50 Years Strong: Offering one of the Best Private Christian High School Experiences in Orange County
It began as a dream in 1959 and came to fruition in 1973 through the sacrificial giving of Lutheran men and women who envisioned a school that would offer an unparalleled academic education grounded in the Christian faith and the salvation message of Jesus Christ.
Both our student body and our campus have grown exponentially since their humble beginnings almost 50 years ago, however, the core mission remains as steadfast as Jesus’ love and grace.
Mission, Vision & Core Values
Our Mission: To help students internalize the Gospel message of salvation in Christ Jesus.
Our Vision: To develop healthy, strong, caring students who understand that their identity is in Christ alone and who are strengthened and prepared for a Christian life of purpose, service through vocation, and leadership in a global society.
Our Core Values: Because of the identity we have in Christ and as faithful stewards of the educational ministry God has called us to, we have chosen our Core Values to guide our plans, actions, and decision-making process (Titus 3:5-8, 1 Peter 4:10, Philippians 2:1-4):
- Biblical Truth
Statement of Faith, Religious Belief & Practices
OLu offers a diverse educational experience and welcomes students from a variety of religious backgrounds. As an institution in a close working relationship with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), OLu believes, teaches, and confesses the unchanging truth of Holy Scripture as described in the Lutheran Confessions and the belief and practice of the LCMS.
- The Bible is the true Word of God, without error or contradiction and, therefore, is the final authority in all matters of faith and life (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
- There is only one true God, who has revealed Himself in three persons (Triune), Father (Creator), Son (Redeemer), and Holy Spirit (Sanctifier) (Matthew 28:19).
- Since Adam’s fall, all people are conceived and born sinful and are completely incapable of saving themselves by any efforts of their own. (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:10-12, 23).
- God, motivated by His unconditional love for us, provided for our salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16).
- Jesus Christ is true God, eternally begotten of the Father, and at the same time true man, born of the Virgin Mary, who lived a perfect life for us, died on the cross for us, rose from the dead for us, now reigns at the right hand of God for us, and will one day come again for us. (John 1:13, 14; 1 Timothy 2:56; Luke 1:26-38; Hebrews 4:15; Romans 5:68; 1 Corinthians 15:12-24; Ephesians 1:20-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:14, 17).
- We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone (Ephesians 2:89).
- Faith in Jesus Christ comes by the power of the Holy Spirit as He works through the means of grace – His Word and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper through which the blessings and benefits of Jesus’ saving death and resurrection, namely the forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and salvation are offered, delivered, and applied to us. (John 6:63; Romans 10:17; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Matthew 28:19-20).
- Baptism, which is water applied in the Name of the Triune God according to Jesus’ mandate and promise, works rebirth and renewal, delivers and applies the forgiveness of sins, joins the baptized to Jesus’ death and resurrection, and grants salvation to all who believe the promise of salvation attached to Baptism (Matthew 28:19-20; John 3:5; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 5:25-26; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:11-12; 1 Peter 3:21).
- Lord’s Supper is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ given in, with, and under the bread and the wine, for Christians to eat and drink, instituted by Jesus Christ Himself, for the forgiveness of their sins (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
- Good works, prayer, and holiness of life are the fruit of faith in Christ, not the cause of faith or salvation (John 15:5; Hebrews 11:16).
- Christians are called to live for Jesus, seeking to serve and honor Him in all facets of life. Life cannot be divided into compartments where Jesus is not present, for He is the author and Lord of all of my life. To know Him is the only way to know what true life is all about, and serving Him is life’s greatest privilege (Colossians 2:67; Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16-25).
- We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
- We believe that the term marriage has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen. 2:18-25). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:25; Heb. 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
- We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).
- We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Orange Lutheran High School as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Orange Lutheran’s members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the Lutheran High School Association of Orange County in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement of Faith (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:14-16; 1 Thess. 5:22).
- We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).
- We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Orange Lutheran High School.
Please review Belief and Practice from the LCMS website for a comprehensive statement of beliefs.
