Avondale College

Avondale College

Infobox University
name = Avondale College

motto = A Greater Vision
established = 1897
type = Private
president = Dr. John Cox
city = Cooranbong, Lake Macquarie
state = NSW
country = Australia
undergrad = ~950 (2006)
postgrad = ~200
postgrad_label = post-graduate
faculty = ~150
campus = Lake Macquarie (Cooranbong):Rural,
Sydney (Wahroonga):Urban,
Hunter Valley (Cessnock):Rural
free_label = Campus Size
free = Lake Macquarie 325 ha, Sydney ?
colours = Navy blue, Maroon, White ?
free_label = Organisations
free = Member of Seventh-day Adventist Church
website = [http://www.avondale.edu.au avondale.edu.au]

Avondale College is an Australian tertiary education provider affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Avondale College has three campuses, Lake Macquarie being the primary campus situated in Cooranbong, New South Wales. The other campuses are the Sydney campus located at the Sydney Adventist Hospital in the Sydney-suburb of Wahroonga, housing most of the faculty of nursing and health, and the Hunter Valley campus located just north-west of Cessnock housing the school of Aviation.

Avondale College primarily focuses in the areas of teaching, theology, and nursing, but also offers bachelor's degrees in business, science and the arts as well as certificate studies in outdoor recreation, aviation and Office Administration. The nursing programme commences at the Cooranbong campus for one semester and is completed at the Sydney Adventist Hospital with hands-on experience gained in the hospital. Master's degrees are offered in theology, education, nursing, ministry, and some business related fields by distance education, including a one-month on-campus component in the winter semester.

Avondale College is an institution under the South Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists. The library contains a local research centre of the Ellen G. White Estate.

History and surroundings

A small Bible school was commenced in Melbourne in 1892, [http://adventist.org.au/about_adventists/history/adventism_in_the_south_pacific/australia/avondale_college Avondale College] from the South Pacific Division website] "AVONDALE COLLEGE" in "Historical Dictionary of Seventh-day Adventists" by Gary Land, p. 29–30] on the counsel of Ellen G. White. She preferred a rural location, and as a result a search for a rural location was commenced in 1893.

History of the land

Finding land for a college seemed to be an impossible task, as the small church in Australia at the time did not have the finances to support such a project. Eventually the committee searching for the land found a 1450-acre (6 km²) block of land near Cooranbong (75 miles north of Sydney) priced at $3 per acre ($741/km²) because of its "poor, sandy and hungry" land. They asked White to inspect the land, who gave her approval. An agricultural expert from the government who was commissioned to look over the land reported that it was of extremely poor quality. The land was purchased in the Spring of 1895, and the Avondale School for Christian Workers was opened there in 1897. In 1911 its name was changed to Australasian Missionary College. The College was a major influence on later Adventist education.

A common myth is the furrow story, in which Ellen White was reported to have had a vision concerning the land.fact|date=October 2007

The Cooranbong shopping district and Freeman's drive now occupy some of the land that was part of the Avondale Estate, creating a disjoint estate. The Avondale Schools (a separate entity) and the Cooranbong Aerodrome (which up until 2006 was used as part of the aviation certificate training) are located on one section and the college on the other. The nearby Sunnyside museum has photographs of the college through its early years.

Educational philosophy

During the 1890s, Ellen White reformed the curriculum to make the Bible the center of study, in place of the classics. This change soon spread to the United States. [cite encyclopedia
title = Seventh-Daysic Adventist Education
author = George R. Knight
authorlink = George R. Knight
encyclopedia = Evangelical Dictionary of Christian Education
editor = Michael J. Anthony
volume =
pages = 627–28
publisher = Baker Academic
date = 2001
id =
accessdate =

Heritage architecture

There are a number of historic buildings that have been preserved on the Cooranbong campus. These include Bethel Hall and College Hall (formerly the College Chapel), both of which are unique multi-story wooden buildings.The refurbished Chan-Shun Auditorium is based on the original auditorium.

Later history

Shortly after 1951, students could study a BSc through the external program of the University of London, and a BA through Pacific Union College. In 1964 the institution was renamed to Avondale College. In 1974 it received government accreditation to offer bachelor degrees of its own. Masters degrees were first offered in the 1970s, through Andrews University, and from Avondale itself in the 1990s. FEE-HELP was introduced for the college in 2005.cite news
title = Avondale approved to offer PhDs
last = Stacey
first = Brenton
publisher = Signs Publishing House
date = 2006-03-25
url = http://spd.adventist.org.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/20698/Record_11_06.pdf#page=3
accessdate = 2006-03-27
page = 3
] Avondale has offered PhD degrees since 2006 when it was approved to do so by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training.

