In 1936, Dr. Mabel Culter, then Dean of Women at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, saw a need for an elementary and secondary school that would integrate the best components of secular education with the historical and spiritual truths of the Christian faith.
Eager to guide and challenge young people in all areas of their development (physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual), Dr. Culter began the school in a private home in Los Angeles with only a handful of students. Each morning before classes began, the students repeated the school verse, Proverbs 9:10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is Understanding,” and then Dr. Culter and one other teacher presented full-length periods in all required subjects. Dedicated to keeping the school going in a Depression-era economy, Dr. Culter even did paid church visitation and secretarial work when she wasn’t teaching.
Rapid increases in enrollment occurred in the following years and necessitated several relocations of the campus within Los Angeles, and finally in 1968, after many months of prayer about the future of the school, the Board of Trustees purchased a 105 acre campus in Temecula in order to build the facilities needed to provide the kind of education to which Culter Academy was dedicated. Around the same time, after 29 years of service to the school, Dr. Culter retired, and the school was renamed as The Linfield School.
The Linfield School started the 1973-1974 school year with thirteen students in grades 9-11 who attended classes in what is now the Administration building. Some interesting facts about the early years:
- The school’s original mascot was a longhorn but was changed to a lion in 1975 as it was difficult to find a longhorn logo.
- Many students were residents on the property, living in a designated dormitory building.
- There was an animal husbandry and horticulture program; students were driven to Rawhide Ranch once a week, and horses were even boarded on campus.
- Winter Mountain Seminar was instituted in 1974; the entire school went to Big Bear to ski, listen to a guest speaker, and to grow together while away from the distractions of everyday life.
- All boys had to play basketball even if they were not athletic; football was introduced in 1977.
- The tradition of a mother/daughter tea (now the Spring Tea) began in 1975.
- The Great Race competition made its debut in 1981.
The school expanded with the opening of Linfield Middle School in 1984 and Linfield Elementary in 1985, and it only continued to grow through the 1990’s, enriching its college preparatory curriculum, adding a wide variety of athletic programs, constructing new facilities, and developing new traditions. The school’s name was officially changed to Linfield Christian School in 2001 in order to reflect its mission, and with the construction of a state of the art two-story high school building in 2006, the three campuses were set in their current locations.
Today Linfield Christian School is home to a thriving community of dedicated teachers, passionate parents, and 814 remarkable students in Junior-Kindergarten through 12th grade. A rigorous college preparatory curriculum in core subjects and enriching electives well-prepares students for life beyond Linfield. In fact, on average, 97% of our graduates go on to college, and Linfield students’ SAT/ACT scores are consistently the highest of any school in the area. Our athletic teams have won 91 League Championships and 16 CIF Championships since joining the CIF Southern Section in 1980; our Fine Arts program has produced hundreds of theatrical productions, films, concerts, and works of art, and our students are boldly living out their faith by serving in the community and around the world.
Most importantly, Linfield is still fully devoted to the mission outlined by Dr. Mabel Culter in 1936; the school exists to be the standard of excellence in Christ-centered college preparatory education, and it seeks to challenge students to know Jesus Christ as Lord, to love others as themselves, and to grow in knowledge and skill in order that they may serve the Lord and the world through their character and leadership.