Welcome to Sunbridge
Welcome to Sunbridge Institute, an independent, not-for-profit adult learning community. Sunbridge offers world-renowned Waldorf teacher education programs, along with professional development and general interest courses and workshops on Waldorf teaching, Waldorf education, organizational leadership, and the arts. The teachings of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, are at the heart of the Sunbridge mission, and we are dedicated to the support of Waldorf education in North America.
At Sunbridge, “Inspiring Education” is more than just a tagline; it is who we are and what we do. Our classes are devoted to collaborative learning and journeys of self-discovery. In all of our offerings you’ll find abundant opportunities for artistic exploration, spiritual development, and personal transformation. We invite you to learn more about us, apply to join one of our teacher education programs, or register for a workshop or course.
Discover Waldorf Education
An independent school movement founded in 1919, with about 1,000 schools and 2,000 early childhood programs worldwide, Waldorf education is a curriculum and pedagogy based on the natural development of the child. A thread of creativity runs through all the interdisciplinary classes of a Waldorf curriculum, and the emphasis is on experiential learning and the development of imagination.
Waldorf schools are learning environments in which educators teach not to a test but to a child’s innate desire to discover the world. Based on the belief that learning must be personally meaningful rather than performance-driven, the Waldorf curriculum harmonizes with children’s developmental phases and needs. The result is an education that is nurturing, inspiring, and joyful—for both student and teacher.
Become a Waldorf Teacher
Teaching in a Waldorf school or early childhood program is a deeply rewarding and life-altering profession. At Sunbridge, you can prepare for a career as a Waldorf educator by enrolling in a part-time, low-residency diploma program in Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Education (ages birth to seven), Waldorf Elementary Teacher Education (grades one through eight), or Waldorf High School Teacher Education (grades nine through twelve). Or, you can begin or deepen your Waldorf subject teaching by enrolling in a 4-week certificate program in Waldorf Elementary Music Teacher Education or Waldorf World Language Teacher Education. You can also combine one of these specialized subject offerings with our Elementary program to receive a diploma in Waldorf elementary teacher education with a concentration in Music or Language teaching. We also offer Completion Tracks for highly experienced Waldorf Early Childhood and Elementary teachers looking to apply their backgrounds toward earning a Sunbridge diploma.
Each of our teacher education programs is fully recognized by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). Our Early Childhood Teacher Education program is also fully recognized by the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN) and is consistent with the guidelines set forth by the International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education (IASWECE).
Our teacher education programs provide you with the credentials to teach in Waldorf schools and early childhood programs throughout North America (and even, perhaps, around the world). And since there is a very high and growing demand for Waldorf educators who have completed a full teacher training, your Sunbridge diploma will stand you in good stead when you apply for a Waldorf teaching job.
Learn about Waldorf Teacher Education at Sunbridge Institute.
Earn a Master’s Degree
In 2015, Sunbridge Institute entered into a partnership with the State University of New York (SUNY) Empire State College. Expanded in 2020, this partnership enables our Early Childhood and Elementary Teacher Education program students and graduates who hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution to apply their Sunbridge education toward earning a fully-accredited Master of Education degree (MEd) or Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree (MALS) with a self-designed concentration in Waldorf education, conferred by SUNY Empire State.
The SUNY Empire State courses are conducted fully online, allowing you to conveniently fit your graduate studies into your personal and professional life.
Further Your Professional Development or Discover a New Interest
Maybe you’re thinking about becoming a Waldorf teacher but want to learn more before applying to one of our programs. Perhaps you’re already an educator (or homeschooling parent) seeking assistance preparing for next year’s grade or are looking for a new approach to your work. Maybe you’re a Waldorf parent who would like to delve deeper into the education you’ve chosen for your child. Or perhaps you’re a non-profit or for-profit business professional seeking guidance for your leadership responsibilities.
Whatever your background or your purpose, taking a Sunbridge course or workshop can be a great way to assist you in your profession, help you to choose a new career path, or simply give you a memorable learning experience.
Housed on the Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., campus of the historic Threefold Educational Center, Sunbridge Institute is part of the oldest anthroposophical community in North America. We offer our students an unrivaled educational setting and an exciting opportunity to become part of a unique learning environment.
Since our founding as the Waldorf Institute in 1967, Sunbridge has prepared thousands of Waldorf teachers and has earned a worldwide reputation for excellence in Waldorf teacher education. Sunbridge graduates enjoy teaching and administrative careers at Waldorf schools and early childhood centers, teacher education institutes, and affiliated organizations across the U.S. and around the world.
Our students come from a diversity of backgrounds and career paths. What they share is a desire to find a vocation that draws upon all their abilities and talents and gives them room to apply those talents in service to improving our world. If this sounds like you, we invite you to come to Sunbridge and discover inspiring education for yourself.
“This has been one of the best experiences of my life. Thank you from me and all the children I hope to teach.”
~ Sunbridge Teacher Education Graduate
It is the mission of Sunbridge Institute to contribute to the growth and development of Waldorf Education in service of educational and cultural renewal throughout the world.
Sunbridge Institute provides higher educational offerings that stimulate and enrich the personal and professional capacities essential for adults engaged in the education of children. Sunbridge’s integrated approach—a balance of spiritual, artistic, and practical studies—fosters the development of contemplative, social, and pedagogical capacities vital to a living art of education.
Anthroposophy, the spiritual-scientific view of the human being developed by Rudolf Steiner, inspires the work of Sunbridge Institute and permeates its culture and activities.
Please contact us to arrange a visit and to learn more.