Noser Memorial Library

noser2The Noser Memorial Library, the "library within a library" was founded Father Michael Morrison, SVD (1927-1984) as a memorial to Archbishop Adolph Noser, SVD (1900-1981). Archbishop Noser was the first Archbishop of Madang.

It houses a comprehensive heritage collection of documents, books, maps, photographs, manuscripts and other ephemera about Papua New Guinea and some contemporary materials. It includes items of anthropological, historical, religious interest.

carving5The aim of the collection is to retain, preserve and make available past and present documentation of recorded information about Papua New Guinea and its peoples. The heritage collection includes:

  • German manuscripts dating back to the beginning of the Divine Word Mission in Papua New Guinea.
  • Correspondence between. Missionaries in Papua New Guinea and the Divine Word Society's headquarters in Europe.
  • Diaries and correspondence of Divine Word Missionary priests.
  • Diaries written by catechists in Tok Pisin (Pidgin English).
  • Log books from the mission boats "Stella Maris and "Marova".
  • Government publications and reports compiled by Australians and Germans during their years of Administration.
  • Historical material from World War 1 and World War 2
  • Tok Pisin tapes recording myths and local history.
  • Early directives to missionaries.
  • Diocesan and pastoral papers written by Archbishop Noser between 1953 and 1976.

The Noser Memorial Library is a limited access area. Access to this comprehensive body of information for research purposes can be gained by contacting the Noser Librarian who will explain the guidelines for the use of these unique resources within the library.


The collection has been built to reflect the disciplines taught at the University and these are:

  • Arts, including PNG Studies and Communication Arts;
  • Theology;
  • Business, including Tourism and Hospitality, Information Services and Management and Accountancy;
  • Education;
  • Health Sciences including Health Administration, Health Extension, Environmental Health and Physiotherapy.

The library's main collection is housed on the ground floor. Also on the ground floor is the Circulation Desk, Reference Desk, Photocopy room, Internet cafe and a large Reference area with tables where students may use a variety of Research and Reference books to help with their studies and assignments. Many study tables are placed around the ground floor to encourage students to use the library as a place to study and to do assignments.

The library has plans for further increases in the size and depth of its collections and to widen the scope of the collections by providing online access to a wide range of material in an electronic format.The upper floor houses the cataloguing and workroom; the Gordon Howell Study Area and the Noser Memorial Library, which is a 'library within a library'.



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Vision, Mission & Core Values

Vision and Mission


DWU is a national university, open to all, serving society through its quality of research, teaching, learning and community engagement in a Christian environment.

DWU is a public, government-supported ecumenical and coeducational university that is privately administered. Its primary purpose is to serve national goals. With support, partnership and collaboration from both public and private organizations, DWU commits itself to offer special training programs in response to current and emerging needs of Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific. DWU’s services are offered with a high level of ethics and respect of individual rights.


The University's Vision is achieved through:

  • • A Christian presence in an academic environment
  • • Standards of excellence in teaching and research for all students and staff
  • • Emphasis on the development of moral and ethical behaviour in public, private and professional life based on Christian values
  • • Dedication to social justice and offering equal opportunity to all
  • • Ecumenical acceptance of all students and staff without regard to race and religion who respect the university’s vision
  • • Continuous dialogue and partnership with all levels of community, business, government and culture in the life and work of the University
  • • Quality academic programs relevant to the needs of students and society
  • • Providing an authentic model for national unity.

Core Values

Core Values

Divine Word University’s Core Values, as articulated in the University Charter and also expressed in its Vision and Mission Statements, are at the heart of Divine Word University’s academic and non-academic programs and its philosophy. These values provide a framework for the University’s development and enliven the University's identity, the University’s heritage and its commitment to knowledge for holistic, personal development and social progress.

Integrity - offers to the University the ability to realize the Christian values and maintain the highest academic standards by upholding academic policies. It promotes the University strategic objectives and its Vision by emphasizing holistic education at the University and encouraging a consistency of actions and values.

Academic Excellence - DWU is committed to quality of research, learning and teaching for every individual learner. DWU’s diverse academic faculties with a qualified academic staff, in collaboration with international academics and universities, promotes critical thinking for staff and students who are engaged in learning, research, and creativity. Thus, DWU stimulates academic and personal leadership for staff and students with a spirit of ethical values and personal discipline.

Community Engagement/Service - commits the DWU Community to follow the example of the Divine Word  to utilize our gifts, talents and abilities to advance the genuine well-being of  the people we encounter in our community and the nation.

