Gustavo Correa

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Gustavo Correa is a former mathematics professor who has served in various positions within the hierarchy of the Bahá’í Administrative Order.

Religious career

Since 2008, Gustavo Correa has been a member of the Universal House of Justice, the supreme governing body of the Bahá’í Faith.[1][2] Before his election to the Universal House of Justice, in 2005, he was appointed to the International Teaching Center. The International Teaching Centre, whose seat is at the Bahá'í World Centre in Haifa, Israel, is composed of nine Counsellors appointed by the Universal House of Justice and tasked with duties to stimulate and coordinate the Continental Board of Counselors and assist the Universal House of Justice in matters relating to the teaching and protection of the faith.[3] All of the current members of the Universal House of Justice previously served as members of the International Teaching Centre.


Gustavo Correa is married to Haleh Arbab, who is currently director of the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity, a non-profit educational and research organization "dedicated to building capacity in individuals, groups and institutions to contribute to prevalent discourses concerned with the betterment of society" through "working in collaboration with the Bahá'í International Community."[4] Born in Iran and educated in the United States, Haleh Arbab previously lived in Colombia from 1982 to 2005 where she worked with the Foundation for the Application and Teaching of the Sciences (FUNDAEC) and served as Rector of Centro Universitario de Bienestar Rural, a Colombian Bahá'í-inspired institute she helped found in 1988.[5]

Correa's brother-in-law, Haleh Arbab's brother, is Farzam Arbab who himself had served as a member of the Universal House of Justice form 1993 until 2013, a Counsellor of the International Teaching Centre from 1988 to 1993, a Counsellor for the Continental Board of Counsellors for the Protection and Propagation of the Faith in the Americas from 1980 to 1988, and a Chairman for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Colombia from 1970 to 1980. Paul Arbab, Haleh Arbab's nephew, is administrator at the Luxembourg-based Unity Foundation, which works with Luxembourg's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and "a network of local development agencies assisting them in their efforts to build capacity amongst populations to take charge of their own social and economic development."[6]

Gustavo Correa and Haleh Arbab have lived in Haifa, Israel since 2005. The couple have one son, Hamed Dareo Correa, and one daughter, Bita Correa. Hamed works as a hotel manager at Alko Hotel Integrado and is married to Alejandra Alfaro. Bita Correa serves as program director of FUNDAEC and participated as a member of the Bahá'í International Community’s delegation to the 55th United Nations Commission for Social Development.[7][8]


Gustavo Correa was one of the founders of FUNDAEC (Foundation for the Application and Teaching of the Sciences) and later served as its Director. FUNDAEC was established in 1974 by a group of professors at the University of Valle in Colombia who were looking for new strategies to develop the capacities of people and to generate knowledge in isolated regions of the country.[9] In 2002, as its Director, Correa accepted an award on behalf of FUNDAEC from the Club of Budapest which recognized FUNDAEC's new rural education model.[10] The model, known as SAT (for "Sistema de Aprendizaje Tutorial, Spanish for "System for Tutorial Learning") started in 1980 and centers on the use of interactive workbooks facilitated by a tutor. In the Colombia, these tutors are trained at the Center for Rural Education.[11][12][13][14][15]

Ruhi Institute

The SAT techniques Gustavo Correa developed at FUNDAEC have been applied to the Bahá'í community in the form of the Ruhi Institute, which was named after Correa's father-in-law.[16][17][18] Centered on Bahá'í study circles, the goal of the Ruhi Institute courses is to "evoke a transformative learning experience through a learner-centered, experiential, and collaborative approach facilitated by a tutor rather than an instructor, a teacher, or an expert."[19] Among the principles of the Ruhi curriculum is the utilization of service projects to implement learning into tangible action.[16]

The Universal House of Justice has encouraged the emulation of the Ruhi model throughout the global Bahá'í community.[20] According to one researcher, the Ruhi Institute's method has resulted in "nonhierarchical, self-initiated, self-organized small groups engaged in study, teaching, and action"[21]:pp81–2 and is "becoming the core of Bahá’í community life worldwide as the outcome of a process that has sought to nurture the spiritual life of individuals and families and to establish social foundations for the vision and practice of religious world citizenship."[21]:p94 Paul Lample, another member of the Universal Hose of Justice, has stated "Doubtless the institute and its curriculum will continue to evolve, both in content and form, to a level of greater complexity in regions and nations within the framework of the administrative order throughout the various stages of the Divine Plan in the second century of the Formative Age."[22]


