To build a better world requires an ever-growing pool of people capable of contributing to the accomplishment of the myriad tasks at hand.
In this connection, the concept of the “training institute” was introduced to the worldwide Bahá’í community in the mid-1990s. Its courses assist individuals to deepen their understanding of the Bahá’í teachings, and to gain the spiritual insights and practical skills they need to carry out the work of the community.
A study circle is a small group that meets at least once or twice a week for a few hours 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 who does not hold any special status but is simply someone who is further along in their study of the materials.
The materials include passages from the Bahá’í writings related to specific themes and acts of service. Together participants think about the application of these passages to their individual and collective lives.
The Centrality of Service in Building Vibrant Communities
The content and order of the Training Institute courses are based on a series of acts of service, the practice of which creates capacity in the individual to meet the needs of developing communities. The enhancement of such capacity is viewed in terms of “walking a path of service”.
On such a path individuals are assisted first in accomplishing relatively simple tasks and then in performing more complex and demanding acts of service. The acts of service treated in the Institute’ sequence of courses are intended to establish a dynamic pattern of action that will lead to the sound development of local communities. This pattern of action involves the establishment of devotional meetings, a program of home visits, children’s classes, junior youth groups and study circles—reinforced by individual and collective efforts to share the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh in numerous settings.
"Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths."
From time to time, the Bahá’ís in Waterloo Region host campaigns (sometimes over a weekend, or sometimes 1-2 weeks in duration) for the study of the Ruhi Training Institute materials. These campaigns allow participants to complete the study of materials over a short period of time and quickly develop capacity to begin carrying out acts of service.
Click below to connect with a program coordinator about institute campaign offerings.
Study Circles in Waterloo Region
There are many study circles taking place in neighbourhoods across the Region of Waterloo. Study circles are typically formed through the volition of community members who are supported by program coordinators, who help train tutors and accompany tutors to invite others to participate in study circles.
Click below to connect with a program coordinator about joining or forming a study circle.