Lutherans were the first Protestants and trace their origins back to the Reformation of western Christendom in the sixteenth century. With some seventy million members, the Lutheran church is still the largest Protestant denomination in the world. As a church with an emphasis on biblical literacy and Christian education it has supported the provision of Christian schools from its beginnings.
The long tradition of Lutheran schooling has been part of this country's history too. Lutherans have operated schools in Australia since 1839. Currently there are Lutheran schools located in every state and territory of Australia except the ACT. The church operates early childhood centres as well. All these schools and centres are owned by the Lutheran church and are incorporated into a system with support structures at national and regional levels.
The Lutheran church also has its own tertiary institution, Australian Lutheran College, which provides special traning for Lutheran teachers in order to promote a distinctive ethos in its schools.