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"Rich Rewards" from Systematic Survey

Nov 30, 2020

Course:  Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation: A Systematic Survey (2020)
Faculty: Robert Stockman, Nima Rafiei

Editor’s Note: Julie Gilmour is a new WI student, who is studying chaplaincy with another institution. She posted this Learning Self Assessment at the close of the above-mentioned course. Her faculty mentor was Rob Stockman, and she took the course with a friend, Maggie McClellan, whose Self-Assessment has also been published. [See Satisfying a Thirst for Deeper Understanding.]

My learning objectives, like Maggie’s, were ‘the opposite of extensive,’ but I feel I have been richly rewarded in taking this course. The last couple of weeks, I have been overwhelmed by  my chaplaincy coursework, so I did not post my usual litany of questions. However, I was able to engage with the material for those weeks and therefore feel I have come to the finish line!

I hoped to gain historical context as well as deeper understanding for Bahá’u’lláh’s writings, and a more developed appreciation for what it means to be a Bahá’í.  This has happened. I’ve heard Bahá’í music, listened to the obligatory prayers in Arabic and English, followed the course of Bahá’u’lláh’s travels, learned about his relation to the Bab, and delved into many tablets. The commentary was indispensable to me, and I have come to hugely appreciate Shoghi  Effendi! I got a sense for the depth and breadth of Baha’i writings and the scholarship about the writings. And I got a sense of what Baha’u’llah so passionately wanted to convey.

Thank you all for welcoming me into your midst. I will try to be a good emissary, or friend, to Baha’is, as I encounter others who may know little about it. You have been wonderful models of all you profess and I’m grateful for this experience.



Julie Gilmour

I am a 64 year old chaplaincy student and intern, originally from New York City, with a masters in Jewish studies, now living in Seattle. I was an evangelical Christian for many years but would now describe myself as interfaith or inter-spiritual, and have had long and much-treasured contact with Bahá’ís in my Seattle community who are close friends. I took this course as a way of exploring a secondary faith tradition in the context of my chaplaincy studies.

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