I will use my other thread today to talk about Gilead.
One must apply for several years to show they are serious, unless you know a GB member or another heavy in the Service Dept. A couple first gets a long app in the mail usually after several years of applying at the DC. It is over 115 questions. One of the questions I thought funny at the time is "Do you believe that the FD Slave is the appointed channel of God today? YES or NO" I can only imagine what would happen if you answered no, but that is a big deal obviously, because the Gilead cirriculum is all about reinforcing the authority of the GB, and it's supposedly prophesied role in the bible. Once you get the long app in the mail and you still want to go, it is about 90% that you are going to get officially invited, it just depends on the class. Your official invite is mailed to the PO of the congregation you are in, and the Service Committee of the local congregation must decide whether you still qualify. (fortunatly, I was on the Serv Com, lol) Some get anywhere from 3 months to only a few weeks to get your affairs in order and show up at Patterson. You are required to have at least read the Old Testament before arriving, and the entire bible before mid terms or you will not graduate.
Gilead grads are expected to go wherever the GB SERVICE COMMITTEE sends them in the world. They only send married couples these days because of safety issues with sending single women alone. Single guys are still sent via MTS (Ministerial Training School) but they frequently leave due to horniness and loneliness. (funny, but true) Married couples supposedly are more stable. (Obviously not me and my wife)
The first two weeks you study the history of the New World Translation. It is all designed to build your faith in the Borg, the GB, their bible, and all the traditions and literature, because you will be looked upon with esteem, and you are expected to build others faith in the GB.
You start in week 3 (out of 20) with Genesis. JW study the bible at Gilead, not with a study of its history, geography, scholarship, etc, but with 2 key scriptures. Heb 8:5 talks of a typical representation, or "type". And in 1 Pet 3:21, we find a reference to a typical representation, or "antitype." The GB teaches that the types throughout Gen-Revelation include bible characters. They represent, (the antitype) and are fulfilled in the existence and activity of JW with their FS Slave today. (The FD Slave is represented by the GB, which of course is silly. The FD Slave as is described by the WT does not exist. The GB is in charge, has been since '76. That is a story for another day.) For example, the flood of Gen 6 and 7 has the following
TYPE ANTI TYPE
Noahs wife FD Slave
Noahs sons and wives Great Crowd
Ark Spiritual Paradise
Here are some more favorites
TYPE ANTI TYPE
Eleizer (Abra Servant) Holy Spirit
Rebekah 144000 annointed
Rebekahs attendants Great Crowd
The Camels(!) The word of God, The bible
Job (Chapter 1) Jesus
Job (Chap 2-42) The 1900 year old FD Slave
2 Kings 1
Elijah Rutherford administration
Elisha Knorr Administration
It is like this through the entire bible. As you study, the point of it is to get you to believe that the role of the FD Slave, even the Presidents of the WTBTS were prophesied. Thus, to not obey these men is to not obey Jehovah. If they can get you every time you read the bible, to see the FD Slave and its governing body, then you will blindly go to whatever hell hole they send you to. In fact, some dear classmates of mind got sent to Congo Kinshassa, right before the fighting and civil war heated up. They spend much of their time in the bethel there, and they can't even go outside. What the hell they are doing there?
After the Old Test you get mid terms. Finals include New Testament and the Missionary Service course, which is once, sometimes twice a week, and is barely helpful. The theme is "Shut up, be happy whever you are sent and do what you are told." Also, the course Theocratic Organization is actually the study of the modern day history of JW. We studied and read every page of the Proclaimers book.
There are currently 56 (18 couples) per class, that is a recent increase. They base this on what they can afford or budget for the program. Because Gilead is in the US, they have to have at least one more couple that is American per class. To have foreign students come in, Gilead is registered with the US Dept of Education, but is not part of the US education system. The dilpoma you get (with a minimum score of 70%) is basically as good as going through a company management course sponsored by a company and passing. It is viewed as a certificate of internal training basically by the US govt. It is presented as a diploma because many countries will not allow foreign missionaries in without some kind of paper saying they have been trained. Thus, the Gilead diploma is often used to get missionaries in.
There are currently 3 instructors that are used as a committee. They are in every Gilead grad article in the WT.
Our class (119) was featured in the latest JW video released last year. My ex and I are in it I hear. We were filmed studying in the Gilead library. I have the blue bible with silver guilding, blue shirt, red tie, studying. (That was real studying btw) I am sure we will be edited out soon, so get a copy when you can. I haven't seen it yet, as I left just when it was being released. We are also in other scenes, and the graduation was also filmed.
Any other questions, feel free to ask!