Introduction | College

What is Hillsong College

Hillsong International Leadership College is a part of the heartbeat and vision of Hillsong Church. Under the direction of Senior Pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston, the college is committed to raising, training and equipping a leadership generation for global influence, in accordance with the mandate of Hillsong Church.

Under the banner of Hillsong Church, we believe in offering every student the unique opportunity to be a part of a full discipleship and ministry training program. We believe our program will empower you to have your life transformed as you engage in the full breadth of our training experience. This transformation and training takes place in a number of ways:

  1. You will be totally immersed into the life of Hillsong Church – or your own local Sydney church – and be involved in the actual work of the ministry every week.
  2. You will learn skills for ministry from our Hillsong team and have the opportunity to outwork them on site, in a thriving local church.
  3. You will be an integral part of the ministry teams in our midweek programs, (eg. Sisterhood, Youth) as well as our large scale church events (eg. live album recordings, Colour Conference, Hillsong Conference).
  4. You will also be enrolled into one of our ministry training courses that will equip you to achieve a series of learning outcomes for effective ministry.

To help you maximise this exciting leadership journey, our College and Church team are committed to ensuring that you are developing in every area of your life.

Our goal is that you would not simply graduate with a training qualification, but a life transformed, by your investment into the whole discipleship process and our investment into each of you.

Contact Hillsong College

Hillsong International Leadership College has two major campuses:


 Hills Campus

Cnr Norwest Boulevard & Solent Circuit

Baulkham Hills  NSW  2153



Postal Address:

PO Box 1195

Castle Hill   NSW   1765



 Hills Contact Details

Phone(02) 8853 5200

Fax(02) 8853 5298






 City Campus

Waterloo Venue:

Address: 188 Young Street

Waterloo   NSW   2017



 Alexandria Venue:

Address: Unit2, 138-196 Bourke St

Alexandria   NSW   1435



Postal Address:

PO Box 797

Strawberry Hills NSW 2010



 City Contact Details:

Phone(02) 9775 3614

Fax(02) 8853 5298




Hillsong Church Vision Statement & College Mission Statement

The Church I Now See

The church that I see is a global church. I see a global family: One house with many rooms, outworking a unified vision. I see a church apostolic in calling, and visionary in nature; committed to boldly impacting millions for Christ in significant cities and nations throughout the earth with the greatest of all causes – the Cause of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I see a church that champions the cause of local churches everywhere; encouraging them to be all that God has called them to be. A Church that refuses to be content with the triumphs of the past, but is constantly looking towards the future – filled with a vision that inspires and influences many.

Positioned in the heart of culture, in great diverse urban centres, I see buildings that struggle to contain the increase of all that God is doing; occupying land and places that are miraculous in provision and impossible to ignore.

I see a church that is big enough to dream on a global scale, yet personal enough for every ONE to find their place. I see a church that beckons ‘WELCOME HOME’ to every man, woman and child that walks through the doors.  

The church that I see is a worshipping church whose songs reflect such a passion for Christ that others sense His magnificence and power. A distinct sound that emanates from a healthy church, contagious in spirit – creating music that resounds from villages and tribes to great cities and nations.

I see a church that is constantly innovative: A church that leads the communication of a timeless message through media, film, and technology. A church with a message beamed to people around the globe through their television screens, bringing JESUS into homes, palaces and prisons alike.

I see a church with a world-class college that raises, equips, and empowers generations of young, anointed leaders from across the globe. Graduates who serve God in all walks of life, released to salt the earth with dynamic ministries and churches throughout the continents of the world.

I see a church graced with layers of ‘once-in-a-generation’ type leaders – who are naturally gifted, spiritually potent and genuinely humble. Leaders who will pay the price and count the cost of impacting cities and nations with great, God-glorifying churches.

I see a church whose leadership is unified in their commitment to the authenticity, credibility and quality of its heart. Leaders who dare to be themselves, yet live secure in the knowledge that “what they are part of is bigger than the part they play.”

I see a church committed to an innovative NETWORK that connects hundreds of thousands of pastors and leaders and equips them to flourish. A network committed to the apostolic anointing of leaders who are desperate to see the Church of Jesus Christ rise up to live the un-lived life within her… His glorious Church.

