St John’s College is an Anglican Diocesan College of Johannesburg and its Christian spiritual practise is an integral part of school life. Founded by St Mary’s Church to provide Christian education in the growing town of Johannesburg, the school’s roots in the Christian faith were deepened when the Community of the Resurrection took over College to ensure its survival. Guided by the Benedictine “rule of life” – prayer, work, rest, recreation and study – and the Anglican ethos of “scripture, reason and tradition”, the school remains grounded in spiritual integrity.
Alongside the great festivals of the “church year”, our daily reading of scripture and prayer, the weekly mass and divinity classes all provide a special balance to the academic and co-curricular education provided at St John’s. This rhythm reminds us as a community, that we are grounded in a reality deeper than knowing and more enduring than time; the reality that is the Creator God.
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is foundational to the evolving Christian theological traditions of: the dignity of each human person, the sacredness of the Earth as our common home, and the call to act for the justice and peace of God to come on Earth. This reality inspires us to embrace, as our school motto, three simple words that describe the nature of Christ: Lux, Vita, Caritas – Light, Life, Love.
Infused with this sense of spirituality, St John’s College is sustained by faith in
God the Father, source of all being and life;
God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again; and
God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God and makes Christ known to the world.
Grounded in this faith, the school seeks to grow each student in a community of inclusivity, respect and courage; seeking to provide a space for the emergence of new generations of young people who are able to navigate and embrace the unique challenges facing contemporary South Africa, and who are brave enough to envision and act for a different and better world.
“Lord God our Father, who art Light and Life and Love, look down in love upon our College of Saint John: make it to be a home of religious discipline, sound learning and goodwill, which may send forth many rightly trained in body, mind and character to serve Thee well in Church and State: supply our wants, and give us increase as shall seem Thee good, and let Thine angels drive away all evil from us; through Thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Rev James Okey Nash – 1906
Collegium S Johannis
Lord God our Father, who art Light, Life and Love, Look down on our College in love from above; Pray make it a home where, with Thee its true head, Sound learning may flourish and good will be bred.
Lord, for its sons may its purpose remain Their minds, bodies, characters rightly to train – That all true Johannians go forth from its gate Equipped well to serve Thee in Church and in State.
May all our wants still by Thee be supplied With bountiful increase should Thou so decide, Let Thy holy angels drive evil away And guard Saint John’s College, for Thy Son’s sake we pray.
Words: John Harris (OJ) Music: Irish Traditional Melody (Based on the School Prayer of Rev James Okey Nash – 1906)