History of Schools

The following extract from the schools constitution explains our history in brief
A. By way of the history and origin of the College, the following excerpt is offered from a memorandum by the College Visionary to the Board of Directors of Strathalbyn Christian Schools Inc., dated 9th December 1997.

“ ….Upon assuming leadership of the church with Heather in 1986, circumstances dictated we had to stop providing a bus service to local families to take their children to Bethesda Christian College (Plympton), and we recognised that the Lord , through a ’shrunk’ church budget, was telling us to start a local Christian school so that our country community could enjoy the blessings of Christian schooling enjoyed by some of our church families. By this time the disadvantage country families faced in lack of choice for the education of their children had also deeply registered (city parents having a choice of literally dozens of schools to which they might send their children). There was a desire to not only see a school established for our local families, but also to see it propagate to other country communities so they, too, could have a Christian option for the education of their children - hence our vision to see a school established in Strathalbyn and Murray Bridge.”

The rest is history, but I present it to you to recall the key issues that were on my heart when the Lord “spoke" to us & led us to initiate the process that would lead to the school establishment; i.e.,

1. A Christian training environment that is sensitive to the Holy Spirit & that provides a balanced program catering for the development of whole person (child) - spirit, soul and body, fostering a passion for excellence in the student. Committed staff that actively care & pray for children (1:1 basis) and discern (1:1 basis) their needs and respond to them are vital!

Ephesians 4:12 - 16; 4:24 -5:1. Colossians 3:23.

2. The opportunity to impart to children basic leadership skills that would help them be effective & fulfilled in their relationships and have a positive influence for Christ in the community when they took up their place/role within it. I think every father wants their children to benefit from their own experiences - they want them to have a "head start" by benefiting from accumulated wisdom (& don't make the same mistakes they did) ; they desire to see them even more blessed than they were !

Philippians 2:2 - 11. Luke 9:23-24. Judges 7:17.
( A progression through the 3 Scriptures !)

Accordingly I offer the following thoughts concerning the corporate plan:-


Recognising that children are gifts from God, Murraylands Christian College – Murray Bridge exists as a ministry of Emmanuel Christian Outreach Inc. to provide a balanced education which imparts Christian values and develops the leadership potential of all students.

The fact that children are recognised as a gift from God predicates everything we undertake as a school. Each student is seen as a unique, irreplaceable and important bearer of the Father's image (Gen. 1:27), a walking miracle of immense potential and worth. Our privilege is to co-operate with parents and the Holy Spirit to see that the God-given gifting and calling of each child fulfilled as much as we are able. We believe that as a gift, each child has a unique destiny in life and that teachable skills in interpersonal relationships will facilitate a successful fulfilment of that destiny.

By "balanced education" is meant curricula which cater for the development of the whole person (spirit, soul & body) and which embraces a good range of contemporary skills and subject matter to equip a student for a range of different employment- and career-, pathways after leaving college.

By "Christian Values" is meant an active, ongoing relationship with Christ and all that this implies, together with adoption by each student of the moral code & ethical principles espoused in the Bible and by the Christian lifestyle in particular.

By "leadership potential" is meant the inculcation of the qualities and interpersonal skills given in and expanded upon in the writings on contemporary & biblical leadership theory by authors such as R. J. Clinton and F. Damazio respectively……”

Lew McMaster,
Founding Chairman,
Board of Directors, Strathalbyn Christian School

B. The head of this College shall at all times be recognised as the Lord Jesus Christ and it’s affairs shall be conducted in such a manner as to bring honour to Him; He alone is the sole recipient of praise for the success of the College (Isa 42:8) since He is the giver of every good gift and our charge is to be faithful in the application of our given gifts and talents for His purposes. In this regard the ministry team of staff, volunteers College Board of Governors and ECSM Council are to be viewed as an integrated entity where each part is necessary and valued. (1Cor.12)

C. This College is Christian ministry offered to the wider Body of Christ for the purposes of enlarging and strengthening the Kingdom of God and encouraging children and young people to be disciples of Jesus Christ.

D. The values esteemed by the College founders are those held forth in Scripture where themes of mercy, love and grace, along with accountability prevail. Accordingly decisions of management and direction should be cognisant of such values and not be guided by purely administrative rationale alone. The need to conduct college affairs in a manner pleasing to God is vital to its ongoing effectiveness as a Christian ministry. Relationships are therefore valued along with a concern for others in the wider community in which the College functions.

E. The intent of the College founders was to see the College develop as a ministry which all members of the local community could afford to access; their policy was that no child should be denied access to a Christian education because of poverty or low income, and every effort was made to design a fee package which was affordable, preserving the principle that a contribution proportionate to family income should be made by the family of the enrolling student. Associated with this policy was a need to guard against the development of an elitist (prideful) attitude or image for the college.

F. This College was founded upon a direct “word” from God as perceived by the college founders, the essence of which is captured by the statements of vision, mission and corporate objectives. Faith-filled obedience to this “word” is considered vital to the blessing of God upon the service that is rendered in His name within the College.
G. Following the formation of Emanuel Christian Schools and Ministries Inc. it was resolved to further simplify and streamline the management of the school ministries (Murraylands Christian College and Murray Bridge Christian College) by forming a common Board of Governors. To enable this outcome constitutions for both Colleges were amended and in 2008, the Colleges went under a name change (Murraylands Christian College to Murraylands Christian College – Strathalbyn, and Murray Bridge Christian College to Murraylands Christian College – Murray Bridge) and a Head of Schools position was created to synchronise the delivery of educational services and the implement action of school policies.