Education Matters

Head Master: The Christian foundation of the School

Posted by Tim Bowden on Mar 5, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Head Master: The Christian foundation of the SchoolBy Tim Bowden, Head Master

The guiding educational philosophy of Trinity Grammar School is Christian in its foundation and its expression. Trinity is a Christian school. More precisely, it is a school that stands in the evangelical Anglican tradition that is characteristic of the Diocese of Sydney. This Christian ethos has been consistently reinforced and adhered to by the School Council, the School’s Head Masters, and the School’s shared traditions and practices over the decades, and it is evidenced in our motto, our mission, and our educational principles.

Consequently, it follows that students at Trinity will encounter Christian people, Christian ideas, and Christian ways of viewing the world. They will study the Bible in class, they will hear the Christian gospel proclaimed, and they will experience Christian expressions of faith in hymn singing, prayer and Bible-reading. They will have the opportunity to question, to challenge and to explore the Christian faith. Our hope is that they will develop an understanding of the Christian faith and, perhaps, a personal commitment to Jesus Christ.

The School does not proselytise, coerce or indoctrinate; rather, we aim to embody, to articulate and to commend. We want Trinity students to develop their capacity to critically evaluate ideas, to weigh arguments, and to consider possibilities. There is no requirement or compulsion to agree with the Christian faith as it is encountered in the School; in the marketplace of ideas, worldviews will stand or fall on their merits, plausibility and coherence.

This Christian foundation of the School finds its expression in myriad ways throughout the School, not just in formal activities. The values that we seek to instil in students are grounded in Christian virtues. For example, the respect that we show to others arises from the recognition of the imago Dei (image of God) in each person. Another example can be seen in our disciplinary processes, which recognise that there is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, and which attempt to establish justice in our community. Yet another example may be seen in the School’s care for students, particularly the most vulnerable; in going the extra mile for those who are most in need, we are obeying the command of Jesus to love others. It is not possible to be a member of our School community and be ‘protected’ from Christianity. The faith underpins and permeates our identity and our culture. The School cannot be fully understood without reference to our Christian foundation.

It is worth noting that, in an increasingly diverse and multicultural society, the foundational Christian principles of the School may not always be recognised or understood. In fact, Christian convictions may be unfamiliar to, or sit uncomfortably with, members of the Trinity community who hold different views or convictions. This is the reality of living in a diverse community such as modern Australia; consequently, it is a significant challenge that our students will continue to encounter in the years to come. Individually and corporately, we need to learn how to live well with one another, whatever the differences in our deep convictions.

The School motto ‘detur gloria soli deo’ means ‘Let glory be given to God alone’. Chosen by the forefathers of the School in 1915, the motto evokes the motive that lies behind all that this School has been and become through its history. It continues to undergird and orient us still.

Detur gloria soli deo.


At Trinity Grammar School our mission is to provide a thoroughly Christian education for boys, imparting knowledge and understanding of the world we live in, recognising the importance of spiritual qualities in every sphere of learning. We actively encourage our students to grow in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man, so that they may become responsible, contributing members of society. We strive to promote the spiritual, academic, social, physical and cultural development of our boys, based on a biblical understanding of the Christian faith.

To learn more about the Trinity difference and to discover why we’re one of Sydney’s leading schools for boys, download our prospectus.

Trinity prospectus download

Topics: Trinity difference, Christianity, Religious education