Didn’t know Hillsong Church had a college that has classes for worship leadership? Neither did we. So when we found out, we asked Hillsong’s Aaron Mullay to share a little bit about the program and how it’s connected to the church.
Tell us a bit about the school.
Hillsong College is a Life-Leadership Training institution that comes out of the life of Hillsong Church & the vision of Pastors Brian & Bobbie Houston. It has been running since 1988. It has 1,100 Full time students plus multiple students in evening college courses & specific leadership. Hillsong College has Australian Government Accreditation in the Vocational Training area and is therefore able to enroll International Students.
What is the general mission/purpose for the school?
Our mission flows out of the mission of our Church: So for us specifically as a college that looks like reaching & influencing the world by building a large-Christ Centered Bible-Based college, changing mindsets & empowering people to lead & impact in every sphere of life, with a specific & purposed focus on the raising, training, equipping & sending of the future leaders of the Global Church.
Where do your students come from?
They come from over 65 different nations including Australia, The United States, South Korea, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, The United Kingdom & many Scandinavian Countries. Over 80% of our students are international.
Why did a Hillsong church decide to start a college? How does that fit into the overall mission?
Pastor Brian many years ago sat down at his desk & began to write the Church that he saw but didn’t yet exist. As part of this “vision statement” he penned, “The Church that I see is a Church so committed to raising, training and empowering a leadership generation to reap the end-time harvest that all its ministries are consumed with this goal.” Therefore Hillsong College is as much a part of the vision of Hillsong Church as any other department or ministry. We are ultimately all part of one vision & therefore we don’t have a vision for Hillsong College, we as Hillsong College have a vision for Hillsong Church.
Do students in the music program have the opportunity to play on Hillsong’s worship team? Where else do they get plugged in for ministry purposes?
Yes the majority of our students all have opportunity to either play, sing, mix sound, create videos or dance on one of our Church platforms. At Hillsong we have in our Australia Campuses & extensions 36 services plus youth & Children’s service, so there is plenty of opportunity for our students to be involved. The student body of Hillsong College serves right across the breadth of our Church
What have the graduated classes gone on to pursue? What does this college equip them for in the real world?
We recently received some feedback from numbers of our graduating students across the last 20 years & it was really encouraging to read that the majority of our students seem to continue to Love Jesus, Love people, not only attend but continue to serve faithfully in a local Church, whether that be in a Church-Ministry capacity or in the marketplace. As already mentioned, the outcomes that Hillsong Church is believing for are that all of our people, including our students, would lead & impact like Christ in every area of their lives. So we have students who then pursue careers outside the church, we have graduates who work with Para-Church organizations & many Alumni Pastoring Churches, leading Worship Teams, leading Dance Ministries & TV Ministries in local churches & beyond.
What are some of the unique programs you offer, and how does it differ from worship studies at other schools?
We are a skills-based training institution & therefore we give our students the opportunity to quickly apply the knowledge they are learning in classes in a practical way, be that musically, relationally or in a leadership capacity. So for example, a first year student will have a music theory & application class & then not long after, go to our musicians, vocalists or song writers workshop & apply the knowledge they’ve learned, thus turning that into a skill that can bring competently. One of the other unique opportunities for our students is that they become immersed in our Hillsong Creative Team, & this is a significant place where they see the skills they are learning applied in a variety of settings by staff members & volunteers – thus they are immersed into what is hopefully healthy, growing & thriving.
Who are some of your faculty? How intimately is the faculty involved with the students?
- Pastors Brian & Bobbie Houston are the Senior Pastors of Hillsong Church & Presidents of Hillsong College, without them our college wouldn’t exist.
- Pastor Mark Hopkins is our Executive Vice President & has been in this role for the past 17 years.
- Pastors Lee Burns & Catrina Henderson are our Campus Principals, overseeing the running of our Hills & City Campuses respectively.
- Juliette & Adam Spurling pastor our new students & their initial integration into College & Church Life as well as the Australian way of life
Our staff are very much hands-on in the training of our students, specifically focusing on seeing them raised, trained, equipped & sent as Christ-Like people & people who want to lead in life & make a difference as
What is the next step of action I should take if I were interested?
The best place to find out about Hillsong College & Hillsong Church including our variety of courses would be to visit our websites
1. Hillsong College – www.hillsongcollege.com
2. Hillsong Church – www.hillsongchurch.com
3. The Project – theproject.hillsongcollege.com – this will give you a glimpse into the creative & artistic environment within our college
This should help considerably in answering any questions you might have.
From there please feel free to either contact me at [email protected] or give us a call on +61 2 8853 5200.