The Education Initiative
By Gard Jameson, Treasurer, Urantia Foundation, Boulder City, Nevada, USA
An important part of the work of the Trustees of Urantia Foundation is an educational mandate to help disseminate the teachings of The Urantia Book. In line with this aspect of our trust, we are spending more time and giving more attention to education. More resources are being dedicated to the educational endeavor, and we are working in concert with Urantia Association International (UAI) and the Urantia Book Fellowship in all of these efforts.
We have been charged to expand the number of study groups and to facilitate the training of teachers and leaders. During the study group initiative, started a few years ago by Urantia Foundation with the help of the UAI and the Fellowship, it was made clear that study groups are the best forum for the dissemination of the teachings of The Urantia Book worldwide. They are large enough to encourage thoughtful and heartfelt study of the book, and they are small enough not to draw political attention, which is an issue in many countries around the world. Study groups are a "home" for the appreciation of the Urantia Revelation.
Among the goals for this year, Urantia Foundation will continue to sponsor the work of the Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS) under the leadership of Trustee Georges Michelson-Dupont. Georges is enlarging the teacher and curriculum base of the school as part of the school's vision. Teachers for Spanish readers are being trained so that the courses can be delivered in Spanish as well as in English.
There will also be educational forums commencing at 533 W Diversey Parkway this upcoming fall giving readers a chance to come to Chicago and join fellow readers in the study of a particular topic of the book. The book suggests that the model for schools should be based upon thinking, feeling, and doing. This summer there will be an experiential school in Europe, bringing students together around the topic of prayer and worship. To help in the training of study group teachers, a webinar is being developed by Merritt Horn. We shall be develop-ing a Study Group Mentorship program to bring forth time-tested study group leaders who will visit other study groups to inspire a deeper quality of study. The new Study Group Portal, initiated by the IT team and developed by Scott Brooks, will lead people to study groups in their area and provide a method to track the growth of study groups worldwide. We hope that within five years there will be over 1,000 study groups around the planet.
Urantia Foundation is also on Facebook. This is a tremendous educational outreach tool. There are other sites important to the study of The Urantia Book including Wikipedia. A team is being formed to review this site and improve its quality, not only in English, but also in other languages.
From the above report, I hope you are able to glean that Urantia Foundation is taking seriously its mandate concerning education. If you have any ideas for educational initiatives, please feel free to direct them to me, Gard Jameson, in care of Urantia Foundation. Peace be with you.
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