ordinances; prohibitions and punishments; Baha'u'llah’s proclamations to kings, rulers, places, and groups of people; education and transformation; and teaching the Baha'i Faith.

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How to Collect, Arrange, Maintain, and Promote Baha'i Archives

Mar. 24 - June 15, 2022

Organized by the United States National Baha'i Archives and taught by three Baha'i archivists, How to Collect, Arrange, Maintain and Promote a Baha'i Archives will introduce local and national Baha'i archivists to principles that will help them to organize and maintain their collections. You may also benefit from this course if you are working on your own personal project that would involve archival material. For example working on oral history projects, on personal papers, or locating records relating to your locality or region.

The course will include activities requiring access to archival materials in a Baha'i archives.


Film as a Tool for Public Discourse: Moving Beyond Us and Them

Mar. 24 - May 11, 2022

This second course in the series focuses on moving beyond us and them and highlighting narratives that perpetuate differences that lead to divisive discourse and taking sides, relating to race; culture and ethnicity; gender; religion; politics; economic status; age, ageism, and generational differences; educational level; unhealthy competition; pandemic-related divisions (vaccine/anti-vaxxer, mask/anti-masker), as well as narratives that counter the assumptions behind the divisions of humanity and honor our oneness, true human nature, and inherent nobility. We’ll be looking at the example of ‘Abdu’l-Baha and how He envisioned moving towards greater unity and embracing the Oneness of Humankind.

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The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah

Mar. 31 - May 11, 2022

This course is a study of Shoghi Effendi’s 1934 letter “The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah,” focusing on it as a foundational document for fundamental verities of the Baha'i Faith, covering its place in Baha'i literature, and the subtleties of Shoghi Effendi’s clarification of the historical, theological, and doctrinal realities of Baha’u’llah, the Bab, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and the Administrative Order. “The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah has been referred to as Shoghi Effendi’s own confession of faith… Without deep study of this basic document, no Baha'i can claim to be truly knowledgeable of his or her Faith” (David Hofman).

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Climate Change

Apr. 7 - June 1, 2022

This course provides a basic understanding of the causes and impacts of climate change, discusses its ethical challenges, and relates them to the spiritual teachings of the world’s religions, particularly those of the Baha’i Faith. It will help you consider changes in your lifestyle to bring greater coherence to your life and show you how to incorporate environmental and social responsibility in your community gatherings. It elevates public discourse above partisan politics by introducing spiritual responses to the climate crisis and demonstrates how the harmony of science and religion can be applied for the well-being of humankind.

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Exploring the New Testament

Apr. 14 - June 8, 2022

In Exploring the New Testament, we will study the New Testament’s major books in the light of progressive revelation and in their historical context. We will cover the Gospels; writings attributed to James, Jude, Paul, and Peter; the Book of Revelation; and specific themes in the New Testament. We will also briefly examine the vast Christian literature that did not become part of the approved “canon” now known as the New Testament. Our study of the New Testament is for the purposes of deepening and dialogue--that is, for understanding the basics of Christianity as a divinely revealed religion (and, by comparison, the Baha'i Faith) and for learning how to share the perspective of the Bahá’í Faith with a variety of Christians in an informed and respectful manner.

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

Betty Fisher

Mim Gottschalk


Terry Edwards

Christine Muller

Kathy Rutan-Sprague

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.