Students, parents, family members, or other school participants who do not share these beliefs and practices agree to communicate their concerns in a manner that does not lead to division or disruption to the school day, the classroom setting, the normal operation of the school, or the school community.
Students, parents, family members, or other school participants who disagree, in whole or in part, with the fundamental beliefs of Orange Lutheran High School and the teachings of LCMS also agree not to behave and/or promote behavior or doctrinal positions contrary to these beliefs and practices on campus, at school-sponsored events, or in any media form identified with Orange Lutheran High School.
Schoolwide Learner Outcomes
Upon graduation, it is the expectation that all students will be Strengthened by Faith and Prepared for Life in alignment with our Vision Statement and our Schoolwide Learner Outcomes.
Strengthened by Faith:
- Christian Life of Purpose – Identity in Christ
- Profess through word and action the Biblical truth of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ Jesus alone according to Scripture alone.
- Live out their Christian faith by responding to and reflecting God’s love according to Scripture.
Prepared for Life:
- Healthy, Strong, Caring People
- Identify and cultivate a healthy lifestyle
- Articulate and make appropriate mental health and well-being related decisions through the development of emotional and cultural intelligence.
- Articulate and make appropriate physical health-related decisions to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Service through Vocation
- Identify and cultivate interests, passions, gifts, talents, and vocational roles.
- Live as citizens who lead and serve those in need while acting as good stewards of God’s creation.
- Demonstrate civic responsibility by an awareness and appreciation of the local and global community through active participation.
- Engage as a lifelong learner beyond high school.
- Engage in creative and innovative thinking and collaboration.
- Leadership in a Global Society
- Demonstrate responsible and effective 21st Century digital citizenship.
- Engage in critical thinking and problem solving.
- Interact and collaborate using effective social skills.
In 1959, a group of Christian men and women began meeting regularly with the establishment of a Lutheran high school in Orange County as their purpose. With no campus, no buildings, and no staff, the school was only a vision of its founders. But at the end of each meeting, one of those founders would pass around his hat, and all would offer whatever change was in their pockets.
Finally, in 1973, Lutheran High School of Orange County opened its doors to students. Under founding principal Herbert Stuenkel, the campus was modest: just nine academic classrooms, a library, a couple laboratories, and a few ancillary facilities. But the founders and families were energized by the prospect of this new school. Lutheran High School graduated its first class, numbering fifteen, in June of 1976.
Throughout the years, our family has certainly grown. Enrollment that first year was just shy of 100 students; today we welcome over 1,300 young men and women every day.
Facilities have indeed grown as well. In 1973 the building consisted of two hallways and a small front entrance. Later years saw the addition of two more hallways; creating a perfect square embracing first a patio, then a gymnasium.
In 2000, the God’s Plan…Our Future construction campaign increased the size and scope once again. Thanks to the generous support of donors, parents & alumni, the campus once again grew in size with the addition of new faculty offices, an expanded parking lot, landscaping, and five new classrooms. The next year added more enhancements: a second story addition, ten new classrooms, including biology labs and a greenhouse, a multi-media resource center and an entirely new football/soccer field with state-of-the-art artificial turf and an all-weather track.
In 2002, the gym that had previously been in the center of the school was moved to a freestanding “field house.” The 1,800 seat gym rests at the top of the building, while the lower level is home to a 3,400 square foot weight room, a wrestling room, a state-of-the-art team room, offices, and a training room.
In Fall 2003, the Alexandra Nechita Center for the Arts opened in the space once occupied by the old gym – the heart of the school. The 740-seat performance hall is home to drama, dance, instrumental and vocal music productions, guest speakers and special chapel services.
Orange Lutheran embarked on its biggest expansion to date in 2014 with the Beyond Expectations project. Completed in just over a year, the project added 40,000 sq. ft. to the school’s footprint. Included in the upgrades were a 12,000 sq. ft. student union and cafe, a lower gym, a weight room, study pods for group learning, and a new training room and locker rooms.
Orange Lutheran has been blessed with the love and support of our friends and families making these incredible improvements possible. We look forward to what the Lord has in store for us as we remain a high-quality academic institution that disciples young people for Jesus Christ.