(Source: Sikh Missionary College Correspondence Course) Sikhism is a Universal Faith. All thinkers & philosophers who have done a comparative study of different religions thought the world, have come to this conclusion that Sikhism is the only religion which can bring lasting peace to the world & give all round guidance to all humanity without any discrimination of caste, creed, sex, race, country or language. Miss Pearl S. Buck, a Nobel Laureate, while reading the translation of Guru Granth Sahib wrote following comment: "I have studied the scriptures of the great religions, but I did not find anywhere else the same power or appeal to the heart and mind, as I find in these volumes. There is something strangely modern about these scriptures and this puzzled me until I learned that they are in fact comparatively modern, compiled as late as the 16th century... They speak to a person of any religion, or of none. They speak to the human heart and the searching mind." Guru Nanak Dev and his successors brought about a set change in the character of the people during 239 years (1469-1708) by practically living a life of an ideal human being. The thinking, the physique, the life style, the character of the person went through a revolutionary change and the end product came out to be so attractive that the Tenth master himself was forced into exclaiming 'You are my own image' . He went on praising the complete Sikh, the Khalsa, to such an extent that he called the Khalsa his complete guide (Mero Satgur Poora). The question arises that such a Faith which has been praised by all, including followers of different religions, and which has demonstrated its merit so convincingly in the past, why is it not finding its rightful place in today's world. In fact, fears have been expressed by some that the followers of this faith may be extinct within a short period in the future. We cannot deny the fact, that the present condition of the Sikh Faith is not satisfactory. This is despite the fact that to propagate this religion, many of its followers accepted getting sawed alive, being boiled in cauldrons, getting cut into pieces or being scalped alive but did not even for a moment consider forsaking their faith. Contrast this with the present state of many followers who are forsaking their faith, most of them doing so because of total ignorance about their glorious heritage. Many disjointed efforts have been made, in the past but no lasting effect of any programme is visible. Although the attempts were made by people with sincere and honest intentions but many of them were themselves ignorant of the principles of the Faith. Some of the thinkers who made good suggestions were not given the support they needed. The Gurdwaras could have been used as effective centers for propagation of the Faith. But we have to sadly accept the fact that our community has shown tremendous enthusiasm for building large number of Gurdwaras but most of them have become centers of discord. They have miserably failed to protect the Sikh traditions and are under the influence of brahmanical rituals which were specifically forbidden by the Gurus. The Sikh educational institutions were established to ensure the inculcation of Sikh principles in the younger generation . But in most places because of a lack of religious commitment among the teachers & the managements of the schools they are producing more communists than enlightened Sikhs. The professors of the universities have converted the study of Sikhism into a means of getting degrees without caring for preserving the fundamental principles of the Faith. There is a lot of confusion about the correct interpretation of the Gurbani . Most Sants & Dera wallas have manipulated the meanings to support their own personal guruship. The splinter movements like radhasoamis, namdharis & nirankaris etc. have contributed their own to add to the confusion. As such there is a small percentage of the sikhs who have been baptized. Even among these there is a division based on different Sants, Jathas & Deras. Those who proclaim to have been baptized by Guru Gobind Singh 's Amrit are only a fraction of this lot. The Sikh way of life, the Sikh character, the Sikh personality which turned even bigoted foes into admirers is a rare thing today. To stem the rot described above, it is essential that we must arrange to prepare trained and committed missionaries . They should be well versed in understanding of Gurbani, the correct history and the traditions of Sikhism. They should also have knowledge of other religions of the world and should have the capability to demonstrate comparative merits of the Sikh Faith. Sikh Missionary College has taken up the project of enlightening the Sikh youth by opening Study circles in various cities and is providing thorough knowledge of the principles of Sikhism, its traditions and history. It has opened a full time Missionary College at Anandpur Sahib too. For those who can not be present in the Gurmat classes / study circles, a two year Sikh Missionary Correspondence Course has been started . With this anyone can learn the Sikh religion within his home. The main purpose of this programme is to prepare young learned preachers in large numbers who can propagate the Sikh Faith in their spare time without having to forego their routine occupation. It will be a great service for the 'Charhdi Kala' of the Panth. The Features of the Correspondence Course: Consistent (and free of contradictions ) presentation of Sikh philosophy through carefully prepared lessons. Objective type questions with each lesson. Regular and careful scrutiny of the answer sheets. Personal contact arranged with the students periodically, where in addition to solving their problems, the students are given practical training of Lectures and Katha. A comprehensive list of books other than the course material is also provided for widening their knowledge base. Admission: Any Gursikh who is interested in getting knowledge of Sikh religion, history and culture may take admission in this course. Medium of instruction: Presently, the medium of instruction is Punjabi ( in Gurmukhi script). As soon as possible, Hindi and English medium Courses will also be started. However, the students may send their answers in any of these three languages. Personal contact with students: Every quarter, a personal contact programme will be arranged in selected cities. The teachers of Sikh Missionary College will interact with students, solve their problems, and also train them in Katha/ Lecture. Answer sheets of students: It is compulsory for all students to send their completed answer sheets. These will be evaluated and recorded in the office of the College. Monthly magazine: Sikh Phulwari, the monthly magazine of Sikh Missionary College may be subscribed to by the students for augmenting their knowledge. The present subscription is Rs. 60/- p.a. in (India), Foreign Subscription :US $15.00 per year. Fees: The entire 2-year Course can be obtained for Rupees 400/- from our Head Office. Certificate: After successful completion of the course, the students will be given Certificate by the College. Those who excel in Kirtan / Katha / Lecture will be given Special Merit Certificates.