Sheridan College and Australian Baptist Education: A Brief History

Sheridan College is the higher education initiative of Australian Baptist Education Inc (ABE). The name “Sheridan” is derived from the Celtic “sirideán”, which means “seeker” or “searcher”, and is frequently used in the context of seeking truth or wisdom.

ABE was established in 2009 to facilitate the ongoing extension of Baptist ministry through education. Current and former members of the ABE Board of Directors have been extensively involved in private, not-for-profit education for the last 25 years.  Two ABE directors were foundation board members of Lake Joondalup Baptist College (1990) and served on the board of the college until 1999. Three ABE directors were foundation board members of Winthrop Baptist College (1994), and Somerville Baptist College (2004) - two schools which later merged to form Kennedy Baptist College  (2013) - as well as serving as foundation board members of Mandurah Baptist College (2005). The last director stepped down from the Kennedy and Mandurah Baptist Colleges boards in 2014. The Executive Chairperson of ABE also served on the steering committee that established Carey Baptist College (1998). The ABE Board of Directors currently manages Quinns Baptist College (1996), Geelong Baptist College (2002), Alkimos Baptist College (2011) and Austin Cove Baptist College (2011).

On current growth trends, the Baptist schools will soon become the third largest private school system in Western Australia. More than 7,000 students and 700 staff now study and work in open-entry Baptist schools. That number will increase to 9,000 students and 900 staff when the newly-established schools reach full enrolment.

At the tertiary education level, the directors of ABE have been pursuing the registration of a higher education provider in Perth for over ten years.