Building Capacity

THE INSTITUTE PROCESS

All human beings have a two-fold purpose in life.

The first purpose is to seek to become a better person. The second is to help make this world a more just, loving and unified place.

To build the capacity to fulfill these purposes, Bahá’ís have developed an institute process. This is an approach that involves studying a sequence of courses grounded in Bahá’í principles and putting those principles into action in service to humanity.

Key to this process is the study circle.

“A study circle is a small group that meets at least once or twice a week for a few hours, usually in the home of one of its members, to study the course materials. Anyone aged fifteen or older, whether a Bahá’í or not, is welcome to take part.

“The group is brought together by a tutor associated with the training institute. Tutors do not hold any special status. They are simply those who are further along in their study of the materials. Everyone can potentially serve as a tutor on some occasions, while taking part as a member of a study circle on others.

"All those participating are seen as active agents of their own learning.  Tutors strive to create an atmosphere that encourages individuals to assume ownership for the educational process in which they are engaged. A study circle should be a space that leads to the spiritual and moral empowerment of individuals.”  - Excerpt from The Training Institute

Capacity to grow and to serve

At the personal level, the sessions create spaces where the joy of associating with long-standing and/or newer friends is augmented through sharing responses to the power and beauty of the creative word. This meaningful dialogue elevates the spirit and deepens the bonds of friendship.

The open and flexible format of the sessions invites participants to further enhance the spiritual atmosphere through the incorporation of art (stories, music, poetry, painting, crocheting or any art form.)

Far from limiting their attention to their own circle, the study groups may engage in community-building services. Such acts of service can include home visits to people of limited mobility, neighbourhood improvement projects, environmental initiatives, the education of children, and the empowerment of youth.

Study circles and the service projects that emerge from them are usually modest in scale. However, they are concrete ways of promoting the oneness of humanity and contributing to the advancement of civilization.

So, the participants develop new patterns of thought and action that build their capacity to grow spiritually and to serve humanity. To find out how to join study circle, call 709-722-6630

Study circles are powerful means of developing capacity - whether participants are Baha’is or not.

A study circle should be a space that leads to the spiritual and moral empowerment of individuals.”