“Though primary education for children was advocated by Adventists during the 1850s and 1860s, it was not until the early 1870s that the newly budding Adventist Church began to recognise and develop a denominationally-based school system. The Adventist interests in propagating education was founded upon the philosophy that students at all levels of schooling possess individuality and should be educated to use their God-given capacities to become individuals of principle, qualified for any position of life. Education was to begin in the home, where the basic values of redemptive discipline and mental and physical health were to be balanced with the importance of work.
“Since these early days Adventists have embraced the philosophy that education should be redemptive in nature, for the purpose of restoring human beings to the image of God, our Creator. Mental, physical, social, and spiritual health, intellectual growth, and service to humanity form a core of values that are essential aspects of the Adventist education philosophy.” (Department of Education of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists 2008)
In 1887, the Seventh Day Adventist Church appointed W. W. Prescott to the position of Secretary of Education (Floyd Greenleaf 2005). W. W. Prescott started his career as a teacher, and throughout his life he demonstrated passion in serving families through education, allowing children to become responsible, successful and joyous members of God’s family.
Here in South Australia:
From the earliest days, Seventh-day Adventists have made a concerted effort to provide Christian education. Prescott College forms an integral part of the City of Prospect’s heritage; the first church school opened in 1906 in a classroom that was attached to the back of the Prospect Seventh-day Adventist church. A church member donated bricks that had been purchased for building a house, which were then used to construct a school building. When it opened, 15 pupils attended. The school closed briefly in 1917, then re-opened in May 1920.
In 1936 the private school was transferred to its present location in Koonga Avenue, Prospect, north of Adelaide. It initially consisted of a two-roomed structure, with additional rooms being added as required. From 1936 until 1973 it functioned as a combined primary and secondary school; however, conditions during the Second World War necessitated high school work being temporarily suspended. This was recommenced at the war’s end. The school first operated as a 12-grade school in 1952. A separate woodwork unit was built in 1955. In 1962 the enrolments were: 100 students with a staff of 7 teachers, 2 in primary and 5 in the secondary section. There were state examinations up to Matriculation level (Year 11 equivalent).
In 1971, additional land was acquired and a new high school block was built. Long-range plans saw the school function solely as a secondary school from 1973. With the passing years, neighbouring properties have been bought until sufficient space was available to build a new wing containing additional classrooms, administration space and Industrial Technology workshops. Today, our campus is fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and can accommodate up to 250 students.
Department of Education of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists 2008, Departmental History
Floyd Greenleaf 2005, Timeline For Seventh-day Adventist Education, Journal of Adventist Education