St Andrew's Theological College, founded in Sydney in 1986, is the only civilly accredited Orthodox tertiary institution of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
During the Fourth Clergy-Laity Congress (1981), the first during the term of Archbishop Stylianos, the delegates adopted, among other resolutions, his urgent proposal for the establishment of a Theological College as soon as possible. To this end, the Legal Adviser of the Archdiocesan Council, Sir Arthur George, pledged a contribution
In May 1984, Archbishop Stylianos appointed an Interim Committee (consisting of the Very Rev. Fr Miltiades Chryssavgis who was Vicar General at that time, Rev. Dr John Chryssavgis as Secretary, Mr Michael Diamond, Assoc. Prof. Emmanuel Aroney, and Dr Harry Simmons) in order to consider and suggest ways of facilitating the operation of the Theological College and to prepare a suggested curriculum of studies. After a comparative study and research, the Interim Committee presented its report, which was received and approved by the Archbishop.
Consequently, at the meeting of the Archdiocesan Property Trust held in Sydney, 13th December 1984, three committees were appointed:
- A Building Committee, consisting of Sir Arthur George, Mr Niketas Katris and Mr Peter Confos.
- An Administrative Council, consisting of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, Sir Arthur George, Mr Michael Barbouttis, Mr Michael Diamond, and Mr George Pappas.
- An Academic Committee, consisting of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, Very Rev. Miltiades Chryssavgis, Rev. Dr John Chryssavgis, Prof. Alexander Cambitoglou, Assoc. Prof. Emmanuel Aroney and Dr Harry Simmons.
The opening of the Theological College became mandatory by virtue of the very nature of the mission of the Church in Australia. There was need for a Theological School that would be primarily dedicated to theological study in co-operation with other Theological Colleges.
Heads of Theological Colleges of other Churches looked forward to what would be offered them: the great scriptural commentaries, the writings of the Greek Fathers, the Orthodox liturgy, iconography and spirituality. It was hoped that a centre of theological reflection and ecumenical dialogue would be created, offering the Orthodox world-view and perspective.
As a result of these coordinated efforts, the College was finally opened on the 23rd February, 1986. The Dean of the Patriarchal Theological School of Halki, Metropolitan Maximos of Stavroupolis, was present, having been invited especially for the occasion. He brought with him a congratulatory message from Ecumenical Patriarch Demetrios I. The Premier of New South Wales, Hon. Neville Wran, was also present.
St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College is already enabling the Church to meet its pastoral needs, in our own times and in our own environment, while at the same time preserving a balanced view of Orthodox tradition and life.