A New Era

Sixty years ago, in 1958, the College experienced one of the most momentous changes in its history.

From 1890 to 1892, the focus of the College was on providing a secondary education for potential teachers in Lutheran primary schools. In 1893 the educational scope was widened to include the training of pastors, an arrangement which continued after the move from Murtoa, Victoria, to the present site in Highgate.

However, from the beginning of 1958 the secondary school department of Concordia and the section for the training of pastors were separated into two distinct institutions – Concordia College and Concordia Seminary.

The two Concordias continued to share the dining room as well as sporting facilities; and for a while seminary lecturers continued to teach some of the languages at the College.

This division had implications for sport, as inter-school teams no longer benefited from the skilled participation of older students. To fill the roles previously held by seminary students, a sports master was appointed and a groundsman became responsible for the preparation of sporting facilities.

It was soon clear that the creation of two separate institutions had immediate benefits in freeing up learning spaces for a rapidly increasing student population. Enrolment numbers continued to rise - from 187 in 1958 to 280 in 1962. A Year 9 boy from 1958 remembers that there were now more classrooms available for College students.

The photo shows the Concordia Seminary which was dedicated on 16 February 1958. The building later housed the Lutheran Teachers College, and eventually provided classrooms for the College before it was demolished in 2009 to make way for Murtoa.

Jenni van Wageningen

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