Special Character

Columba lives by its special character and is a caring and supportive Christian school where respect for others, courtesy and consideration, independence, self discipline and responsibility are fostered.

Built on a Presbyterian foundation, Columba remains closely linked with the Presbyterian Church. Services are held in founding Churches of the city, First Church of Otago and Knox Church, and many of the boarders attend the Highgate Presbyterian Church with others attending the Church of their own denomination. Columba welcomes students of other denominations and faiths.

Religious Studies is taught at all levels of the school with the Head of Religious Studies responsible for the Years 7 to 13 Religious Studies programmes. The teaching is non-sectarian.

The College has a Chaplain, the Minister at the Highgate Presbyterian Church where the majority of boarders worship when they are in residence.  The Chaplain leads the weekly Chapel Services attended by Years 7 to 13 students, and other special Services held throughout the year.

Students participate voluntarily in a variety of Christian Outreaches and in community service. They are seen regularly in the community doing voluntary work and collecting for charities.

Christian Outreach is fostered through Outreach donations collected weekly, the annual sponsorship of a World Vision child, an annual donation to the Save the Children Fund, a food hamper sent weekly to Presbyterian Support and special whole-school Outreaches at Easter and Christmas when students donate items to be distributed in the community.


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Chapel Services led by the School Chaplain are held every Tuesday morning in Constance Hall

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The Tukutuku Panel which is in Constance Hall was made by Roka Cameron and gifted to the College by the Friends of Columba


Annual Carol Service at First Church of Otago