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1 September 2021

Our Purpose in Education

  • From the Director of Studies ELC-12

In a newsletter article in Term 1, I highlighted that our Emmaus staff are currently reviewing the purpose behind the education we provide at our College. This process is ongoing; however, I wish to share with you some thoughts regarding the broad themes we have agreed upon so far.


Our heritage began in 1979, with the motto, “Jesus Christ is Lord”. All things that we attempt and strive for at Emmaus Christian College are rooted in this declaration. It is our foundation. The education we provide is founded in our submission to our Saviour. Our distinctive purpose is a response to the person, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All other elements of our purpose stem from, and are integrated with, the idea that we are in submission to our King, Jesus.

We want our students to BELONG

Stemming from our roots, and central to our core purpose, is to encourage students to know that they belong. We desire for our young people to live and flourish within community. At Emmaus Christian College, we prioritise positive relationships; between students, teachers, parents, and the wider community. We want our students to know others and to be known. A sense of belonging comes from our positive interactions with others, but also by learning about what has come before us. At Emmaus, we want students to know the history of humanity, how cultures have been formed and that we are an integral part of God’s Big Story.

We want our students to FLOURISH

We believe that the discovery of who one is in Christ is essential to human flourishing.

“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.” Ephesians 1:11 (MSG)

We want our students to discover their personal identity and image. This is best rooted in the idea of “Jesus Christ is Lord”. The Emmaus Christian community empowers students to find their individual strengths, talents and interests. We believe that God has gifted us with these attributes for the purpose of serving the wider community, and as such, cannot be disconnected from our sense of belonging. We desire our students to increasingly become independent, so they can stand on their own two feet, thinking and acting autonomously. However, this is not for an individualistic cause. It is our desire that students know they have been designed to work interdependently with the Triune God, and others, to fulfil the plans He has for them.

We want our students to THINK

All aspects of our purpose are connected to learning. In addition to discovering their purpose in Christ, and finding belonging within community, we specifically want our students to learn how to think. As I argued in a previous newsletter, the most effective way to teach young people how to think is to encourage them to continually build their knowledge. We want students to have a broad knowledge about the world and how it works; about how to understand and use language; and about the Arts and Technologies. There are too many areas to list! A deep knowledge of the disciplines provides the most effective foundation for our students to think critically and creatively in all spheres of life. Despite the importance of knowledge, we know that this alone is not enough. Wisdom is applied knowledge.

When students learn about the world and its history through a Biblical lens, young people can discern the truth when confronted with alternative perspectives.

We want our students to RESPOND

At the heart of the education we provide at Emmaus Christian College, is our desire for young people to respond to God’s call on their life. Ultimately, regardless of their future careers and occupations, we pray that our students take the knowledge and skills they learned at Emmaus, to serve the communities they join in the future. It brings us great joy to envision our students taking the sense of belonging they felt while studying at Emmaus, and using this to reach out into the world and let others know they are loved also. Both in and outside of our school gates, our hope is for the Emmaus Christian community to 'act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their God'. (Micah 6:8).

The process of articulating our educational purpose is ongoing and we look forward to sharing more of this development with the College community in the coming months. To aide in this endeavour, feel free to contact me via email if something regarding these broad themes resonated with you.

Adrian Cotterell
Director of Studies F-12