Macrobiotic Leadership Certificate Program Overview

The Kushi Institute’s Macrobiotic Leadership Program (MLP) offers in-depth and comprehensive studies in the macrobiotic approach to health, healing, personal transformation, and way of life. In an experiential and dynamic learning environment, participants learn how to use food and lifestyle adjustments to promote a return to wellness for those facing illness, or to optimize health for those already in good health.

Going beyond personal health, the Macrobiotic Leadership Program is designed to prepare the next generation of macrobiotic teachers, counselors, and chefs for leadership positions in their chosen fields. Through the five core subjects, participants learn how to assess the underlying causes of an individual’s health concerns, which foods can be helpful for healing specific conditions, how to prepare balanced meals adjusted for the individual, how to incorporate Shiatsu, energy healing, and other forms of bodywork into a healing regimen, and simple exercises that boost vitality and promote well being.

The MLP curriculum is fully integrated. The core principles of harmony and balance (yin and yang) are applied uniformly through the core subjects. Students gain the ability to think in terms of yin and yang and to apply these principles in an original and dynamic way. The focus of the program is on the practical application of these principles to food selection and preparation, understanding the cause and solution to illness, seeing the internal condition through visual diagnosis, and how to adjust the body’s energy system to achieve balance. The goal of the course is to enable students to apply these principles successfully in their own lives as the foundation for the ability to help and guide others, either informally or as a professional teacher, counselor, or chef.

Course Structure

The course is structured in three, one-month “Levels.” Each Level is a complete and self-contained course of study. Moreover, each Level contains four weeklong “Modules.” The Modules can be attended separately or as part of a complete Level. Each Module is also a complete and independent course of study. Each Module and each Level explores varying dimensions and applications of the five core subjects. A Certificate of Completion is awarded after the completion of each Level. A Graduate Certificate is awarded after the successful completion of all three Levels.

For those who wish to pursue professional training as a macrobiotic teacher, counselor, or chef, Level 4 is offered in a different format than the first three Levels. Level 4 is comprised of six independent weeks or Modules, with one of these weeks offered in the spring, summer, and fall each year. Thus it takes two years to complete the full Level 4 program. This structure allows for personal practice of what has been learned in prior Levels, plus completion of special fieldwork assignments that are required for the Level 4 Modules.

Graduation Requirements

In order to receive a certificate participants must not miss more than 3 classes per level, and must pass all tests.


There is testing in all core subject material, which includes a combination of multiple choice, essays, and oral presentations. In addition for cooking and shiatsu tests participants must demonstrate their capability in these fields.

Along with weekly quizzes, there is a final exam in each core subject.

Tests and recorded grades are available in the program manager’s office, available for viewing at a convenient time.

Classroom Rules of Conduct

No tape recorders or cameras are allowed to be used

No verbal translating into other languages

No disruptive behavior

Emergency Procedures:

For evacuation see instructions posted in classroom

For 911 emergencies use cell phone or public phone in hallway

Daily Schedule:

Classes run Monday through Friday. This is an intensive program, with generally 7 to 9 hours of class time each day, averaging about 40 hours each week. There are breaks for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Most days class time ends at 6:00 p.m., but there are one or two evening classes each week from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

For information on all Kushi Institute programs,

or to register, please call:


International callers please dial:
(413) 623-5741 extension 101

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