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Program Overview

Great Lakes Waldorf Institute offers Waldorf teacher training and professional development through an innovative and collaborative learning community.

Teacher education at Great Lakes Waldorf Institute includes the study of child and human development; courses in educational principles and practices, including culturally responsive teaching, anti-bias and anti-racism study; Waldorf curriculum courses; contemplative work; and artistic work in music, visual arts, handwork, movement, and speech.

Programs Offered

At Great Lakes, you can prepare to become a Waldorf class teacher for grades 1-8 through our Grades 1-8 Waldorf Certificate Program, a Waldorf educator for ages birth-seven through our Early Childhood Waldorf Certificate Program, and earn a Master's Degree and Waldorf Certificate from our affiliate school Mount Mary University. Experienced teachers with some prior teacher training can apply for our Certificate Completion Program.

The Waldorf Teacher Certificate Program at Great Lakes Waldorf Institute is a three-year, part-time program focusing on philosophical, practical, and artistic training for class teachers in early childhood or grades 1-8. The program consists of three sessions each year: a summer intensive in July, and fall and spring courses with additional fieldwork, practicum, and final research project. We have rotating coursework with rolling admission for prospective students, who can join our program at any point in the three-year rotation, with sessions beginning in July, September, and February.


Graduates of this 550+ hour program are awarded a Waldorf Grades Teaching Certificate recognized by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN)

Curriculum and course content include a balance of the following areas:​​

  • Child development and Waldorf education

  • Waldorf philosophy and human development

  • Waldorf curriculum (early childhood or grades 1-8)

  • Contemplative work 

  • Artistic activities for the classroom and for the educator

  • Professional and social aspects of Waldorf education

  • Fieldwork - observation, mentored teaching, practicum or internship in well-established Waldorf early childhood setting

  • Practicum and final project

Mount Mary University, in partnership with Great Lakes Waldorf Institute, offers a Master's Degree in Arts Education with a Waldorf Certificate program. Either an Early Childhood Teaching Certificate or a Grades Teaching Certificate can be earned along with the Master's Degree.


Learn more about our program format, including dates and virtual and in-person* requirements.

*To ensure success and accessibility for all participants, GLWI instructors and staff are committed to providing accommodations to the fullest extent possible. We are committed to supporting and accommodating individual needs and working in tandem with our students for successful outcomes.

In addition, our partner school, Mount Mary University, offers these accessibility services.

Our programs enroll in throughout the year to begin in July, September, or February.

If you would like to learn more about Waldorf teaching, teacher education at Great Lakes Waldorf Institute, or our application process, we invite you to fill out our Inquiry Formsign up for a meeting with our Director of Teacher Education, Monika Sutherland; or email or call Kira Chard, our admissions coordinator, at or

(414) 299-3820.

Non-Discrimination Statement: Great Lakes Waldorf Institute, Inc., encourages broad public support and participation in its management and activities, and shall not discriminate in any manner whatsoever against any person on the basis of race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or mental or physical handicap or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs, and any other programs. We are committed to reflecting the diversity of our society and creating space for historically excluded and underrepresented groups to participate in all aspects of the corporation's management and activities.

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