The Ateneo de Davao University is a Catholic, Jesuit, and Filipino University. As a university it is a community engaged in excellent instruction and formation, robust research, and vibrant community service. As Catholic, it proceeds ex corde ecclesiae, from the heart of the Church. As Jesuit, it appropriates the mission of the Society of Jesus and the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. As Filipino, it contributes to and serves Mindanao.
On both the undergraduate and the graduate level, an Ateneo formation adopts rigorous scholarship and ethical standards. The College of Law, known for emphasizing Christian ethics, also has several active pro bono programs under the Ateneo Legal Aid Services. Students in the Graduate Programs of the School of Business and Governance assist non-profit organizations with business plan and entrepreneurial opportunities. The Social Work and the Psychology programs incorporate research and fieldwork on peace and development within the Davao regional area into their curriculum. The Graduate Programs of School of Arts and Sciences emphasizes environment, education and peace in its various academic course programs. The mandatory theology and philosophy courses are engaged to forming students of all varied cultures and faiths to encounter post-modern problems on morality and cultures.