Who we are
Who We Are

What is the Sterling Institute?

The beginnings of the Sterling Institute:

Justin Sterling founded the Sterling Institute in 1979 in Oakland, California. For over 30 years the Sterling Institute has been dedicated to transforming the quality of people’s relationships. Justin’s visionary philosophy, now widely accepted, was considered radical in 1979. He sought to define the fundamental differences between men and women, and to find solutions to common relationship and career problems by embracing and honoring these differences.

Sterling’s controversial philosophy:

At that time, Justin’s ideas were in direct conflict with the popular feminist viewpoint that men and women were exactly the same. He believed that fundamental differences exist between men and women. For this, he was labeled a heretic and a chauvinist. Even though today there is almost universal acknowledgement that differences between men and women exist, Justin has not been able to completely shed the labels of the past. A close examination of Justin's philosophy will reveal his great respect and admiration for women. Justin has always been a champion of equal opportunity and equal rewards for women.

The Sterling Women’s Weekend:

The Sterling Women’s Weekend was born out of Justin’s experiences of counseling highly successful women on their relationships. These women had just penetrated the upper levels of management, a new phenomenon in the early 80’s. Justin’s understanding of the emotional conflict between high demand corporate environments and romantic life was the inspiration for the Women’s Weekend. Justin taught women to trust their female instincts and bring them to the workplace instead of subjugating them and adopting male models of behavior. The confidence and self-acceptance that Women’s Weekend graduates enjoyed were contagious and the Women’s Weekend became an overnight success.

The Sterling Men’s Weekend:

The Sterling Men’s Weekend was created in response to the requests of Women’s Weekend graduates. The Men’s Weekend started in 1981, focusing on the changing gender roles of the time and the resulting confusion that men experienced. The Men’s Weekend brought men back in touch with their abandoned legacy of honor, purpose, and commitment. Graduates gained new self-acceptance, increased their confidence and enthusiasm, and enjoyed much greater satisfaction and success both at home and in their careers. By the late 90’s, over 20,000 men had attended the Sterling Men’s Weekend.

Sterling writings:

Justin Sterling has written a book, What Really Works with Men, published by Warner Publishing in 1992. In the book, Justin advises women about relationships, mirroring his teachings in the Sterling Women’s Weekend. For anyone seeking a good introduction to the Sterling philosophy, reading What Really Works with Men is a good start.

The Sterling Institute today:

The Sterling Institute is still producing the Sterling Men’s and Women’s Weekends along with other post-graduate seminars and events. Over 50,000 people have completed the Weekends. The Sterling Institute is comprised of professional staff and volunteers who give their time to make sure the Weekends are available to friends, family and associates. It has been located in Oakland, California since 1979 as a for-profit corporation.

The Sterling Institute also produces post-graduate programs and gives direction and counsel to the graduate-alumni organization. Much of the post-graduate work is with men and women together and helps integrate the basic philosophy of the Men’s and Women’s Weekends.

The Sterling Institute and philanthropy:

The Sterling Institute has been involved in charitable giving since 1982. Through its work and the work of Sterling graduates dozens of community service projects aiding schools and other needy organizations have been accomplished. In 1985, Justin Sterling founded the Sterling Community Service Day Foundation in order to foster community service through volunteerism and action. The foundation is known today as the International Community Service Day Foundation.

The Purpose of the Sterling Institute of Relationship:

To transform the quality of people’s relationships by defining the differences between men and women so that they know their Selves, become closer to each other, and have the natural and loving relationship that will produce the partnership and the context necessary for the transition to a true global community.