Our History

The Founders.


(From left to right)- Miss Abbie Ferguson, Rev. Andrew Murray, Miss Anna Bliss

The Huguenot Seminary.

The Huguenot College has its origins in three educational institutions which previously existed in Wellington, namely the Huguenot Seminary, which later became the Huguenot College and Huguenot University College, the Mission Institute and Friedenheim. The Huguenot Seminary was founded in 1874 by Reverend Andrew Murray, D D. Dr Murray had been greatly interested in the life of Mary Lyon and her educational work in America and he, therefore, determined to establish an institution similar to Mount Holyoke Seminary, which should be a Christian educational home for the daughters of South Africa. Miss A.P Ferguson and Miss A.E Bliss came from Mount Holyoke Massachusetts, U.S.A, to become Principal and Vice-Principal of the Huguenot Seminary.
The school grew over the years with Bliss assuming more administrative abilities. When Dr Ferguson found the Huguenot College, the Huguenot Seminary became the Huguenot Girls High School with Dr Bliss as president. Dr Bliss became the president of the Huguenot College when Dr Ferguson retired in 1910. Within four years about twenty teachers came from America to help in the work at Wellington and other places. For the first 15 years, the students at the Huguenot Seminary followed a five-year curriculum, roughly the same as for the public examinations but with a broader scope. However, in the beginning, so much demand for teachers (who had to deliver the seminar) was that it was difficult to keep learners who could complete the course. In 1889 the curriculum was changed to prepare pupils for the public examinations, and the work then naturally fell into three sections: those of the High School, the Normal School and the College. In 1896 the “Normaalskool” was divorced and a separate training school was erected under James Harvie. In 1898, the College was formally recognized as the Huguenot College and in 1918 as the Huguenot University College, one of the constituent colleges of the University of South Africa. Among these was Miss Ferguson's brother, George R. Ferguson, to found an institution (Mission institute) at Wellington for training of young men. The Huguenot Seminary established Wellington as an important centre of education and gave rise to a succession of educational institutions where girls and women were also accommodated.



Huguenot Seminary Teaching staff

The Mission Institute.


The Mission institute began in 1877 as an undertaking of the DR congregation in Wellington, but in 1903 the Cape Synod of the DR Church assumed responsibility for it. In 1962 it was decided that more justice would be done to the status of missionaries if they were trained at the Theological Seminary at Stellenbosch and the Mission institute was therefor closed. Friedenheim was established in 1904 and offered courses in missionary work, social work and Biblical instruction until the end of 1950.


Mission Institute Lecturers


Mission Institute Students

Girls High School.


The Huguenot Girls High School merged with the Huguenot Boys High School in 1965 and is now known as the Huguenot High School.The Huguenot College main building served the Girls’ High School and the amalgamated Huguenot High School until 1970. The building was destroyed by a fire in 1907. It re-opened in 1908. Today it serves as the Main Building of the Hugenote College.

Huguenot College/ Huguenot University College.


The curriculum of the Seminary was made to include the College entrance or matriculation examination of the University of the Cape of Good Hope. In 1884 the Huguenot Seminary was formally divided into junior and senior departments, with the latter consisting of middle, matriculation, collegiate and ‘normal’ sections. In the year of its 25th anniversary, the collegiate section became the Huguenot College under the leadership of Abbie Ferguson. (Duff, 2006: 65). In 1898 the time had come for those in the Huguenot Seminary doing University work to be formed into a separate department and recognized as the Huguenot College.

In 1896 a Training College for teachers was established, in 1899 the Huguenot College (from 1908-1950, the Huguenot University College) and in 1899 the Huguenot Girls High School. The grounds of the Huguenot (University) College covered about 80937.1 square meters, a mile from the railway station. In the grounds stand: Cummings Hall- the hostel for resident students first occupied in 1898, Ferguson Hall- which contained the Assembly Hall, Lecture rooms and Laboratories, and Stoneman Hall- which contained the Domestic science department and later on Library and lecture rooms. The Huguenot University College sprang from the Huguenot Seminary, and was a constituent college of the University of South Africa. Excellent academic training, directed at the ideals of the founders, namely training in which the intellect (mind) was combined with a vision for God's Kingdom (heart) and practical work (hand) was provided at this institution until the end of 1950. The Huguenot University College was closed by government in 1948. The buildings were sold to the Dutch Reformed Church who reopened it under its original name of Huguenot College in 1951 for the training of social workers, youth workers and mission workers (until 2012).


Huguenot College Staff and Graduates


Huguenot University College Staff and Departments- Botany and Domestic Science


Huguenot University College- SRC and sports teams(tennis and netball teams)

When the Huguenot University College had to close, successful negotiations were initiated by the Dutch Reformed Church for taking over its grounds, buildings and equipment. The Huguenot College was officially opened on 28 February 1951 in these facilities and the training which was offered at Friedenheim, amongst others, has since been continued at the Huguenot College. By 1961 the focus of the training was directed at the scientific and spiritual preparation of Christian social workers, mission workers, evangelisation workers and institutional personnel. At the end of 1979, the thousandth student acquired the qualification in social work.

Hugenote Kollege (1951+).


Library (until 2012)


Since 1971, the College has been offering training for degrees by virtue of a cooperation agreement with the University of South Africa. The degrees B Diaconiologiae in Social Work, Mission Work, Youth Work and later in Community Development were offered. In addition tot he degrees, the College also offered shorter courses, outside its agreement with Unisa, such as a certificate course in Computer Literacy and Office Practice. During 2003 the Huguenot College was accredited a provider with the HWSETA for the training of Social Auxiliary Workers. This training was provided by a non-profit company of the College at that time, called "CEFA". Since January 2007 the Social work course was standardized countrywide and students at all training institutions register for the BSW (Bachelor of Social Work) degree. The BDiac degree subsequently phased out and terminated in 2012.

Changes in Higher education have led to the termination of the cooperation agreement between the College and UNISA in 2009. The College therefore concluded an academic partnership with the University of Stellenbosch in 2009, in terms which this University would in future award degrees to the students of the College. On 14 December 2009 the University received the following response from the Department: “the Department is not able to support or approve such a request as it would have the potential of designating a private institution as a public site of learning”.This was a decision by the Department of Higher Education and Training that permission for a partnership between Stellenbosch University and Huguenot College could not be granted since such a partnership would mean that a private institution would become a public space of learning. Current higher education policy does not provide for such partnerships.

Since 2013 Hugenote Kollege obtained accreditation as a TVET college and currently Hugenote Kollege is provisionally registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training until 31 December 2023 as a private higher education institution under the Act. Currently the College offers certificates on NQF level 4, higher certificates and diplomas on NQF level 5 as well as the Bachelors degrees in Theology and Social Work.


Dreyer, A. 1927. Kruisgesante in Suid-Afrika: Jubileum-Gedenkboek van die Sendinginstituut op Wellington 1877-1927. Kaapstad: Nasionale Pers, Beperk
Duff, S.E. 2006. Head, heart and hand: The Huguenot Seminary and College and the construction of Middle Class Afrikaner Feminity, 1873-1910. Stellenbosch: University of Stellenbosch.
Ferguson, G.P (1927)The Builders of Huguenot. Cape Town: Maskew Miller
History of Wellington and Districts-(CD) Wellington Museum
The Huguenot/Die Hugenoot: The Annual/ Die Jaarblad (1939)