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Educating the Future

Unitas, Veritas, Caritas | Unity, Truth, Love
Augustinian Education

Above all else, Saint Augustine was a great teacher.


Therefore, the academic arm of the Augustinians is rooted in a commitment to the apostolate of education. This dedication drives the passion and support of developmental education at institutions modeled on Saint Augustine’s approach to education as a journey providing academic and spiritual experiences that transform the student.

“To be able to aid in the preparation of young men for higher education is a tremendous gift but to do it modeled after Saint Augustine is a blessing,” said Father Michael Di Gregorio, O.S.A. “The [St. Thomas of Villanova] Province’s engagement in Malvern and Saint Augustine Preparatory Schools allows us to provide spiritual guidance during the formational years of many students.” 


Key to the mission of educating and preparing young people for higher education and to become active and contributing members of society, our secondary schools are firmly committed to the Augustinian values of Veritas, Unitas and Caritas - Truth, Unity and Love -and promoting membership in the Christian Community, as stated in their vision.

Augustinian educators are engaged in the search for God through the pursuit of truth.  They seek union with God through love and union with God and others in the school faith community.

We regard our purpose in the Christian formation and education of students as an essentially pastoral activity.  We teach the truth with love, and our students acquire, along with a human and scientific culture, a knowledge of the world, of life, and of humanity that is enlightened by faith.  We see education as being about the whole person and done in a community context.

We have two universities (Villanova University and Merrimack College) and six secondary / preparatory schools in North America. To learn more about where we serve, view our map here.

Unitas (Unity, Community)
Union with God and Others in the School Faith Community

The Christian understanding of being one with one another is based on our common origin in creation by God and re-creation in Christ.

In the words of Paul, we are one body.  With the Church, we attempt to renew the experience of the early Christian community where “the community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.” (Acts 5:32)


The relationships within the community are nourished by the oneness of Christ with each of us and His presence in the community.


Markers of the presence of the value, what does “Unitas” look like?

  • Eagerness to serve the common good

  • Respect for one another, our diversity, and our talents

  • Shared identity and membership

  • Welcoming and lasting friendships

  • Expressions of unity in community gatherings (e.g. Mass, assemblies, rallies)

  • Realization of the universality of the Church and awareness of being members of a global community

  • Shared common experiences in short, studies, and service.

Veritas (Truth)
The Search for God through the Pursuit of Truth

We are rooted in the truth about ourselves, we are aware that God is the source of all truth.  With faith and reason, like two great wings, we fly to Truth.

Augustine insists that we are to “teach the truth in love.”

Markers of the presence of the value, what does “Veritas” look like?

  • To tell the truth

  • To search for truth in friendships

  • To be serious about the hard work, self discipline, and self-awareness that honest study requires

  • To know Him who is Truth Incarnate, Jesus Christ, and His saving message

  • To know one’s worth as a child of God and the transcendent dignity of every human person

  • To explore energetically the physical world and the world of ideas with an openness to the goodness of beauty and reality

  • To be able to think in an orderly and critical fashion and to express one’s thoughts clearly and with grace

Caritas (Love)
Union with God through Love

The great commandment of Christ is to love God and to love neighbor.  God is love.  The school community and relationships within it are a special place where this love finds expression.

More than any one word can express (be it love, concern devotion, compassion, caring), “caritas” is that impulse of the Spirit of Jesus that is expressed in hundreds of kind and gracious ways.


It is “active friendship” that encompasses both love of God and neighbor.  It is when the head and heart move into action, often with sacrifice, for the good of another or a community.


Markers of the presence of the value, what does “Caritas” look like?

  • Being a friend.

  • Loving deeds.

  • Service to the community.

  • Care for the common good.

  • Sharing of goods, information, resources, talents.

  • Personal interest and support of one another.

  • Bearing shared burdens and responsibilities.

We can see that these three values support and express one another.  Truth acquired through both faith and reason is the basis for our understanding of reality.  Truth about God as creator and source of life along with the coming of Jesus to be one with us supports our love for one another.  This union with God and one another is evidenced in Christian community.

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