Universal education: a plan unfolds

Baha'is from all walks of life gather together to study the Writings of Baha'u'llah.

Baha'is from all walks of life gather together to study the Writings of Baha'u'llah.

In 1863 Baha’u’llah declared that a New Day had arrived for humanity. Among His Teachings was the principle that universal education is essential for world peace. If universal education is to be achieved, there is certainly hope for a new world. But how will it be achieved? How will it be possible to educate all the people in the world? Is there a plan?

Over the course of the next century and a half, the Baha’i community grew from a small handful of followers in Persia to a worldwide community that includes nearly every country in the world. During that time, the Baha’is explored various methods of educating the community. By the 1980’s a systematic plan was indeed unfolding. Today Baha’is study together in a series of “study circles”.

These study circles are an important feature of the worldwide Baha’i community. They involve self-directed training and learning in small groups. In nation after nation, people are coming together as “collaborators” with tutors to form study circles wherein young and old engage in universal education. Both collaborators and tutors learn together as the tutors facilitate the studies in such topics as:

  • Understanding the Baha’i Writings
  • Prayer, Life and Death
  • Service
  • Teaching Children’s Classes

Increasing numbers of individuals view this curriculum as a sheltering tree with continuously extending branches. By learning about our spiritual reality and our individual role in the progress of society, we can better understand our purpose in life and the way to improve our own lives and the lives of those around us.

Join a Circle

If you are interested in joining a study circle, contact us and we’ll connect you with a study circle in your neighborhood.

Study circles range in size from 2-12 individuals. The first course is called “Reflections on the Life of the Spirit” and part of a series of materials widely used around the world by Baha’i communities to foster personal and community transformation. Study session schedules are determined by the group of collaborators and the tutor. Individuals may prefer to remain with the same tutor to continue further studies.

Study Circles Around the World

In London, UK, members of study circles (collaborators) are conscious of an all-encompassing love for their fellow citizens who come from many backgrounds. Through their actions the members have found effective instruments to convey their ever-growing measure of love for humankind.

Baha’i study circle in England

Some youth at a study circle
in Colombia.

In Norte del Cauca, Columbia, collaborators arise to make home visits carrying friendship and encouragement to families, helping them feel integrated into the community. Their spiritual development has molded their intellectual advancement to the point where their understanding is now influencing the wider society in which they live.
In Bihar Sharif, India, study circles have cultivated youthful leaders who have raised the participation of women and minorities, causing personal initiative to increase. Like the individuals, the society is being transformed.

A study session at the
Barli Development Institute
for Rural Women in
Indore, India.

Young musicians with
Atieno Mboya-Samandari
of Kenya at the 2004 Namibia jubilee.

In Tiriki West, Kenya, collaborators were already familiar with the Baha’is’ promotion of education, literacy, upright conduct, and sound family life. The benefits of study circles are clearly evident in their longstanding record of service and the multiplication of children’s classes, junior youth groups, and study circles. A deep spiritual joy and sense of purpose is evident as collaborators contribute in ever-increasing measures to the well-being of the wider society.
In South Tarawa, Kiribati (islands halfway between Australia and Hawaii), people well-educated in the Bible and able to translate the books of the Ruhi Institute, are guiding and supporting youth as teachers to make programs available to the wider community. One town council member called the program “the medicine for the social sickness that is affecting the youth”. The government official offered the help of the town council to the youth.

A group of Baha’i children
play in the water in Kiribati