Longburn Adventist College (LAC) is a Year 7 to 13 Christian high school that has provided Christian education in a caring family environment since 1908. LAC is a co-educational day and boarding school set in dairy country, five minutes south of Palmerston North and only a kilometre or two from the Longburn Fonterra plant.
The boarding establishment, which is called LAC House, is set on extensive park-like grounds and is surrounded by some neighbourly farmers. Students come from Palmerston North itself, around New Zealand from as far as Kerikeri to Invercargill, and around the South Pacific and Asia.
LAC has excellent academic results and retention rates, both of which are well above national averages. Coming to LAC is like finding another family.
Part of a Global Education Network
LAC is a member of Adventist Education New Zealand; an affiliate of the worldwide Adventist education system, which is the largest Protestant educational system in the world. Also, we are a member of the Association of Integrated Schools (AIS) and the New Zealand Association of Christian Schools (NZACS).
As an integrated school, Longburn Adventist College is owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church (the Proprietor of the school is the New Zealand Seventh-day Adventist Schools Association Limited). Longburn Adventist College is funded for operation by the government and administered by the Board of Trustees which meets twice each school term.
The school’s mission statement clarifies the school’s goals; we believe that LAC is a family and that everyone belongs, that when the values are right, the results will follow.
The college was founded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1908 and originally sited at Pukekura, near Cambridge. The founder principal was Pastor Frank Chaney from Massachusetts. Not only was he the principal, but he was responsible for the design and construction of the original school, built largely with volunteer student labour.
A decision was made to relocate the college to Longburn in 1913 to be closer to the centre of the country’s population at that time. Initially the college at Longburn was known as the ‘Oroua Missionary College’.
In those early days the focus was on training young people for missionary service and most students worked, as well as studied, to pay their fees. The college ran a dairy farm, commercial vegetable garden, glasshouses, a basket factory and a lampshade business and it was from these enterprises that students earned their fees. Subjects originally offered included building construction, agriculture, secretarial and Bible work.
Following World War Two, secondary school classes were added to the courses offered at Longburn and in the 1960s the first year of a BA in Theology could be completed here. Primary teacher training was offered in the early 1970s until 1990. Up until the 1970s most Longburn students were boarders, but day students began to increase in numbers as local residents took advantage of the secondary schooling offered at Longburn.
In the late 1980s the college began to struggle for student numbers as the fees needed to run a private school excluded a number of potential students.
In 1993 Longburn became a fully state-integrated school operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and student numbers have increased to the point where they hold around the 280-300 mark each year.
Longburn Adventist College is now a Year 7-13 school with the majority of our students being day students, mainly from the Palmerston North area.
College Names since 1908
Pukekura Training School (Cambridge): 1908-1912
Oroua Missionary College: 1913-1923
New Zealand Missionary College: 1924-1966
Longburn College: 1967-1985
Longburn Adventist College: 1986-present