National University’s Place in Naturopathic History
National University of Health Sciences, the newest ND school to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC), may actually be one of the oldest in the profession! In 1906, Dr. John Fitz Alan Howard, a former student of Father Sebastian Kneipp, founded National University as a chiropractic school in Iowa. It moved to Chicago in 1908. At that time, Chicago was major hub for naturopathic medicine. One of its most famous practitioners, Dr. Henry Lindlahr, had a medical center and health spa in Chicago and nearby Elmhurst.
What many don’t know is that after founder Dr. Howard retired from National University, he later worked for Dr. Lindlahr as a dean in one of Lindlahr’s first schools in Chicago. Furthermore, in 1926, National University actually absorbed the Lindlahr College of Natural Therapeutics, and granted the degree in natural therapeutics (the forerunner to the naturopathic medicine degree) from 1927 – 1952. In the early 1950’s, the program was dismantled under federal pressure that also caused the closure of other naturopathic programs across the nation.
Today, you can once again earn the ND degree at National University, which launched its current naturopathic medicine program in 2006. True to its roots, the program is uniquely traditional with a strong focus on teaching naturopathic precepts, clinical theory and the basic principles of naturopathic medicine coupled with a strong foundation in primary care. We are confident that National University will continue to achieve new milestones in naturopathic history well into the future.