Martyn Smith, writing about Wesley College

Home
Related links
The Values, Philosophy and Ideology of the Culture of Wesley College
Reverend James S. Waugh
What it means to be a Christian School
The Importance of All
‘Open Entry’ in its Historical Context - Our Social Mission
John Wesley : Doing All The Good He Could
Select thoughts following Glen Waverley CMT Wesley Review Meeting
Methodist Archives and Research Centre

WESLEY'S HERITAGE
(August, 2000, at the request of College Principal David Loader for use in the preface of 'Strategy 2000')

Wesley College is founded in a person, John Wesley.

Wesley proclaimed, in his brother Charles’ words, God’s “undistinguishing regard” for all people.  Believing with St Peter that humanity “might be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), Wesley strove tirelessly to transform eighteenth century British society.  His was a radical, social and personal gospel that brought, amongst myriad other initiatives, an extensive network of common schools for the previously unschooled.

At Wesley College’s 1866 inauguration, James Waugh, its first President, proudly claimed “It is not too much to say that general education…was raised and stimulated by the Wesleyan revival.”

For Waugh, education was “not only giving instruction”, but also “to deal with body and mind…heart and conscience”.  He echoed Wesley, who aimed “to train up children in every branch of useful learning.”

Waugh’s Headmaster, James Corrigan (“we aim steadily at training into healthy development the whole nature of the pupil”) and, now, David Loader (“education must take into account the whole person”) evidence this tenet’s resilience.

Inclusive education for human fulfilment necessitated broad, adaptable curriculum and a welcoming environment.

College President Norman Young claimed in the 1986 ‘Wesley College Chronicle’ that John Wesley would conclude that the school’s modern expansive curriculum “lacked sufficient breadth”!  In 1866, though, Corrigan was able to report that his curriculum surpassed the ordinary, that school organisation was changing significantly and that “we felt free to avail ourselves of all its advantages from the first”.

Remarkably, James Waugh, also in 1866, affirmed that "The morals of all rightly conducted schools…are conformed to the character of a happy, cheerful home…so that every boy may feel that his teachers are among his best friends, and that the lines have fallen unto him in pleasant places."  This paralleled John Wesley’s parental passion for his Kingswood Schools and his joy in beholding the burgeoning Sunday Schools. 

Theologically sourced, Wesley College’s heritage professes the nurture of the goodness of all its students through education.

Related links
The Values, Philosophy and Ideology of the Culture of Wesley College
Reverend James S. Waugh
What it means to be a Christian School
The Importance of All
‘Open Entry’ in its Historical Context - Our Social Mission
John Wesley : Doing All The Good He Could
Select thoughts following Glen Waverley CMT Wesley Review Meeting
Methodist Archives and Research Centre
Home, incl. email Contents Return to Top