The Head Minister Qualification Course One was held at the Home of the Parent from August 27 to September 14. This course is designed to train and nurture prospective ministers (kyoto) who have a heightened awareness of being Yoboku and a strong sense of mission and who aspire to work for single-hearted salvation. This year, 10 students enrolled in the English class: five from the United States (four from the mainland and one from Hawaii), two from the Philippines, and one each from Canada, Uganda, and Nepal.
The daily schedule began early with the morning service at the Main Sanctuary, followed by breakfast, morning assembly, and classes. Most of the classes, conducted throughout the day at East Right Wing 4 of the Oyasato-yakata building-complex, were taught by English-speaking instructors. This year’s homeroom instructor was Rev. Kunishige Ito, head minister of Tenrikyo Westside Church.
In the morning, lectures were given on such subjects as The Doctrine of Tenrikyo; The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo; and the Mikagura-uta, The Songs for the Service. In the afternoon, the students practiced the dance and musical instruments for the service as well as the ritual procedures. In addition, a couple of lectures were given by guest speakers: Rev. Lena Okada, wife of the head of Shimagahara Hawaii Mission Station located in Tenri, and Rev. Hinao Nagao, chief of the Overseas Department’s Human Resources Development Section. Both lecturers shared their insights into the teachings based on a wealth of their experiences in faith.
All the students in the English class successfully completed Course One and are now registering as minister. Five of them are planning to attend Head Minister Qualification Course Two, due to start on September 27 and last until October 19.