Seminars for Undergraduate Students

In the context of its mandate to create spaces in which individuals and groups concerned with social transformation can come together to explore the elements of a framework for thought and action that is inspired by both science and religion, the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity offers annual 10-12 day seminars for Bahá’í university students in several countries around the world.

The purpose of these seminars is to raise consciousness in participants of the importance of engaging in action and discourse directed towards social change; to provide them with tools to understand and analyse their society as well as the content of the university courses they are studying; to explore elements of a conceptual framework for contributing to the advancement of civilisation; and to assist them to acquire the kind of knowledge that will enable them to live fruitful and meaningful lives.

Year 1

Participants reflect on the nature of the Bahá’í community’s diverse efforts to contribute to the advancement of civilisation. They examine concepts essential to a discourse on social action, reflect on the implications of the principle of harmony between science and religion, and explore ways to achieve higher levels of coherence in their lives and collective endeavours. They think about how culture in its broadest sense is communicated and how they can participate in the creation and recreation of a culture that takes into account the material and spiritual dimensions of progress. The unique challenges and opportunities presented by the university environment are also explored.

Year 2 

Participants delve deeper into the question of individual and collective identity. They study the process by which the Bahá’í community has been learning about its own growth in the field of expansion and consolidation, and explore the concept of education and what it means to take ownership of one’s education. They also reflect on the underpinnings of the educational process in which the worldwide Bahá’í community is engaged. Finally, they are asked to think critically about the media systems and messages with which they interact on a daily basis.

Year 3

To enhance their understanding of the conceptual framework that guides the Bahá’í community in its three main areas of endeavour, participants look more closely at social action. They continue their conversation on the principle of harmony between science and religion by studying a text that helps them think about science, its methods, its language, and its role in the advancement of civilisation. Finally, they consider the implications of living a materially and spiritually coherent life for the decisions they make about their careers, family life, and meeting their financial needs.

Year 4

In Year Four participants focus on the nature of Bahá’í participation in the discourses of society. Having familiarised themselves with the methods of science, this year they examine more closely the question of religion. A significant portion of the seminar is also dedicated to exploring the characteristics of the individual, the community, and the institutions of society, and the relationships that must bind them together at this time in humanity’s collective history.