“Man’s merit lieth in service and virtue and not in the pageantry of wealth and riches.…”
At the heart of the various community building endeavours initiated by the Baha’i community throughout the world is a decentralized educational process that builds capacities of youth and adults to initiate various programs and activities necessary for building a vibrant and prosperous community life. This educational process is offered in small, informal groups called ‘study circles’. The curriculum of these study circles, which is based on the words of God, aims to foster intellectual, moral, spiritual and practical capacities of people of all backgrounds. They consist of a series of courses which aim to build capacities for offering various acts of service to the community such as teaching classes for the spiritual education of children, organizing devotional meetings, and tutoring study circles.
Together, those who proceed through the sequence of courses offered as part of this process, called the training institute, walk a path of service that is structured yet flexible. This process enables scores upon scores of people to reflect profoundly on the Word of God and its implications for their lives and society, and to work together to apply their learning to bettering their community.