1 MHP - from the introductory letter
It is gratifying to know that the work and research I have done over the past twenty-five years is of interest and will be continued by others. Since the publication of The Master Book of Herbalism in 1984 I have not allowed weeds to grow in my mental gardens. That book, which has become a standard text for so many, represents such a small amount of the basic knowledge with which we work today. Over the years many people have studied from me – some for as little as a two hour workshop – and have gone on to boast that they are fully trained as Master Herbalists using my name as a means of providing their work with ‘credentials.’ While they definitely have my blessings, they do not have my recommendation as Master Herbalists.
In the mid-1980s I began to develop an involved program of study. At the time it was designed for on-site study and was a two year program involving three half days a week. More and more I had begun to realize that serious herbal healing required so much more than the superficial information found in so many books – including the section on medicinal use I provided in my own book written 20 years ago and reflecting what I knew at the time.
It was only since founding The Hermit’s Grove with my partner Rev. Gerry and moving what was originally called the ‘School of Healing’ to Kirkland that I have felt comfortable offering a program of certification.
Mine is not an easy program. Our philosophy is that the quality of the education, its depth and comprehensiveness, is far more important than the glamour of a certificate from someone far more famous than I, or from a school which spends far more on advertising and recovers that significant expense from student fees. If you complete this program, you will be a ‘master’ at your work and you will be able to state that you are certified by myself and by our program.
It is important to remember that a “certificate” is just that. It is a piece of paper which I will sign indicating that you have completed our educational program and that I give you my recommendation.
A certificate is not the same as a license issued by your State. It is not the same as a medical license. In many states one’s ability to advertise for clients as an herbalist may be seriously limited. On the other hand, if you intend to seek employment in an herbal or health-foods store you will have knowledge and confidence … and our certificate. The certificate should also facilitate your ability to teach herbal medicine, from the noncredit adult programs at your regional Community Colleges to programs you establish yourself.
The certificate of completion is issued at the time one completes their work and has been successfully evaluated by a panel of advisors and the instructor. It is expected that a student will maintain a level of continuing education and active work as a Master Herbalist leading to an annual renewal of the certificate to maintain active standing with The Hermit’s Grove.
It is not possible to create a program leading to certified status which assures you of employment. There are many vocational training ads on television and even they have great difficulty providing job placement. Herbal medicine is still an alternative field.
There are a total of 100 units at a cost of $30.00 each. This is the actual cost of the program and I, as founder/teacher, researcher, administrator and secretary (not to mention janitor and primary source of garden labor) do not derive any money whatsoever from this program. We are truly non-profit and volunteer-based.
Students working at a more intense level of study may meet criteria for reduced fees based upon income.
Students living outside North America may have to pay a higher cost per unit to cover the additional postage. Payment from outside the U.S. must be in U.S. funds and may be by international money order or credit card [Visa or Mastercard].
Students who request one-on-one tutoring time receive special rates. The cost is $35.00 for a single session. For an ongoing or long-term arrangement I do what I can to help reduce the cost.