The Reformed Theological College was founded in 1954 at the Synod of the Reformed Churches of Australia. The Synod felt that Australia and New Zealand needed a College that would adhere unequivocally to the Bible's authority as the Word of God and present a systematic reformed understanding of Scripture.
The inaugural Principal was Professor Alexander Barkley, a godly Irishman who was pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Geelong. The College began in the schoolroom at his church and moved through a series of small buildings before the RTC Board purchased the only remaining wing of the original Geelong Grammar School in 1961. This historic bluestone building, built-in 1857, served the College well for almost 40 years.