Hillsong International Leadership College

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Hillsong College
MottoRaise, Equip, Empower, Release
Established1983 (City)
1988 (Hills)
PresidentBrian and Bobbie Houston
Vice-presidentLee Burns
PrincipalAngela Bachtle
DeanDuncan Corby
Location, ,
33°53′52″S 151°12′32″E / 33.897895°S 151.208872°E / -33.897895; 151.208872Coordinates: 33°53′52″S 151°12′32″E / 33.897895°S 151.208872°E / -33.897895; 151.208872
CampusBaulkham Hills, NSW
Waterloo, NSW
AffiliationsAustralian Christian Churches
Hillsong Church

Hillsong College, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, is the training college of Hillsong Church, a Pentecostal Christian church affiliated with the Assemblies of God. The college operates from the church's two main locations, in Baulkham Hills and Waterloo. Brian and Bobbie Houston are the presidents of the college and Lee Burns is the Executive Vice-President.


Hillsong International Leadership College was established as an integral part of the overall national and international ministries of Hillsong Church.[1] Hillsong Church as it is today is the combination of two churches, the former Hills Christian Life Centre and the former Sydney Christian Life Centre, which joined in 1999 and operates out of two main locations in Waterloo and Baulkham Hills with contributing extension services citywide. Historically, HILC emerged from two separate entities founded by the two churches that are now Hillsong Church. However both Colleges were integrally connected from the beginning and developed along the lines of a similar ethos. The shared goal was to provide a training centre that specialised in ministry and leadership development and was grounded in the local church setting. The two separate campuses that exist today have their own unique history:

City campus[edit]

What is now known as the City campus of HILC, began in 1983 as the International Institute for Creative Ministries (IICM) under the aegis of Sydney Christian Life Centre. IICM was founded by Pastor David Johnston. The curriculum centred largely on the creative arts including music, dance, drama and visual arts in both church and secular contexts. Ministry, theology and missions were also incorporated in the courses. In 1990, Robert Fergusson became Principal, taking the reins from David Johnston, and led the college to focus more on practical ministry training in the local church setting. College classes were moved back to the church venue and in 1993, the name was changed to Aquila College of Ministries to reflect this shift.

Hills campus[edit]

The Hills campus of HILC began as the training arm of Hills Christian Life Centre in 1988 as an extension of IICM. It began under the leadership of Ian Fuller with around 75 students. It was known as Power Ministry School, soon after to become Power Ministry College in 1992 under the direction of Steve Kelly. In 1993 the Hillsong School was established to provide training for Christian musicians. As well, a School of Music was established to nurture young musicians. Mark Hopkins became Director in 1996 and the name changed to Hills Leadership College, incorporating the Hillsong School and the School of Music. In 1998, Marilyn Brett joined the faculty as Principal of the Hillsong School, replacing Cathy Coluccio as well as Max Zalakos, who was Principal of the Leadership College from 1991 to 1997.

One college[edit]

In 1999 Hills Christian Life Centre joined with Sydney Christian Life Centre, its 'parent church', and became Hillsong Church. During 1999, preparation began to bring the two colleges together and at the beginning of 2000, Aquila College of Ministries and Hills Leadership College officially became one. The new College became Hillsong International Leadership College, with two campuses: City and Hills. Duncan Corby was appointed Principal of the City campus, while Marilyn Brett remained Principal of the Hills Campus. As Hillsong International Leadership College, the student population has grown rapidly to approximately 1,500 full-time students across the two campuses, with a majority of students studying from overseas.

Hillsong College USA[edit]

In 2018, it was announced that Hillsong College will be opening its first USA campus in Phoenix, Arizona. It is set to open fall 2019 at its Mesa campus.

Courses offered[edit]

Hillsong International Leadership College offers courses that give different awards,[2] which are:

Vocational Courses (VET):

  • Certificate IV in Ministry (one year)
  • Diploma of Ministry (two years)
  • Advanced Diploma in Ministry (three years)

Higher Education Courses:

  • Bachelor of Theology
  • Bachelor of Ministry
  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Theology
  • Master of Leadership
  • Degree Online

Each course (year of study) within the VET program have different streams that the student can choose between. A stream is a specific focus of study. There are five streams all in all, plus the ability to do a Bachelor of Theology. The student can change stream at the end of each year of study, so if a student chooses a stream that only runs for one or two years, and wishes to continue to study for higher awards, the student can transfer into the second or third year of a different stream that runs for longer.

Furthermore, some stream allows for the ability to choose pathway, which is a further focus of study within that stream.

Worship music[edit]

The worship music stream can be studied as part of a student's first, second and third year.

The pathways in this stream are:

  • Vocal focus
  • Musician focus (with a focus on a specific instrument)
  • Song writing focus

Pastoral Leadership[edit]

The Pastoral Leadership stream can be studied as part of a students first, second and third year.

The pathways in this stream are:

  • Church Ministry
  • Youth
  • Young Adults (18-35 age)
  • Kids
  • Pastoral Care
  • Social Justice & Community Engagement
  • Events


The Dance stream can be studied as part of a student's first year, and have no pathways.

TV and media[edit]

The TV and media stream can be studied as part of a student's first or second year and have no pathways.


The Production stream focuses on sound engineering and planning of events. It can be studied as part of a student's first year, and has no pathways.


Since January 2006 Hillsong International Leadership College, in association with Alphacrucis College, has offered a degree program. The Bachelor of Theology is designed and delivered by Alphacrucis on the Hillsong College campus.[3]


The college was approved as a Registered Training Organisation in December 2002. Current courses are all accredited by the Australian government and include the Certificate IV in Ministry, the Diploma of Ministry and the Advanced Diploma in Ministry. The advanced diploma combines lecture-based classes with a part-time internship for students alongside Hillsong Church staff in a variety of church and ministry departments.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Justin Beaumont, Christopher Baker, Postsecular Cities: Space, Theory and Practice, A&C Black, UK, 2011, p. 60
  2. ^ http://hillsong.com/college/courses
  3. ^ http://hillsong.com/college/degree

External links[edit]