The mission of Saint Athanasius College is to endow our students with a deep appreciation and understanding of Orthodox Christianity and Coptic heritage, through scholarship, research and the pursuit of academic excellence following the tradition of the Catechetical School of Alexandria. We aim to foster spiritual growth and to develop the gifts of each individual through the pursuit of prayer, knowledge, communication, service and fellowship to each other, through the grace of God.
The College’s vision is to become a theological teaching institute that is recognised both nationally and internationally, simultaneously building a library and resources unique in the southern hemisphere. The College views its position as a centre of excellence in teaching and research in the fields of Orthodox theology, ministry and Coptic studies.
- To uphold the Orthodox tradition and faith of the church.
- To uphold the forms of the Church’s life namely koinonia, didache, leitourgia and kerygma.
- To value the dignity of all members of the College community and guard freedom from all forms of discrimination.
- To engage, develop and contribute to the spiritual formation of each individual who comes in contact with the College.
- To interact with the wider community on the local, national and international levels.
- To encourage dialogue with the various Christian denominations.
- To promote professional and nurturing relationships between staff and students.
- To promote an atmosphere of enthusiasm, innovation and professionalism.
- To ensure an atmosphere of spirituality, and to encourage Christ-like behaviour.
The St Athanasius College crest represents the vision, mission and values of our Coptic Christian Orthodox learning community.
The Coptic cross design chosen for the SAC crest is modelled on Coptic woodwork in The Hanging Church of the Virgin Mary based in Old Cairo, Egypt. The woodwork frames a 14th century Icon of St Mark. The reused wooden frame, dates back to the 12th – 14th centuries. The frame has a series of Coptic cross patterns linked around the outer edge, which form the basis of our modernised SAC crest template.
The ancient Coptic cross from The Hanging Church has purposefully been placed in a contemporary design context. This is to represent a church that is ever ancient with a treasure trove of wisdom and knowledge; and ever new with a youthful energy that is creative, innovative and desiring to grow in a deeper love and knowledge of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and of humanity.
The Coptic Cross is at the heart of the crest. The cross represents Jesus Christ and the mystery of the Trinity as being central to our daily lives. Our faith is uniquely expressed through the Coptic Orthodox heritage, passed on to us through the generations from St Mark the Apostle, who was martyred for his Christian beliefs in Egypt.
In the same way our College namesake, St Athanasius, the 20th Patriarch of Alexandria, fought courageously for the truth. St Athanasius held hope and joy in the victory of Christ. This enabled Athanasius to stand firm in his convictions during the Nicene Council and throughout the Arian controversy. Not for nothing did Athanasius gain the title “Contra Mundum” (Against the World), for he was as steadfast in his faith and love for Christ as the martyrs who preceded him.
In this historical, cultural and theological backdrop we have chosen three colours for the crest to represent our learning community, seeking to grow in charity, as pilgrims sharing the journey to our heavenly homeland.
- The colour gold represents eternity and sanctity.
- The colour red represents redemption, salvation and the blood of martyrs.
- The colour blue represents our Heavenly homeland.