American Board Mission: Mount Selinda Mission – Mount Silinda Training and Practicing School

Mount Selinda Mission

Mount Silinda Training and Practicing School


Arlene R. Mather founded the Mount Silinda Training and Practicing School (also known simply as the “Training School”) in 1918 by consolidating the Industrial Department, Agricultural Department, Bible School, and “normal school” (teacher training). There was also a “practicing school” consisting of a primary school and kindergarten used by the student teachers to “practice” their teaching.

Educating local teachers was essential to the growth and development of “out-station” schools in neighbouring villages (kraals), which were staffed by teachers educated at Mount Silinda. Initially the school was housed in two buildings – a two-story brick building used for the school and boys dormitory and a second building for the girls boarding department.

A number of missionaries served at the school during the time it was called by that name.  In addition to Mather, other school principals included Emory D. Alvord (also in charge of the agricultural department), Ivy E. Craig (acting Principal as of 1928) and Samuel J. Curtis (as of 1929).  Other staff members included Arthur J. Orner (Industrial Department); Richard B. Hack (Industrial Department); Mabel E. Larkins (teacher), and Louise F. Torrence (teacher –as of 1930).

In 1930, enrollment in the training school (vocational and agricultural departments) was 85; there were 57 student teachers in teacher training; and 382 students in the practising school (primary school and kindergarten). Beginning in 1931, the schools, including departments, became known as Mount Selinda Institute.


  • Annual Reports of the American Board of Commissioners (1918- 1931).
  • Mark Loomis