Waldorf is shaped by the values and beliefs of its Norwegian Lutheran founders: veracity, discipline, the dignity and responsibility of the individual, a commitment to service, and faith in God.
The College was founded in 1903 as a result of “The Great Hotel War of Forest City.” This fierce, competitive battle between the two first-class hotels, built simultaneously, left the beautiful Waldorf Hotel vacant after only four months of operation. This provided the opportunity for The Rev. C. S. Salveson to muster the necessary resources to found a Christian college. Thus, Waldorf College came to be located on a prominent corner in the center of the City of Forest City, and the 50-plus acre campus has grown up around this original, and still beautiful building, now called Salveson Hall.
Unlike several other Lutheran colleges founded by Norwegian immigrants and the first generation of their progeny, Waldorf began operation as an academy and business college rather than as a preparatory program primarily for future pastors.
From its earliest days, Waldorf viewed education sponsored by the church as vital for persons who would serve primarily in secular society. The Waldorf emphasis was fundamentally a “stewardship emphasis”: human lives are viewed as a gift from God, and the educational enterprise offers the opportunity for the full flowering of one’s potential. The Waldorf mission has always stressed service to others as the means to achieve fulfilling lives.
Whether as future business leaders, teachers, professors, scientists, entrepreneurs, ordained clergy, psychologists or musicians—it is hoped that Waldorf graduates will aspire to lives of service.
Since 1920, when Waldorf became a junior college, the curriculum has gradually evolved to fully reflect a liberal arts emphasis. Now, nearly all students enroll with the intent of ultimately earning a bachelor’s degree. In the spring of 1994, the College was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools to offer its first bachelor’s degrees.
Waldorf became a fully accredited bachelor’s degree granting college in February of 2001.
The “core” of the liberal arts program has as its goals that students:
During January of 2010, Waldorf joined the Mayes Education family as the first traditional campus school. The other school operated by Mayes Education is Columbia Southern University (CSU), a completely online university offering associate, bachelor, master, doctoral and certificate programs.
Because of the success CSU experienced with online learning, Waldorf launched three new online programs in January 2010 including bachelor’s degrees in business administration, fire science administration and organizational leadership. Hybrid online programs allow you to complete most of your coursework online with the benefit of accelerated three day courses held in popular locations across the U.S. Depending on the amount of accepted transfer credit, you will spend three to nine days in the classroom which can be completed at anytime over the entire length of your program of study.
Five new blended bachelor’s degree programs were also launched in fire science administration, criminal justice administration, organizational leadership, sports management and international management. These programs include 15 to 18 hours of online courses with the remainder held on campus.
The faculty recognizes that concern for the goals of liberal education does not begin at Waldorf, nor are these goals likely to be fully achieved on this campus. The development of an appreciation of “a life of the mind” ought to begin in the home and school, be further nurtured at Waldorf, continue in studies at Waldorf, and become a lifelong process.
We believe the success of the Waldorf program results from the interplay of several characteristics:
Lux et Veritas, reads the motto on the official Seal of the College — ”Light and Truth.”
Copyright © 2013 Waldorf College | Forest City, Iowa 50436 800.292.1903 (Residential Programs) | 877.267.2157 (Online Programs)