Mission and Vision

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 St. Ambrose University general education outcomes advance our mission by measuring student achievement in many inquiries, skills and integrated learning experiences framed by our tradition as a liberal arts Catholic university. Courses address outcomes in areas that include philosophy, theology, literature and the arts, natural and social sciences, citizenship and globalism. Skills include quantitative and critical thinking, written and oral expression, and wellness.  


 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.

Values and Guiding Principles

Catholicity: 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. 

Integrity: 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.

The Liberal Arts: 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.

Life-long Learning: 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.

Diversity: 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.


A "Signature" Education:  The Vision

With the support of the faculty, the General Education Committee envisions that all graduates of St. Ambrose University will possess fundamental skills and knowledge rooted in the liberal arts and catholic intellectual tradition needed to live in a rapidly changing and global world, as well as the ability to critically explore complex issues and solve complex problems. Specifically, St. Ambrose University graduates possess the fundamental skills and knowledge needed for tomorrow's world, and are able to think critically about their lives and their work, as well as the lives of others. This means asking questions, collecting and interpreting data, drawing conclusions, evaluating results, and taking action. We envision that our graduates will communicate effectively both in writing and orally. Likewise, we expect them have been introduced to a second language. Finally, we envision our graduate will have cultivated the personal dispositions, or 'habits' (from the Latin habitus, meaning 'virtue') necessary for a rich intellectual life as well as overall physical wellness. 

Having been educated through a liberal arts curriculum, St. Ambrose University graduates will possess a general understanding of the disciplines of the Liberal Arts, including the Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Creative Arts, and Humanities. We envision our graduates will be able to identify themselves as heirs to culture and advance it through the exercise of their own intellectual curiosity. Likewise, our graduate will be comfortable exploring the cultural richness of our diverse society as well as those of the Global 'village' in which they live.

As members of a Diocesan institution, graduates of St. Ambrose University will be able to reflect critically on core truth claims, as well as the ethical and spiritual values derived from philosophy and theology, especially those that emanate from the catholic intellectual tradition. Likewise, our graduates will value diversity of perspectives, be active in the pursuit of justice and peace, and engage in service to their communities locally and globally.

Finally, it is our vision that graduates of St. Ambrose University will continue to develop learning skills and knowledge both out of necessity and for pleasure. Our graduates will continue to explore the breadth and depth of the liberal arts and catholic intellectual tradition as lifelong learners by reading, writing, speaking, researching, traveling, listening, creating, and engaging in our world. As such, we envision our graduates will shape for themselves a coherent, if always tentative, vision of the world by means of which they will enrich their own lives through enriching the lives of others.