The Association for Bahá’í Studies was founded in Canada, in 1975, to promote the systematic study of the Bahá’í Faith and its application to the needs of humanity. Soon afterward, the Association expanded to serve the United States and Canada. Since that time, a network of affiliated Associations has emerged in other regions around the world.
The Association for Bahá’í Studies – North America – is now a cooperative effort of the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá'ís of Canada, the United States, and Alaska. It operates under the supervision of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada. It holds an annual conference and sponsors occasional seminars and symposia. It publishes a peer-reviewed scholarly journal, The Journal of Bahá'í Studies, occasional books and monographs, as well as other publications, including a quarterly ABS Bulletin. It is also engaged in a number of initiatives to advance Bahá'í studies among students and young adults, to support the development of university courses on various aspects of the Bahá'í Faith, to engage leaders of thought outside of the Bahá'í community, and to stimulate interest in Bahá’í studies within the wider community.
The Association operates a Centre for Bahá’í Studies, located in Ottawa, Canada, which coordinates the activities of the Association in North America. The Centre also serves as a site for research, information, and various forms of assistance and support for Bahá'í studies. Adjacent to the University of Ottawa, the Centre enjoys easy access to the university library and other university facilities. These resources, combined with the Centre’s own library, offer an excellent facility for research on the Bahá’í Faith in North America. The Centre can also identify speakers from among its membership who are qualified to present lectures on various aspects of Bahá’í Studies, from diverse disciplinary perspectives, in response to invitations by universities and other organizations.