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Study Circles and Capacity Building for Community Development 

Bahá’ís in Merced and in communities in every country around the world offer free study circles designed to provide participants with the knowledge, spiritual insights and skills to enable them to contribute to the betterment of society, starting with their own neighborhood. This is accomplished through a systematic study of a sequence of courses based on the Bahá’í Writings called the Ruhi Institute.

​Participants of the study circle study materials based on concepts relating to individual and collective spiritual development. Some of the main concepts explored are how to: create and maintain an environment that helps people develop their intellectual and spiritual capacities

  • foster a devotional character within a community through prayer and meditation

  • strengthen bonds of friendship and camaraderie among all people

  • make the education of children and empowerment of youth an integral part of community life

​Study circles are conducted in informal settings with a small group of participants and are facilitated by a trained, volunteer tutor whose primary role is to guide the discussion between the participants and ensure the environment fostered by the group is one of inclusion, respect, and unity.

​In response to the materials they study, participants in study circles arise to carry out specific acts of service relating to the themes discussed, including organizing devotional gatherings, spiritual education classes for children and youth groups.

​As participants complete the sequence of Ruhi Institute courses, they have the opportunity to tutor and accompany others along this path of service. As people engage in study circles, they develop a common vision of individual and collective transformation and they undertake related acts of service. This gradually builds the capacity of the community to reflect a pattern of life that places social transformation and fellowship at its heart.

​Anyone aged fifteen or older, whether a Bahá’í or not, is welcome to take part in the Ruhi Institute.

For more information about the study circles in Merced, contact us at

“Let your vision be world embracing…” — Bahá’u’lláh

The Baha'i Faith is established in more than 100,000 localities in virtually every country and territory around the world. A Global Community.
Imagery Copyright © Bahá’í International Community

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