Within the Catholic intellectual tradition and acting in Truth and Love, Australian Catholic University is committed to the pursuit of knowledge, the dignity of the human person and the common good.

Acting in truth and love

Our mission is at the heart of everything we do at ACU. It guides our approach to learning and teaching, our welcoming and engaging on-campus culture, and our commitment to building a better society by producing graduates willing to invest in this same commitment.

In this mission, we engage the Catholic intellectual tradition to bring a distinct perspective to higher education.

Guiding traditions

It’s important to honour traditions, particularly those that inspire us to be better people and lead better lives. That’s why we have a patron saint for the University and each faculty and campus. Our patron saints provide examples of acting in truth and love and what life in service to the pursuit of knowledge, dignity of the human person and the common good looks like.

Whether they dedicated themselves to educating forgotten members of society or spent their lives in scholarly contemplation, our patron saints lived out our mission in days past.

Meet our patron saints

Our university prayer asks for strength to pursue our mission. Read the prayer and submit a prayer request to our campus ministry team.

Read our university prayer

Our mission in action

Our mission comes to life through the values that we’ve chosen to sit at the heart of the University and our community.

Truth, academic excellence and service are our core values, but these are complemented by a further set of values that guide our daily operations: equity, diversity, accessibility, wellbeing and sustainability.

Understand our values

The Core

Students encounter the practical application of our mission through our Core Curriculum units. These three units ask that you think outside your own realm of experiences and see the world through the eyes of others.

A key part of all our courses, the Core acknowledges that education is more than just a degree – it’s about developing the whole person.

Find out how the Core Curriculum fosters academic success

As part of the Core, all students complete one community engagement unit that asks them to dedicate themselves to the service of those less fortunate and work alongside the margins, where learning happens on both sides. Community engagement allows you to reflect on your role in promoting the dignity of all and working for the common good.

The form your community engagement takes depends on your field of study, but many courses offer opportunities to complete this unit overseas. 

Explore our community engagement opportunities

Living the mission

On each of our campuses across the country, our staff and students carry out our mission every day.

The pursuit of knowledge is a fundamental part of our mission and that is reflected across our faculties as well as through the world-leading research conducted by our academics and higher degree research students.

But we’re also committed to educating and encouraging our students and staff to be responsible citizens.

Learn more about our community engagement

Research for the real world

Our researchers don’t just add to the body of academic work on any given topic. They also apply our mission when they work with the end-user to identify and address real-world problems, and to make a positive impact. 

By engaging with those who ultimately benefit from our expertise, our research improves the health, wellbeing and prosperity of individuals, organisations and communities in a sustainable way.

Discover the impact of our research

Equity in education

We want everyone to have the opportunity of higher education. But it’s not enough to just talk about making university accessible for all. We’ve worked hard to put programs in place that give people who may not have thought university was possible the chance to pursue a degree.

For our First Peoples, that means we run Away From Base courses so that our students can keep their connection to country while they study.

Read more about our First Peoples pathways

For young students who face more hurdles than most, it’s about introducing them to university early so they can plan for higher education in their future.

We run programs for primary and secondary school students, and their parents, that aim to introduce them to our campuses and the different pathways into university.

Read more about how our equity pathways are widening participation

For community members who are experiencing multiple disadvantages, we offer the opportunity for them to improve their situation through learning.

Through the Clemente Australia program, we provide a four-unit Certificate of Liberal Studies that then opens the door for further study.

Read more about Clemente Australia

Our Catholic partners

Working collaboratively with our Catholic partners, we’ve developed a range of courses designed to support and strengthen Church ministry.

Informed by the Catholic intellectual tradition and Catholic moral and social teaching, and reflecting our mission, these courses cover areas such as: 

  • applied ethics and philosophy 
  • liturgy
  • ministry
  • chaplaincy and pastoral care
  • safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults 
  • business management
  • theology. 

We offer these programs across a range of levels and can customise them to accommodate your particular needs. 

Browse available courses on our Catholic partners page


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Identity and Mission

Responding to Catholic intellectual and spiritual traditions, the Directorate of Identity and Mission works with staff and students to better communities.

Meet the team

What if I'm not Catholic?

You don’t need to be Catholic to study with us. Whether you have a particular faith or none, our philosophy of impact through empathy is just as relevant.

View our stance

Vision 2033

See how our mission, values and vision shape our Vision 2033, and how we're ensuring as a community we meet our goals.

Read the plan

Why study at ACU

At ACU, you’ll get more than an excellent education at one of the top 3% of universities worldwide. You’ll also have the opportunity to help others.

Our difference

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