Ave Maria University is a Catholic, liberal arts institution of higher learning devoted to Mary the Mother of God, inspired by St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Calcutta, and dedicated to the formation of joyful, intentional followers of Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament, scholarship and service.
Ave Maria University is proud of its Catholic identity. The Most Rev. Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of the Diocese of Venice in Florida, established Ave Maria University as a Catholic University according to the guidelines of the Code of Canon Law. The recognition of Ave Maria University as a Catholic University is granted upon the University’s commitment to continue to be guided by the teachings of the Catholic Church and faithfulness to the apostolic constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae.
“The University provides such a clear expression of the mission of Catholic education.” (William Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith)
“And today, here at Ave Maria, here in Southwest Florida, the Church is alive and young.” (Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami)
“If ever there was an institution that exemplified the spirit of the John Paul II Generation, it’s Ave Maria University.” (Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of The Knights of Columbus)
Founded in fidelity to Christ and His Church in response to the call of Vatican II for greater lay witness in contemporary society, Ave Maria University exists to further teaching, research, and learning at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the abiding tradition of Catholic thought in both national and international settings. The University takes as its mission the sponsorship of a liberal arts education curriculum dedicated, as articulated in the apostolic constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, to the advancement of human culture, the promotion of dialogue between faith and reason, the formation of men and women in the intellectual and moral virtues of the Catholic faith, and to the development of professional and pre-professional programs in response to local and societal needs. As an institution committed to Catholic principles, the University recognizes the importance of creating and maintaining an environment in which faith informs the life of the community and takes expression in all its programs. The University recognizes the central and indispensable role of the Ordinary of the Diocese of Venice in promoting and assisting in the preservation and strengthening of the University’s Catholic identity.