Academic structure

The college has a number of faculties:
* [http://www.avondale.edu.au/divisions::Faculty_of_Arts/ Faculty of Arts]
* [http://www.avondale.edu.au/divisions::Vocational_Education::Aviation/ School of Aviation]
* [http://www.avondale.edu.au/divisions::Faculty_of_Business/ Faculty of Business and Information Technology]
* [http://www.avondale.edu.au/divisions::Faculty_of_Education/ Faculty of Education]
* [http://www.avondale.edu.au/divisions::Faculty_of_Lifestyle_Education_and_Visual_Communication/ Faculty of Lifestyle Education, Visual Arts and Graphic Design]
* [http://www.avondale.edu.au/divisions::Faculty_of_Nursing_and_Health/ Faculty of Nursing and Health]
* [http://www.avondale.edu.au/divisions::Faculty_of_Science_and_Mathematics/ Faculty of Science and Mathematics]
* [http://www.avondale.edu.au/divisions::Faculty_of_Theology/ Faculty of Theology] .

The subjects [http://www.avondale.edu.au/courses/CR143::Christian%20Studies%20I/ Christian Studies I] and [http://www.avondale.edu.au/courses/CR243::Christian%20Studies%20II/ II] (or substitutes) [For at least the [http://www.avondale.edu.au/courses/Undergraduate/bachelor_of_business Bachelor of Business degree] , substitutes may be taken instead] are required for all students. The first covers salvation and Christian belief and lifestyle, while the second has a more specifically Adventist focus. A three year study of student grades by faith tradition showed "little statistical variation", meaning " [b] aptised Adventists are not advantaged and those of other faith traditions are not disadvantaged". [cite journal
last = Chuang
first = Linden
title = Students not disadvantaged by Christian studies
journal = Record
volume = 113
issue = 12
pages = 7
publisher = Signs Publishing Company
location = Warburton, Victoria
issn = 0819-5633
date = April 5, 2008
url = https://record.adventistconnect.org/local/showdocs/rec-12_08_04_05.pdf#page=7
format = PDF
accessdate = 2008-08-26
Reprinted on the Avondale College website [http://www.avondale.edu.au/news/id/172/title/Study:+Christian+studies+not+a+test+of+faith here]

Avondale is the primary place of training for ministers in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia and New Zealand, and also has many students from the islands of the South Pacific. It is also open to students of any denomination.

The College runs [http://www.avondale.edu.au/research::avondale_academic_press/ Avondale Academic Press] , a small academic publisher. The College is currently in the process of applying for and receiving University status from the Australian government.


Avondale College fosters a wide variety of students from varying cultural backgrounds and beliefs. Students come from continents as far away as the Americas, Europe and Africa. The majority of students are from Australia, New Zealand, North America and Pacific Islands.

On campus, many activities form part of student life. There are three dormitories for residential students. Watson Hall for males, Andre Hall for first year females, and Ella Boyd for senior females. The auditorium, gym, library, student services building, and cafeteria all provide meeting places for students. Worships are compulsory three times a week for residential students and once a week for outdoor students. Both Indoor and Outdoor students have ready access to on campus events and services.

In common with the Seventh-day Adventist community, Avondale College ceases secular activities on a Friday afternoon. Over the Sabbath hours students are encouraged to attend a variety of religious programs. Many students from neighbouring areas choose to go home on the weekend.

Evangelical author Philip Yancey gave a presentation at Avondale College Church on October 20, 2001, which was broadcast throughout the South Pacific Division. [" [http://news.adventist.org/data/2001/1004457542/index.html.en Best-Selling Author Speaks to Adventist Churches] ". Adventist News Network] He returned to speak again at Avondale in 2007. [ [http://avondale.edu.au/news/id/138/title/An%20evening%20with%20Philip%20Yancey News :: Welcome to Avondale :: ] ]

Avondale College Church

"College Church" is situated on the main (Lake Macquarie) campus. Its seating capacity is in the high hundreds, and is one of the largest Adventist churches in Australia." [http://www.atoday.com/magazine/2002/09/avondale-australia-church-recognizes-tensions The Avondale, Australia, Church Recognizes Tensions] " by James Stirling. "Adventist Today" 10:5 (September 2002)] Its main services are "7:28" (formerly "First Church") on Friday evenings; as well as small group Bible study or "Sabbath School", children's Sabbath School and a main church service on Saturday mornings. [ [http://college.adventist.org.au/ Avondale College Church] ] Other major services are the Tuesday night males and females "combined worship" from 6:30 to 7:00pm. The church is also used 3 Wednesdays per month for the student "Forum" or assembly at 10am, and for other purposes. These assemblies are compulsory.fact|date=May 2008

The annual Avondale College [http://www.avondale.edu.au/announcements/murdoch_lecture.php Murdoch Lecture] started in 1997.

