Studying the Advent of Divine Justice

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Posted by Jonah on March 16, 2000 at 01:58:23:

Wilmette Institute
Studies in the Bahá'í Faith Program
Exploring Shoghi Effendi's Writings Course Series
Introduction to The Advent of Divine Justice


In response to the call of the National Spiritual Assembly that the American Bahá'ís study The Advent of Divine Justice from April through June 2000, the Wilmette Institute has scheduled a distance-learning course on the book. The course will begin April 1 and, including time to give firesides and deepenings based on the work, will end June 30.

Study of The Advent of Divine Justice should be a priority of every Bahá'í. Composed in 1938, near the middle of Shoghi Effendi's Guardianship, it is one of most important of the Bahá'í writings to understand. It is addressed to the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada, whose community it extols as the "chief remaining citadel" of the Faith. Much of the book addresses the "faults, habits, and tendencies which they have inherited from their own nation" that they must "weed" out and the "distinctive qualities and characteristics" of the Faith they must "patiently and prayerfully" cultivate. In it Shoghi Effendi identifies the "most vital and challenging issue confronting the Bahá'í community," defines a "chaste and holy life," and delineates the "spiritual prerequisites of success" in teaching. He especially addresses the Bahá'í youth and places all the actions of the American Bahá'ís in the context of the destiny of America. Understanding and living by the standards set in The Advent of Divine Justice are fundamental to building an inclusive community based on virtue and holiness and to fostering the process leading to entry by troops.

Tuition for the course is $100, although a twenty percent discount is available to groups of three or more who pledge to study the book together at least twice a month, and some financial aid is available for students in need. Students will be given access to the course's password-protected website, will be added to its e-mail listserver (where students can discuss the book by e-mail as they study it and receive commentary about it from the faculty) and will be able to join weekly conference calls with fellow students and faculty. The course comes with a syllabus, study questions, and learning projects; students should supply their own copy of the text. The course emphasizes the importance of giving classes and courses on Advent locally, in order to help others fulfill the National Spiritual Assembly's mandate.

If space is available, registration may be possible two or more weeks into the course, but because the course may fill up, students are urged to register soon. Registration and secure payment by credit card are possible on the web by going to Registration information can also be requested by writing or calling our new toll-free number, 877-WILMETTE. Registrations can be e-mailed to the first or faxed to the second as well.


DATES: April 1, 2000, to May 30, 2000

TEXTS: Students should have a copy of The Advent of Divine Justice. This can either be purchased from a Baha'i Distribution Service,or downloaded from The Institute will supply other study material.

FACULTY (tentative):
    Mr. Geoff Marks
    Mr. Charles Nolley
    Dr. Nosratullah Rassekh
    Dr. Robert Stockman

COST: $100
A twenty percent discount is available when registering as part of a local group of three or more (who pledge to meet together semimonthly to study the texts). Larger discounts are available for even larger groups who plan to study the course together.

There are no residential requirements, for the course is conducted by correspondence and over the internet. College credit and scholarships may be available. Contact the registrar.

The course may be taken at the introductory level (a basic course that will help students teach the Faith more effectively), the intermediate level (for more in-depth study) or the advanced level (equivalent to graduate-level study).

WORK EXPECTATIONS: The course will take five to ten hours of work each week and will involve:
  1. Reading and using the knowledge you acquire. The course is divided into a series of units, each of which involves reading part of Advent and related texts. The course offers a series of study questions and learning projects on Advent, including giving a deepening or fireside; doing an artistic project; or finishing a writing project about it.

  2. Assistance by a mentor/advisor, who reviews and comments on all homework you do, and answers your questions.

  3. For those who are part of local study groups, discussion assignments are provided.

  4. Participation in "Advent," the course's e-mail discussion group. Because of the speed and efficiency that e-mail provides, all students are urged to acquire e-mail for the course. For assistance with this, contact

  5. Access to the course's password-protected web site, which includes additional study material and completed sample homework assignments.

  6. Voluntary participation in conference calls with up to five other students and a faculty member.

  7. Completion of a final project that involves review of the material studied, evaluation of what one has learned, and systematic application of it to teaching and deepening.

GRADING OPTIONS: The course is usually taken pass/fail with review and comments about assignments by the instructor. It may be taken for a grade (A, B, C, D, F).

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