  1. ^ Scribner, Herb (September 16, 2014). "10 religious leaders you may not know about"Deseret News. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  2. ^ "Baha'is elect Universal House of Justice". Bahá’í World News Service. April 30, 2008. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  3. ^ Smith, Peter (2000). A Concise Encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford, UK: Oneworld PublicationsISBN 1-85168-184-1.
  4. ^ "Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity". Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  5. ^ "Reseña historica"Centro Universitario de Bienestar Rural. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  6. ^ "Unity Foundation, meet the board of directors". Unity Foundation. Retrieved June 4,2017.
  7. ^ "Seeing the capacity for meaningful contribution in all populations and people"Bahá'í International Community News. United Nations. February 9, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  8. ^ "Seeing capacity for meaningful contribution in all populations"Bahá'í News Service. New York. February 12, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  9. ^ Arbab, Farzam; Correa, Gustavo; de Valcarcel, Francia (1988). "FUNDAEC: Its Principles and its Activities". CELATER, Cali, Colombia. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  10. ^ "Baha'i-inspired educational system for the poor of the world honored by the Club of Budapest". Bahá’í World News Service. December 22, 2002. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  11. ^ "Historical Overview"Official Website of FUNDAEC. FUNDAEC. Retrieved June 4,2017.
  12. ^ "Rural Community-based System for University-level Education". International Development Research Centre. 13 March 1998. Archived from the original on May 19, 2011. Retrieved June 4, 2017. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status=suggested) (help)
  13. ^ CRECE: Centro de Estudios Regionales, Cafeteros y Empresariales (August 2001). "Successful Alternatives for Rural Education: Tutorial Learning System (TLS) and New School Methodology Rural Post-Primary"Regional Policy Dialogue on Education and Human Resources Training Network, Second Meeting: Secondary Education. Manizales, Colombia: Inter-American Development Bank. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  14. ^ Roldan, Luz Alba Villegas (March 31, 2000). "Educación y Pobreza: Incluyendo a los Excluidos" (PDF)Conference of the World Bank, LCSHD. Madrid, Spain: World Bank. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  15. ^ "In Colombia, a microcredit project aims to re-awaken community solidarity"One Country. La Arrobleda, Cauca, Colombia: Bahá'í International Community. 1996 (April–June). 1996. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  16. Jump up to:a b Rosemary Blosson; Sylvia B Kaye (March 14, 2012). "Learning by Doing: Preparation of Baha'i Nonformal Tutors"New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education2012 (133): 45–57. doi:10.1002/ace.20006. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  17. ^ Ruhi Institute (1991). Learning about Growth - The Story of the Ruhi Institute and Large-scale Expansion of the Bahá'í Faith in Colombia. Cali, Colombia: Palabra Publications. p. 55.(registration required)
  18. ^ Molineaux, P. (1996). Projects of FUNDAEC. Cali, Colombia.
  19. ^ Stephan Z. Mortensen (May 2008). PhD - The Ruhi Institute curriculum: A qualitative study (Thesis). Capella University. ISBN 9780549615446. Retrieved June 4, 2017.(registration required)
  20. ^ Universal House of Justice; Department of the Secretariat (December 1998). "Extracts From Messages Written By The Universal House Of Justice On The Four Year Plan Related To Training Institutes". The Bahá'í Community of Guelph: 1. Retrieved June 4,2017.
  21. Jump up to:a b David A. Palmer (2013). "From "Congregations" to "Small Group Community Building"; Localizing the Bahá'í Faith in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China". Chinese Sociological Review45 (2): 78–98. doi:10.2753/CSA2162-0555450205ISSN 2162-0563.
  22. ^ Paul Lample (Dec 2013). "Some Insights from the First Century of the Formative Age" (PDF)Journal of Baha'i Studies23 (4): 31–78, 126. Retrieved June 4, 2017.

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