I see like-spirited churches in cities of influence that exemplify faithfulness manifested in bricks and mortar. Churches with supernatural provision of buildings and properties standing as beacons of light that bring glory to God and hope to humanity.

I see a church that loves God, loves people and loves life. Youthful in spirit; generous at heart; faith-filled in confession; loving in nature and inclusive in expression.

Yes, the church that I see is committed to bringing the love and hope of Christ to impossible situations through the preaching of the gospel and a mandate that drives us to do all we can to bring help and solution to a needy world. Whose head is Jesus, help is the Holy Spirit and whose focus is the Great Commission.

– Brian Houston 2014


Hillsong International Leadership College: Mission Statement

The Mission Statement of Hillsong International Leadership College is based on the Mission Statement of Hillsong Church:

To provide Bible-based ministry training, within the culture of the Hillsong Church ethos and practice, that equips leaders with competence to challenge pervading world views and to impact in every sphere of life with the Christian message.

Hillsong College Staff

As College staff and faculty, we believe that your time here at Hillsong International Leadership College can be one of the most life changing experiences of your life. That is our desire for you and we pray that you will come here with the same expectation.

For a comprehensive list of all our Hillsong College staff please download the document below.

History of Hillsong College

Hillsong International Leadership College (HILC) arose as an integral part of the overall national and international ministries of two churches: Hills Christian Life Centre and Sydney Christian Life Centre. The church is now known collectively (since 2001) as Hillsong Church, with three main worship centres located in Sydney (Hills, City and Southwest), one in Brisbane along with numerous Extension Services in the greater Sydney area. The church currently has an attendance in excess of 20,000 people each weekend.

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. Theological education and training was based on a ministry model with a creative arts emphasis and strongly undergirded by values of excellence, dedication and servanthood.

College courses were specifically developed to meet the practical needs of leadership in the Assemblies of God denomination, while at the same time providing graduates with a recognisable level of qualifications comparable to theological colleges of other Protestant denominations.

The two separate college campuses that exist today (Hills and City) and each have their own unique history:

City Campus

What is now known as the City Campus of HILC, began in 1983 as the International Institute for Creative Ministries (IICM) under the vision and leadership of Sydney Christian Life Centre. The curriculum centred largely around the creative arts with the goal to train students to express their faith in the areas of music, dance, drama and visual arts in both church and secular contexts. Ministry, theology and missions were also incorporated into the courses. The awards, Advanced Ministry Certificate, Diploma in Creative Ministries, Diploma in Ministry, and Diploma in Missiology were available to students. International students comprised a high proportion of the student body and courses were endorsed by the Department of Immigration and recognised by the Asia-Pacific Theological Association (APTA) and the Assemblies of God (AOG) denomination.

In 1990, Robert Fergusson became Principal, taking the reins from David Johnson, 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. At this stage, the student body numbered approximately 50-70 students.

During the decade of the 1990s, students could study 1-year (Advanced Certificate of Ministry) or 2-year courses (Associate Diploma in Ministry or Creative Ministries).

In 2000 the College amalgamated with Hills Leadership College and Duncan Corby was appointed Principal of the City campus. Today, the City campus of the College has a student body of approximately 400 students and has its own distinct flavour with ministries and training centring on the suburbs of the inner city.

Hills Campus

What is now known as 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 approximately 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 as a School of Music established to nurture younger musicians.

PMC pursued its own curriculum and gained official accreditation initially with the Department of Foreign Affairs, then later with VETAB, gaining recognition for the Certificate IV in Ministry in 1996 and the Diploma of Ministry in 1999.

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

In 1999 Hills Christian Life Centre joined with Sydney Christian Life Centre, its ‘parent church’ to become 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.

As Hillsong International Leadership College, the student population has grown rapidly to approximately 1,000 fulltime students across the two campuses with a majority of students originating from overseas countries. The College was approved as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in December 2002 and current courses are all accredited by the Australian Government and include the Certificate IV in Ministry, the Diploma of Ministry and the Advanced Diploma of Ministry. The Advanced Diploma is unique in its combination of class work with a part-time internship for students alongside Hillsong Church staff in a variety of church and ministry departments. Currently, the College is preparing to offer Higher Education courses in order to further broaden its capacity to train leaders and provide excellence in all facets of training including academic fields.

