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Avondale College of Higher Education
Avondale College of Higher Education is a private institution established in 1897. Its undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational courses seek to develop the whole person.
Avondale's founders were educational reformers who believed excellence in learning would be incomplete unless integrated with issues of faith and the spiritual life. However, they also believed education needed to be practical and effectively equip graduates with skills for work.
This philosophy appeals to students, who, according to The Good Universities Guide 2012
, continue to give Avondale one of the highest "educational experience" ratings in the country. More than 1300--a record--are enrolled at Avondale. About half of undergraduates are boarding students.
Courses at Avondale include undergraduate degrees in arts, business and information technology, education, nursing and health, science and mathematics and theology. Postgraduate master's degrees are available in arts, education, leadership and management, nursing and health and theology. Doctorate degrees are available in education, health studies, history and theology. Vocational studies include general studies and outdoor recreation.
All courses have accreditation with the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Education and Training and, where appropriate, with relevant professional bodies. Avondale is a registered provider of higher education courses (NSW) and a higher education provider (Commonwealth). And it appears in the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). Avondale has memoranda of understandings/cooperation with Mission College in Thailand, Hong Kong Adventist College and Samhyook University in South Korea.
Avondale is an entity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific and welcomes a growing number of students of other faith traditions who desire higher education in a Christian context.
Avondale has two campuses, both in New South Wales. The Lake Macquarie campus is in a rural setting in the town of Cooranbong. The Sydney campus, home to the Faculty of Nursing and Health, is in the North Shore suburb of Wahroonga, adjacent to the Sydney Adventist Hospital, the largest single campus private hospital in the state.
Avondale College of Higher Education president Dr Ray Roennfeldt graduated as a registered nurse from Sydney Adventist Hospital's School of Nursing in 1969. He then completed a Bachelor of Arts in theology at Avondale, graduating in 1973. He has also earned a Master of Arts in religion and a Doctor of Philosophy from Andrews University (Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA). His thesis for the latter analysed and critiqued Christian theologian, apologist and author Clark H Pinnock's shift in his doctrine of biblical authority and reliability.
Ray feels called to Christian ministry and leadership. He has served as a local Seventh-day Adventist church minister in southern New South Wales and as a district director and educator in Papua New Guinea. He began lecturing at Avondale in 1991 and was a senior lecturer in and dean of the Faculty of Theology before becoming president. He is widely published as a presenter of papers at academic conferences and as the author of articles and book reviews in academic and denominational journals. Ray says his ability to care for and lead others is "dependent on maintaining my personal spirituality, my family and personal relationships and my professional relationships. My capacity for ministry and leadership is dependent on my being a person of genuine openness and ethical integrity."
Ray believes firmly in the importance of mission. He calls it a "vital" part of spiritual growth, and hopes to create more ways for college students to experience the miracle of mission.
for a photograph of Ray.