The Camphill Movement is a movement for community-building and social renewal founded in Aberdeen, Scotland in the 1940s by a group of refugees, including the physician Karl Koenig (1902-1966), from Austria and Germany. Internationally, Camphill has been involved in the practice of inclusive social development, including curative education, social therapy and related endeavors since its founding, and educational activities have been a part of the development of the Camphill Movement in North America since its beginnings in the 1960s.
With the spread of the Camphill Movement, professional training in curative education and social therapy became available in North America through what was then known as the ‘Camphill Seminar’, with courses at The Camphill School (formerly Camphill Special School) in Pennsylvania and at Camphill Village USA in Copake, New York. Up until 2004, these were offered as part of the ‘International Camphill Seminar in Curative Education and Social Therapy’, a loosely structured network of professional education embedded in Camphill Communities around the world. The Camphill Academy evolved as this activity began to integrate itself more strongly within the respective local professional and higher education contexts. The two main context for study in North America, the Curative Education Seminar at The Camphill School in Pennsylvania and the Social Therapy Seminar at Camphill Village USA in New York began a process of redevelopment and expansion to include other Camphill communities. A committee of the Camphill Association in North America, the Regional Adult Education Group, met regularly to discuss the development of the various adult and professional education activities in the North American Camphill communities. This led to the establishment of a new curriculum with college credit recommendations for over 100 semester hours of, partnerships with degree granting institutions and renewed engagement within the international network of organizations preparing adults for futures in the field of inclusive social development, including curative education and social therapy, and recognition of three consecutive programs and corresponding certification levels.
Initially operating under the name Camphill School of Curative Education and Social Therapy this North American collaboration is now an accredited postsecondary education entity. Since 2018, the Camphill Academy is a fully legally independent organization, embedded within the work of the Camphill Movement in North America, and with a scope of activity that goes beyond the original fields of focus to embrace inclusive social development as a broader field of study with concentrations in curative education, social therapy, and social agriculture and biodynamics, foster and promote research initiatives, and continue to develop and offer educational and professional development opportunities that meet the diverse needs and interests of those touched by the Camphill Movement. Through this mission, the Camphill Academy sees itself as an activity of the School of Spiritual Science, with which it is actively affiliated.