Baha’i schools across the United States offer three to five-day programs for adults, youth and children on such themes as spiritual transformation, race unity, the equality of women and men, world religions and the teachings and history of the Baha’i Faith.
Green Acre Baha’i School
Green Acre Baha’i School is an educational school, retreat, and conference center operated by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States, and located in the Seacoast Region of Southern New Hampshire and Maine. It offers courses for adults, youth, and children year-round on the themes of spiritual transformation, race unity, the equality of women and men, and Baha’i history and administration. It is unique among Baha’i conference centers in that it received a visit in 1912 from ‘Abdu’l-Baha, the son of the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith. ‘Abdu’l-Baha not only imbued Green Acre with spiritual power but also called on Americans and Canadians during that visit to work together in harmony with followers of the world’s religions and to provide the spiritual leadership necessary to achieve universal peace.
“To be a part of a wonderfully stimulating evening of Unity was such a relief from the climate of divisiveness which characterizes the political life in Maine at the moment.”
— Participant in a program focused on the contributions which Maine leaders have made and are making to the promotion of world peace and human rights.
Louhelen Baha’i School
Louhelen Baha’i School is an education and conference center sponsored by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States, and located on a farm near Davison, Michigan. Louhelen constantly strives to enhance its service to all, while remaining true to its heritage of beauty, charm, and peaceful atmosphere. In a letter dated February 22, 1978, the Universal House of Justice, the governing body of the Baha’i Faith said about Louhelen, ““. . . The School can be an effective and attractive but simple and unluxurious center in which can be given courses specializing in the Baha’i teachings on parenthood, family life and the upbringing of children; courses to train believers how to organize and conduct Baha’i classes for children; courses for youth to deepen their understanding of the Faith and their devotion to Baha’u’llah; seminars and courses in which many of the questions that trouble and interest youth can be discussed and answered from the Baha’i point of view; and courses that will prepare believers for pioneering and travel-teaching as well as any other courses for adults, youth and children suitable for a Baha’i Summer or Winter School’s sessions and weekend activities.”
“Louhelen is a very unique service opportunity, because it gives you many chances to really stretch yourself and develop skills that are applicable to the real world. . . . What really helped me serve at Louhelen was a balanced lifestyle. Going from intense and arduous service to calm and relaxed hang-out time, to intense study of the writings, really helped keep me happy and energized, and ready to serve.”
— Neda, Youth Service Corps Volunteer
Take a look at Louhelen’s program schedule.
Bosch Baha’i School
Bosch Baha’i School is located in the redwood mountains near Santa Cruz, California, and is owned and operated by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States. The mission of Bosch Baha’i School is to provide classes and seminars that assist with the education of the American Baha’i community as well as those seeking an understanding of the Baha’i Faith. It is our goal to serve those who attend our classes, with the purpose of facilitating their education of various aspects of the Baha’i Faith, including its history, core teachings, and spiritual principles. This life-long process of education is fundamental in that without a priesthood or clergy, every Baha’i is asked to take an active part in their investigation of the fundamental verities of her/his faith. For a parent, the ideal retreat is a place where the parents can participate in a stimulating program suited to their interests, while their children have a safe and enjoyable time learning with their peers. Bosch provides all of this. There are cabins for the family to stay together, dining for the family to eat together with other families, a terrific campus with pool, playgrounds and woods for nature walks, and excellent children’s programs for all ages. Youth, Junior Youth, and Children are provided the opportunity to learn with others their own age, build friendships, and have fun.
“We have held many Virtues Project workshops and retreats at Bosch for at least fifteen years, because of their absolutely world class service, beautiful facilities, state of the art audio visual set up, and fabulous food! It is also one of our favorite venues because of the natural beauty of the redwood groves and walking paths.”
— Linda Kavelin Popov, Co-founder, The Virtues Project
Take a look at Bosch’s program schedule.
Seasonal Baha’i Schools
Family-oriented weekend to week-long programs are offered once or twice a year on college campuses, campgrounds and conference centers around the United States.
“…purpose of these Summer Schools is to deepen the knowledge of the friends…The world is undoubtedly facing a great crisis and the social, economic and political conditions are becoming daily more complex. Should the friends desire to take the lead in reforming the world, they should start by educating themselves and understand what the troubles and problems really are which baffle the mind of man. It is in these Summer Schools that this training should be provided …”
— Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Baha’i Faith
See the full list of seasonal schools offered throughout the U.S.
Native American Baha’i Institute
The Native American Baha’i Institute (NABI) is a service and learning center located on the Navajo Nation Reservation in Arizona. Its service components range from weekly community dinners and tutoring to offering space for council fires. Its learning component offers courses for adults, youth, and children on the themes of spiritual transformation, prayer, sacrifice, etc. The learning component—other than weekly children’s classes—is usually expressed in the Intensive Programs. The Intensive Programs vary from year to year and are usually held over the weekends.
“The NABI Prayer Hogan is very Sacred Place. People from all around come here to say prayers and share their feelings with the Creator, and with the community. When we share our grief, our joy, and our wonderment with each other we become closer together as a community. And when we pray in our circle, from whatever background or religion we represent, we become one family again, the children of One Creator. This Prayer Hogan has been the source of much healing, unity, joy and laughter. It has also been a source of inspiration for serving others.”
— Verna Morgan, grandmother, Houck Chapter
The Wilmette Institute, an agency of the Baha’i Faith in the United States, offers quality online courses with the aim of engaging a broad and diverse community of learners in an in-depth study of the Baha’i Faith in the following areas: Religion, Theology, History, Biography, the Baha’i Scriptures and Authoritative Texts, and the Baha’i Teachings. Wilmette Institute courses feature a personalized learning plan (PLP) designed by each learner whereby one can set one’s own learning goals. Some students have received college credit for their Wilmette Institute course work.
“I did gain a greater understanding for the Baha’i Faith, Shoghi Effendi, ‘Abdu’l-Baha and Baha’u’llah . . . . I am starting to attend Baha’i devotionals in my area and have registered to take another Wilmette course on Christianity and the Baha’i Faith . . . . I plan to do what Baha’u’llah requested of all – to investigate the faith. I will continue to study and read more Baha’i writings. I feel that Baha’u’llah does have a divine message for our time.”
— Ida Cummings, Charlottesville, Virginia
Take a look at the Wilmette Institute’s upcoming courses.