The annual "Being Adventist" conference on Adventist Studies has been held since 2002. [" [http://www.atoday.com/magazine/2002/11/being-adventist-initiative-and-future The 'Being Adventist' initiative and the future] " by Arthur Patrick. "Adventist Today" 10:6 (November 2002). See also " [http://spd.adventist.org.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/20685/r6.pdf Conference explores Adventist identity] ". "Record" 2006] " [http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/doctrines/au2002conference/2002retrospect.htm The "Being Adventist" Conference in Retrospect] ", a report and consensus statement] brief news article on p.3 of the [http://www.adventist.org.au/ws/spdlive.nsf/vwDisplay/9C88062CADE5F584CA2570610004D02D/$file/r32.pdf#page=3 August 20, 2005] issue of "Record"] Arthur Patrick. "Adventist Studies: An Annotated Introduction for Higher Degree Students", May 2006. Prepared for Avondale College. ( [http://www.avondale.edu.au/courses/postgraduate/adventist_studies.pdf Online version] - without footnotes; probably an earlier version)] Keynote speakers have been Fritz Guy at the September 13–15, 2002 conference, "Being Adventist in 21st Century Australia" ( [http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/doctrines/au2002conference/guy/index.htm papers] available online), Bill Johnsson in the August 22–24, 2003 conference, "Hebrews for Aussies in Century 21", Alden Thompson in 2004, and Kendra Haloviak in 2005. [" [http://news.adventist.org/data/2006/1139509497/index.html.en South Pacific: Conference Explores Adventist Identity] " from Adventist News Network. Conference held January 30 – February 2, 2006] It was initiated by the "Membership and Relational Issues Committee" which formed in 2001.


Student publications include the "Orana", "a means of introducing students and staff to each other" early in the semester, and the yearbook "Jacaranda". The weekly campus newsletters is named "Connections". [ [http://www.avondale.edu.au/information::Avondale_Publications/ Avondale Publications] , from the Avondale College website. Accessed 2007-05-27]

Now-famous actor Russell Crowe featured in a video "A Very Special Person" in the early 1980s promoting the theology course at Avondale when he was just 18. [" [http://www.imdb.com/news/wenn/2001-03-22#celeb9 Russell's Priestly Past] " from the Internet Movie Database Movie/TV News for 22 March 2001]

ee also

*List of Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities
*Australian Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
*Cooranbong, New South Wales


Other resources

* "Avondale: Experiment on the Dora" by Milton Hook. Cooranbong, New South Wales: Avondale Academic Press, 1998
* "Avondale and the South Pacific: 100 Years of Mission" ed. Barry Oliver, Alex S. Currie, and Douglas E. Robertson (Cooranbong, New South Wales: Avondale Academic Press, 1997)
* "The Changing Role of Ellen G. White in Seventh-day Adventism With Reference to Sociocultural Standards at Avondale College" by Michael Chamberlain (Ph.D. thesis, University of Newcastle, 2001). Rewritten as the forthcoming book "Beyond Ellen White: Seventh-day Adventism in Transition — A Sociological History and Analysis of the Australian Church and its Higher Education System" (2008) [http://www.michaelchamberlain.com.au/books.html announced]
* "Revisioning Mission: Avondale’s Greater Vision" by Stephen J. Currow (Cooranbong, New South Wales: Avondale Academic Press, 2000)

External links

* [http://www.avondale.edu.au/ Avondale College] official website
* [http://college.adventist.org.au/ Avondale College Church] official website
* [http://adventist.org.au/about_adventists/history/adventism_in_the_south_pacific/australia/avondale_college History of Avondale College] from adventist.org.au
*" [http://www.iamaonline.com/history/Music%20at%20Avondale%20College.htm Music at Avondale College: An Historical Overview] " by Dan Shultz and Robb Dennis. "Notes" (the journal of the International Adventist Musicians Association) winter/spring 2008

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