Throughout its history, the College has remained committed to building, empowering and releasing leaders for ministry. Today the College is in a stronger position than ever with a core of committed and qualified staff, plus an international network of guests and ministries. The College ever reflects the heart and life of Hillsong Church whose mission is to build and empower leaders to impact every sphere of life.

In 2013 the Leadership program extended to our Brisbane Church campus to include local students who are attending the campus.

Lee Burns was recently appointed the Executive Vice President in 2014 and Catrina Henderson became the Principal across both Hills & City campus’.

Student Code of Conduct

One of the College’s most important goals is to facilitate the growth and development of Christian character in line with biblical principles. The College also seeks to build a safe and healthy community that supports and fosters the wellbeing and growth of each student. Furthermore, the College is a member of its local community and connected to the world at large, seeking to reflect the love and character of God and enact the commission of his church. It is expected, therefore, that College students live in such a manner that brings glory to Christ in their behaviour and attitudes both inside and outside College settings.

Since students are also being trained for Christian ministry, and are engaged in ministry as part of their course, it is expected that they will conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the moral, ethical and behavioural standards expected of Christian leaders and ministers, and the churches in which they are ministering and being trained. With these issues in mind, the College expects students to conduct themselves in a way that reflects the moral and ethical standards generally required of ministers in like-minded churches, and by Australian Christian Churches (Assemblies of God in Australia) in particular, the denomination with which Hillsong is affiliated.

The College also operates as an accredited education institution that conducts its training and assessment in line with generally accepted standards of academic quality and integrity. Students are expected to engage in their studies in line with these standards.

Therefore each student is expected to:

  • Adopt attitudes (such as generosity, love, humility, forgiveness, fair-mindedness and inclusivity) and behaviour (such as confidentiality, peacemaking, positivity and encouragement) that promote the unity and health of the College body.
  • Show respect and consideration for other members of the student body and their property.
  • Show respect for staff and faculty and co-operate with the aims, witness, culture and endeavours of the College and Hillsong Church. This includes not engaging in advocacy for positions or causes contrary to those held by the College or Hillsong Church.
  • Attend all prescribed College classes, ministry sessions and activities required by the College program unless formally excused (on a compassionate basis).
  • Engage in honest academic practices as outlined in the Academic Misconduct policy (see Academic Policies and Procedures).
  • Be neat, clean and modestly dressed.
  • Abstain from biblically immoral practices including: drunkenness, illicit drug use, criminal behaviour, stealing, slanderous or profane language, dishonesty, occult practices, sexual sins or any other behaviour that is considered detrimental or contrary to Christian character and witness.
  • Abstain from alcohol and smoking for the duration of studies at College (this includes all college breaks including the period between finishing a one and commencing a new course.)
  • Follow the guidelines in the Student Handbook.

Like Christian churches throughout history and across the globe, both Hillsong College and Hillsong Church affirm the biblical understanding of sexuality as a gift from God, expressed through purity in singleness and faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman. Students are expected to adopt practices and viewpoints that reflect this understanding. (See Hillsong Collected for a statement on these matters by Brian Houston, our Senior Pastor and President).

The College will provide the framework and support needed to facilitate personal growth. If students find however, that they are genuinely struggling with personal, pastoral or academic issues, we advise they speak to College staff and allow them to bring counsel, support and, where needed, correction to the situation. Any behaviour that contravenes the Student Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action (see Student Behaviour and Course Progress Policy). Any behaviour that compromises the welfare of other students will result in immediate termination of enrolment.

Since it reflects the standards expected by churches of those in ministry, behaving and ministering consistently with the Student Code of Conduct is also a requirement for several assessments across the College’s courses. Breaching this Code will result in a student being judged as Not Yet Competent for the relevant subjects / units / assessments. A student will subsequently need to provide verifiable evidence of meeting the requirements of the Code of Conduct for a reasonable period in order to achieve Competence.