Urantia Book New Readers Course
Mike Painter and Jill Strunk
Tuesday, October 10, 2023
Tuesday, December 12, 2023
4 pm - 6 pm PT / 5 pm MT / 6 pm CT / 7 pm ET
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.
Format: One 2 hour webinar per week using Zoom video conferencing
How do I access the materials? Course materials will be sent to you as pdfs via email
Level: Beginner ~ someone just starting to explore The Urantia Book.
Size: Class is limited to 30 participants.
Required Effort: The group meets 2.5 hours per week. There is no other class time or work required. A handout of the weekly class material is emailed to students a few days in advance of each class, should they wish to review it before the class.
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.
The course is structured as a series of 10 weekly Zoom meetings, each about two and a half hours long, with no additional work requirements.
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.”
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.
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.
Just as a map prepares an adventurer to discover a whole new world without getting too lost in unfamiliar territory and new concepts and vocabulary, the New Reader Course facilitates the beginning of a journey into expanded consciousness and enhanced spirtual perception. It is designed for those who dare to seek for truth, led by their own inner guide in the company of fellow explorers in the ever-growing Urantia community.
103:9:7 (1141.5) Faith most willingly carries reason along as far as reason can go and then goes on with wisdom to the full philosophic limit; and then it dares to launch out upon the limitless and never-ending universe journey in the sole company of TRUTH.
Jill Strunk EdD, LP
Jill found The Urantia Book by what feels like angelic intervention in 1974, in Colorado, and has been a reader/believer ever since. She joined the Rocky Mountain Spiritual Fellowship, attended up to three study groups a week, helped with a number of regional Urantia Book conferences, and attended triennial conferences throughout the country.
Her personal relationships with God and Jesus—her eldest brother and Universe Creator—have been the foundation directing everything she does. She was a high school English teacher until 1998 and now is a full-time psychologist in private practice. She specializes in the treatment of trauma, abuse, anxiety, and phobias.
She is the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Urantia Book Fellowship and has a doctorate in Psychology.
Mike is currently teaching philosophy at Ivy Tech Junior College in Indianapolis. He has two sons and three grandchildren. He worked for the Urantia Book organization's headquarters in Chicago from 1979 to 1991. Currently, he am serving a second 9-year term on the General Council of the Urantia Book Fellowship and is on the Education Committee. Previously, he served as Vice president and also as chair of the Interfaith Committee. Also, I have served in all offices of and am currently President of the Orvonton Urantia Book Society.
He has been reading The Urantia Book for almost 50 years. He has been a speaker and workshop leader at numerous Urantia Book conferences. Also, he created a CD which is a beginner’s guide to the practice of daily communion with our heavenly Father.