Living a Mission

It's what Ambrosians do every day when they serve others, dream big, act globally, and search for meaning.

Join a community of diverse learners

Follow your interests, explore new opportunities, and stay busy.

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

students volunteering on barge

Our students typically give more than 178,000 service hours each year to volunteer projects here and across the world.

Community Involvement

Success After Graduation

graduate and family

Of our 2019 graduates who responded to an outcomes survey, 91% were employed, attending grad school, in military service, or volunteering within 6 months of graduation.

male student at graduation

Living Our Mission

  • Join a community of diverse learners. We offer more than 60 undergraduate majors, 11 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.

Learn more about why SAU is so spectacular

student and professor

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.     

Get the Basics About SAU

Bee the Difference

We make an impact on campus and in the community. In 2018, more than 600 students took part in Bee the Difference Day and helped 120 campus neighbors get their yards ready for winter. It is work, fun – and so rewarding.

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.

Catholic Intellectual Tradition

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.

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.

Lifelong 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.


St. Ambrose University commits to ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion as core priorities as demonstrated by the intentional design of policies, procedures, resource allocations, and practices that respect the God-given dignity and worth of every individual in pursuit of social justice.

Inspired by Catholic social teaching, we resolve to foster an environment designed to dismantle all discrimination, whether based on sex, gender identity, sexuality, race, ethnicity, color, ability, language, religion, or socioeconomic status.

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? Click on the visit button below to learn more about our virtual and in-person visit options.