Join a community of diverse learners
St. Ambrose University – independent, diocesan, and Catholic – enables its students to develop intellectually, spiritually, ethically, socially, artistically, and physically to enrich their own lives and the lives of others.
St. Ambrose will be recognized as a leading Midwestern university rooted in its diocesan heritage and Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Ambrosians are committed to academic excellence, the liberal arts, social justice and service.
Making a Difference
Our students typically give more than 178,000 service hours each year to volunteer projects here and across the world.
Catholic College of Distinction
As a Catholic College of Distinction, SAU is recognized for its adherence to successful outcomes, great teaching, creating a vibrant community, and engaging students.
Living Our Mission
- Join a community of diverse learners. We offer more than 60 undergraduate majors, 14 master programs, and three doctoral programs.
- Follow your interests, explore new opportunities, and stay busy. We boast dozens of student organizations and clubs, myriad athletic teams, study abroad, honors, and much more.
- Our students, faculty, and staff typically give more than 178,000 service hours each year to volunteer projects here and across the world.
Guided by a Vision
- Our faculty and staff assist more than 114 organizations, serving as members on volunteer boards and committees.
- We value diversity and learning from each other. Our community includes students of various religious, ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds.
- You get the attention you deserve with committed, caring professors who strive to make your college journey a success.
- St. Ambrose University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, for starters. Most of our undergraduate and graduate programs are individually accredited, too, which means you get a high-quality education backed by the resources, facilities, and experiences to help you thrive.
Core Mission Values and Guiding Principles
We treasure and build on our strong Catholic identity in relationship with the Diocese of Davenport. As an independent institution of higher learning, St. Ambrose University embodies our faith tradition through teaching, learning, scholarship, and service, through openness to those of other faith traditions, and through the pursuit of justice and peace.
The Catholic Intellectual Tradition is a body of ideas, practices and ways of thinking in which scholarship is informed by faith, and faith is informed by justice, to yield new understanding and direction.
The Catholic Intellectual Tradition upon which St. Ambrose University was founded is more than just evident on campus; it's thriving. It can be witnessed in our classrooms and our labs, even on our stages and our playing fields, in the balance of challenge and support and empowerment and exploration which is enabling our students to fulfill their intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual potential.
See one example in the Scene Magazine article, "Learning to Forgive," which takes us into the classroom for a course on forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace-building. As you'll read, even as students in the class learn the psychological, physiological, and cultural reasons why one should forgive, they also come to understand how forgiveness itself is a voluntary gift of mercy from someone who has been wronged – and as such it is, at its essence, an act of faith.
You'll also find the Catholic intellectual tradition alive and well in "Leaving a Legacy for Peace and Justice," which tells of the late Rev. Joseph Kokjohn's gift to establish an endowment for peace and social justice initiatives at St. Ambrose. With his gift, this priest, teacher ,and longtime Ambrosian sought to enhance the vital dialogue needed on these subjects that will stimulate succeeding generations of Ambrose students to imagine how the world can be more just, and develop in them the fearlessness of heart and mind to work for that world.
These are but two examples of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition in action on St. Ambrose's campus. Indeed, they show, as no mere definition can, not just what the Catholic intellectual tradition is but, more importantly, why we consider it essential to our institutional vision. For while this great tradition may have been founded in faith, it remains universally relevant because it provides a way of learning that embraces truth of every kind and seeks every method of attaining it – especially as our students set about their lifelong inquiry into what it truly means to be human.
We believe that as individuals we are capable of living in the fullest measure when our lives are freely based on values that acknowledge a loving God and a life-affirming moral code. Therefore, we teach, learn, and work in a climate of mutual respect, honesty, and integrity where excellence and academic freedom are cherished.
We are committed to the richness of the liberal arts tradition through quality instruction that fosters development of a broad awareness of humanity in all its dimensions. Ambrosians use their knowledge, talents, and career skills in service to others.
We believe that people at all stages of life need educational opportunities. Therefore, we offer learning programs with student-centered teaching that lead to baccalaureate and professional graduate degrees in curricula through the doctoral level as well as non-degree offerings at the undergraduate and graduate levels. To meet the needs of our diverse student body, we use a variety of delivery systems and formats in the Diocese of Davenport, the State of Iowa, and other authorized locations. We collaborate with other organizations to offer further opportunities around the world.
We believe in the inherent God-given dignity and worth of every person. Therefore, we strive to develop an understanding of human cultures, achievements, capabilities, and limitations to promote justice and peace and use our talents in service to others and the world. We welcome people from other countries and cultures to study, learn, and work at St. Ambrose. Likewise, we encourage Ambrosians to teach, learn, engage in scholarship, and serve abroad.