Since 1952, a singular idea has consistently driven our curricula, training, and community work. That key guiding idea is Alfred Adler’s groundbreaking concept of social interest or gemeinschaftsgefühl – the idea that our health resides in our community life and connections. This idea today is more necessary than ever to drive the work and change most needed in challenged communities around the world.
In 1952, Rudolf Dreikurs and his colleagues established our institution as the Alfred Adler Institute in Chicago—to train practitioners to apply Adler’s idea of social interest or gemeinschaftsgefühl. Adler was the first to focus on wellness in the community context. He advanced the revolutionary idea that responsible practitioners must advocate to change the social conditions that affect population health and wellbeing.
Today, Adler University continues this work to graduate students as socially responsible practitioners—educated to be effective personal and social change agents in the pursuit of justice. Across multiple disciplines and fields that impact population wellbeing, our alumni are changing the world. Our students come to us to learn how.
Our faculty are practitioners, scholars, activists, and mentors who bring a range of experiences and perspectives on social justice and expertise to the classroom—through our Chicago, Vancouver, and Online Campuses. They regularly rethink and improve our pedagogy as the University builds new academic programs to meet emerging social needs. Programs such as our first-of-its-kind Doctor of Couple and Family Therapy, preparing expert practitioners in a field of growing demand. Our Master in Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy in Vancouver is British Columbia’s only such program, preparing counsellors to guide individuals and communities to greater wellbeing through art as social action.
Our faculty and students—along with our Institute and Centers—are pursuing and producing unprecedented work on social issues including immigration and detention, social exclusion, the social determinants of mental health, LGBTQ mental health, and parenting. More than 600 agencies—and counting—are partnering with the Adler University as community practica and internship sites for our students, enabling our specialized preparation for work with underserved and marginalized populations.
Our challenge—just as Alfred Adler saw it at the turn of the last century, and just as our founders saw it more than 65 years ago—is to continue preparing practitioners who can address the world’s alarming health inequities and social injustices. And I have confidence that we have built a community who can successfully engage the challenge.
Explore this site for the many ways you might join our Adler University community. Reach out and join us as we continue innovating approaches toward the more just society we all envision.