Education reads to early education class by a cozy fire in the Brickman Center at Bryn Athyn College

Education Program

Dual Certification Program

The Dual Certification Program in Early Childhood Education and Special Education fully prepares students for Pennsylvania state certification in both Early Childhood Education (Pre-K to Grade 4) and in Special Education (Pre-K to grade 8). Students explore a New Church approach to education that emphasizes accommodating instruction to the developmental stages of childhood in a nurturing environment. Outdoor learning and gardening experience are integrated into several courses. The program provides practical experience working alongside experienced professionals, so that students are well prepared to be successful teachers in inclusionary classrooms in public, New Church, or other private schools. Upon successful completion of the Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests (PECT), graduates are eligible for Pennsylvania certification in early childhood education, Pre-K through fourth grade and Special Education, Pre-K through eighth grade.

Program Strengths

  • Over 700 hours of experience in early childhood and elementary classrooms
  • Field experience in a special education setting 
  • Practice in the art of storytelling 
  • Hands-on experience in creating a school garden
  • Emphasis on the importance of outdoor play for young children

Early Childhood and Special Education Non-Certification Program

Some jobs in the field of education do not require certification. Are you interested in becoming a preschool teacher; daycare owner/operator; education paraprofessional; educational consultant (in a museum, nature center, or business); behavior interventionist in a special education setting; or therapeutic staff support? The Early Childhood and Special Education Non-Certification Program prepares students for a variety of positions. Taking the basic skills tests is not a requirement for acceptance into the Non-Certification Program. The courses for the Non-Certification Program are identical to the courses in the Dual Certification Program.

Students in the Early Childhood and Special Education Non-Certification Program receive a Bachelor of Science in Education degree by meeting the following minimum requirements:

  • Completion of program requirements as detailed in the Dual Certification Program.
  • Earn a “C-” or above in all required education courses.
  • Earn a “C-” or above in all required core courses.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.
  • Earn the minimum credits required for the degree.

Spiritual Principles

At Bryn Athyn College, education is studied in a spiritual context. Students learn how to become reflective practitioners, prepared for a journey of growth and development. Responsible teachers care for the external environment of their classrooms and for the internal environment of their own minds. Courses in religion help our students to reflect on their own spiritual growth and become responsible and caring professionals.

George DeCharms photoBryn Athyn College has been training teachers since 1877 in the principles of New Church education. George de Charms articulated principles of New Church education in courses he gave at Bryn Athyn College in the 1930s, ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s. Education majors read selections from de Charms’s lectures on The Philosophy of New Church Education, which offer a spiritual perspective on child development.


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Our Faculty

Kelly Ballard photo

Kelly Ballard

Head of Master of Special Education Program / Assistant Professor of Education

Nina Phillips photo

Nina Phillips

Assistant Professor of Education

Angela Rose photo

Angela Rose

Head of Education Program / Instructor in Education and Math

Sarah Jin Wong photo

Sarah Jin Wong

Assistant Professor in Education / Director of Field Placement / Certification and Compliance Officer / Principal Designated School Officer (PDSO)