The Urantia Book New Reader Course

When spiritual seekers first encounter The Urantia Book, they are usually intrigued but often overwhelmed by its size and complexity and all the strange new terms and concepts.  After initial attempts, many of them give up trying to read it.  Without a little help, it is difficult for them to cross the threshold into a serious study of the text.  And so they may never experience the joys and spiritual transformation that come from fully exploring this revelation.

Urantia University Institute (UUI) has developed a New Reader Course, in cooperation with the Urantia Book Fellowship Education Committee, to help such fledgling readers cross the initial threshold, equipping them to comfortably begin a full exploration of the text and to participate in the growing Urantia movement.


Please share information about this course with those you think might benefit from it. 

Registration opens February 17, 2020

Come back to this page to register!  We will also send an email blast to all our subscribers, with a link to the course, when Registration opens.

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This course is 10 weeks long and designed for brand new readers of The Urantia Book.  The participants will meet once a week for two hours in an online Zoom room, either on a Thursday evening or Saturday afternoon.


Choice of Start Dates:

  • Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 5:30-7:30 p.m. Pacific time/ 8:30 p.m. Eastern, or
  • Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 1:30-3:30 p.m. Pacific time/ 4:30 p.m. Eastern

When you register for the course, you will be asked which day you prefer, Thursday evenings or Saturday afternoons. 

The actual class meeting day will be decided by the majority vote.  We will confirm the chosen Course Start Date in an email to all registrants at least 5 days in advance of the Start Date. 

We apologize in advance if this method results in some people being unable to participate in the course. There will be future opportunities to enroll in this course later in the year. 


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About the Class


The course is structured as a series of 10 weekly Zoom meetings, each about two hours long, with no additional work requirements. 


Week 1

After first getting to know a bit about each other’s spiritual journeys, and considering some often-asked questions about the book’s nature and origins, the first class meeting will focus on an overview of the course. We will emphasize personal sharing in all of the class sessions.


Week 2 - Week 9

The heart of the course – the next 8 sessions – uses the book's "Table of Contents" and the natural grouping of the Papers as a sort of overview of the text, allowing us to “drop into” and briefly sample its many different “regions.”


We will share many short passages, all of which have been carefully selected to both intrigue new readers and expose them to the incredibly varied types of material in the different sections of the text. 


Along the way we will explain many new terms ("morontia," "Thought Adjuster," "the Supreme", "Central/Super/and Local Universes," etc.), so that by the end of the course, students will be quite comfortable with the book’s “vocabulary.” 


Week 10

In the last session, in addition to summarizing and sharing our class experience, we will provide information on study groups, organizations, conferences and the culture of the emerging Urantia movement, in order to help new readers begin to participate, insofar as they are motivated.


Philosophical Context of the Course

The Course is rooted in the profound, relational context of spiritual family. It is designed not only to familiarize new readers with the structure and basic themes of The Urantia Book, but also to introduce new participants to the changed way of living that results from the truth that we are all children of God sisters and brothers in spiritual family  a reality that transcends any and all religious, philosophical, and cultural differences. We hope this universal approach will allow everyone to feel comfortable and at ease. 


Click to view a more detailed Outline of the Course.


Please note:

The structure is a bit different from other UUI classes. Since the entire course will occur in the live, online, two-hour video conference each week, it is important that participants be able to attend most of the weekly sessions. 

Those who miss any of the sessions will be able to view a video recording of the Zoom meeting.

    • We ask participants who miss a class to watch the video recording of the missed session prior to the next class meeting.
    • In addition, participants must be able and willing to use the Zoom online video-conferencing application (rather than phone call-in) to participate in this online study group experience. 

    First-time Zoom users will need to download an applet from the Zoom.us.com website in order to join the online meeting. 



    FAQ

    After I enroll, what happens next?

    1. After enrolling in the course you will receive a confirmation email, with weekly reminders of the course start date. 
    2. A few days before the course starts, you will receive an email with login information for the online Zoom meetings and a copy of the study material for the first class meeting. 
    3. A reminder email will be sent to participants the night before the start date of the class.


          


      Course Format 

      Level:  Beginner; just starting to explore The Urantia Book

      Class Format:  One 2-hour webinar per week using Zoom video conferencing

      Language:  English


      Effort:  The group meets 2 hours per week. There is no other class time or work required.

      • Participants are urged, but not required, to attend all the weekly meetings. 
      • A video recording of the Zoom meeting will be available for the benefit of those who miss a session. 

      Size:  Class is limited to 25 participants. 


      Target Audience for the Course

      This course is intended for brand new readers of The Urantia Book. 

      (We kindly request that experienced readers not register for this course.) This class is focused on addressing the needs of people who are just starting to explore the text. The class size is limited to 25, all new readers, to allow a lot of time for discussion and relationship-building.  


      Instructors

         

      Marvin Gawryn

      Marvin Gawryn considers himself incredibly lucky. More than fifty years ago, when he was seventeen and barely sentient, at his high school job at one of the first metaphysical book shops in Los Angeles, he stumbled upon The Urantia Book. It has shaped his entire adult life from that day forward.

      He has participated in and led study groups weekly for forty years, and served in numerous leadership roles with Urantia Book Fellowship and other service organizations. His dearest friends are fellow readers. He is the author of “Reaching High: The Psychology of Spiritual Living”, and has presented workshops at many movement conferences.  He is currently a member of the Standard Reference Text Committee, and of UUI’s Curriculum Committee.

      Marvin is semi-retired after 30 years in practice as a Family Therapist, and currently works as the Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada. He has, over the past thirty years, researched and offered workshops on the socialization of religion material in The Urantia Book, and in 1988 completed a two-year Certificate of Theological Studies from the Graduate Theological Union in the history and sociology of religion.

      He is President of the Family of God Fellowship (familyofgodfellowship.org), which is dedicated to helping people live their lives more fully in spiritual family relationship, and to spreading Jesus’ gospel as expressed in The Urantia Book — a thrilling and dynamic Way of Life in the Family of God.

      Most importantly, Marvin and his lovely and wise wife, Francyl, continue to enjoy the remarkable experience of serving as parents to two amazing young women, their husbands, and two beloved grandchildren. “Such a life on such a planet!” 111:7.5


       

      Elisabeth Callahan

      Building on a strong religious foundation from her childhood, Elisabeth engaged in an intensive personal search for God and ultimate meaning and purpose in her life in her late 20’s. Following a transformative enlightenment experience when she was 26, she trained intensively as a Zen Buddhist monk for many years in both the Soto and Rinzai schools of Zen.

      After many years of contemplative Zen practice, she discovered The Urantia Book in 1984, immediately recognizing the authenticity of its unequalled spiritual teachings and cosmic truths. Ever since then she has devoted herself to its in-depth study and to the service of sharing the light and love of this revelation of God with others. 

      The Urantia revelation re-ignited her passion for the religion of the spirit, for the original way that Jesus lived and taught, and also led to the pursuit of graduate training at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now Sofia University) in Menlo Park, CA. 

      Elisabeth and her husband, John have led a weekly Urantia Book study group in Southern California for many years and derive rich personal and spiritual growth from this fellowship and the process of group discovery and application of spiritual truth. She has been a Trustee of UrantiaUniversity since its inception and currently serves as Executive Director of UrantiaUniversity Institute.


      The New Reader Course has been developed by Urantia University Institute (UUI), in cooperation with the Urantia Book Fellowship Education Committee, for the benefit of novice readers. UUI looks forward to partnering with all Urantian organizations and groups in presenting the New Reader Course to an ever-widening circle of students and welcoming them into our worldwide community of spiritual truth-seekers. 

           




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