Within six months of their arrival from Germany on 20 November 1838, the first Lutherans in Australia established a Christian primary school on their settlement at Klemzig. An ‘institution of high learning’ was also to have been established but nearly 60 years elapsed before this hope was realised through the vision and courage, eventually, of a solitary country pastor.
On 5 September 1894 it was announced to Synod that Pastor Leidig of Point Pass (near Eudunda), a young man only 24 years of age, intended to found a training institution to provide children of his far-flung parish with adequate confirmation instruction, to train teachers for Lutheran day schools, to uphold the language and culture of the fathers, and to give a general education. Within six months the College was begun. Over the years the numbers attending increased. With the retirement of Pastor Leidig in 1920, the management of the College passed to Synod who decided to transfer it, together with a newly established theological Seminary in Tanunda, to North Adelaide in 1921.
The College and Seminary remained in North Adelaide until 1942 when the buildings were required by the Air Force and the school was given 10 days to move out.
A home was found in North Walkerville and, despite extremely cramped conditions, the years 1942–1956 in Walkerville were happy and productive ones for the College community. In 1946 the Seminary was able to move back to the North Adelaide property.
The search for a larger campus for the College ended in 1949 when land was purchased at Novar Gardens. The school was finally established on its permanent site in 1957.