As part of the Order that follows the teachings of St Augustine, Villanova College promotes his vision of a community where all members are “of one mind and heart on the way towards God.”
An Augustinian approach to education seeks to create a community context in which learning can occur. This close community encompasses students, staff and parents.
The work of the College relies upon rich partnerships between students and teachers, and teachers and parents. These beliefs and practises also extend to other members of the community including past students and parents.
As an Augustinian school, Villanova College is part of an international network of schools and universities. The cross-cultural exchange of ideas and friendships among staff and students from various countries enriches College life for all.
Education in the Augustinian Tradition is concerned with building a firm foundation of knowledge for personal and spiritual life, as well as a basis for professional success. Real education is characterised by a search for knowledge and understanding, which is integrated with personal experience.
St Augustine speaks about the “teacher within” who can test the truth of what is being taught. This teacher is the presence of God within each of us. Processes of interior reflection and evaluation ensure our inner teacher is forever present.
The College motto, Vincit Veritas (“Truth Conquers”), has been followed since the school’s formation and reflects St Augustine’s writings: “Nothing conquers except truth and the victory of truth is love.”
Ultimately, our lives need to be based on truth. Truth is pure knowledge, not ignorance. Truth is living rightly, not according to false values. And it is God who is both truth and love.
In upholding this faith and tradition, an Augustinian education also seeks a balance in learning between different types of subjects, be they humanities or sciences, career oriented or spiritually focused, or personal or interpersonal growth. Truth cannot be found along a narrow path.
Since its beginning, Villanova College has treasured open, friendly and caring relationships between teachers and students. As an educator himself, St Augustine found this an essential element for both good teaching and learning.
The pastoral care of students, parents and staff is a very important part of the College’s character, placing emphasis on community ideals. At all times, but in times of crisis or difficulty especially, all members of the community are encouraged to reach out to those in need.
Villanova College seeks to instil a sense of self-discipline among its students. Students are called to account for their actions, yet the ultimate ideal is one of self-directed righteous behaviour.
Through all facets of school life we uphold the Augustinian ideal of “free people acting under the influence of grace, rather than slaves under the law”. (Rule of St Augustine)