Respect - the DWU Community respects every person’s dignity, background and potential, and appreciates and respects the right to express diverse ideas with a freedom of academic enquires.

Diversity - the University’s Founders were from a different cultural and social background. Diversity nurtures an international academic community within the university that fosters a culture that is open and welcoming to people of diverse backgrounds, and promotes ideas and perspectives that engages the faculty, staff and students in academic and non-academic activities in an educational environment, and prepares the students to live and work in an international society within a global economy.

Hospitality - at DWU we attend to our daily duties with a spirit of openness and kindness that welcomes new ideas and people with a diversity of  backgrounds and beliefs. We receive and value our visitors with divergent ideas and  new insights and challenges.

Learning for Life - DWU is committed to providing opportunities to staff and students for personal growth in an environment that supports the development of discipline, ethical decision- making, and personal responsibility.

Social Responsibility - DWU is committed to equity, social justice, and diversity, and maintains the highest standards of integrity in our relationships with others. DWU is an institution that serves as a resource for and stimulus to social, economic, educational, cultural, environmental, and community development in Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific.


Graduate Attributes

Graduate Attributes

As reflective lifelong learners acting on strongly developed Christian ethical principles, DWU graduates will display personal qualities of scholarship and citizenship at local, national and international levels as evidenced through the following eight attributes:


Professional knowledge – achieve levels of knowledge and skill appropriate to entering and maintaining employment and to continuing career development in their chosen professional area through their commitment to lifelong learning.

Analysis and problem solving – apply their abilities with academic integrity to identify and define problems, exercise informed critical judgement and acknowledge their own limitations in understanding and solving problems.

Research – demonstrate independent analytical, critical, logical and creative thinking in systematically identifying and solving problems to establish or to create appropriate new and ethical solutions.

Information technology – have experienced the use of archives and libraries and the application of a range of computer software, particularly software appropriate to their disciplinary area, and established receptiveness to the expanding opportunities for electronic technology

Social awareness

Personal development – have been assisted to develop a philosophy of life based on the absolute human dignity of all persons, particularly the disadvantaged, through a commitment to Christian personal and professional ethics

Communication – have excellent communication skills, in written and oral language, and understand and use English as the language of international scholarship as well as respecting the linguistic diversity of PNG.

Social Responsibility – accept the responsibilities that accompany the privilege of an education and display willingness to serve the needs of society through application of their disciplinary knowledge and professional skills

Social interaction – demonstrate the ability to work productively, both autonomously and co-operatively, with tolerance, respect and valuing for human diversity, but also with a passionate commitment to truth.


Educational Philosophy

Educational Philosophy

The foundation of education at Divine Word University develops human, social and religious values and helps graduates become active in the development of PNG as one nation. DWU fosters a genuine Christian spirit, where people from all parts of PNG build up a harmonious unity as a true model for PNG society.

DWU aims at full human development. Students from disadvantaged areas are recruited and encouraged to reach their potential.

DWU provides a religiously oriented and socially conscious environment. While becoming professionally competent, students are encouraged to examine the ethical aspects of their profession. Students grow in their Christian faith and awareness of their social responsibility towards the underprivileged.

DWU serves the goals of the nation. Emphasis is placed on work, self - reliance and service. The University is ready to offer special training programs for the country or the Church as needed.

DWU has a special interest in providing educational opportunities for women. The University encourages women to improve their status in society and to take an active part in the nation's life.

Divine Word University

About DWU

Divine Word University (DWU) is a National University and a leading tertiary institution in Papua New Guinea. Formerly Divine Word Institute, it was established by an Act of Parliament in 1980 and was established as a University in 1996. DWU It is ecumenical, coeducational and privately governed with government support.

Our vision is to be a National University, open to all, serving society through its quality of research, teaching, learning and community service in a Christian environment. DWU offers its educational services to those interested in improving themselves intellectually and spiritually so they can become responsible citizens and positively contribute to the development of society.  DWU’s philosophy of education is rooted in the Catholic tradition and well articulated in the University Charter.

The University is open to everyone, regardless of race, creed, colour or gender, who shares its vision to serve society through its teaching and research in a Christian environment. Students come from all 20 provinces of Papua New Guinea and abroad. DWU has a special interest to advance opportunities for disadvantaged individual, women and youth to help build the economic and social capacity of the South Pacific Region.

DWU, as a university with Catholic tradition,” is an academic community which, in a rigorous and critical fashion, assists in the protection and advancement of human dignity and cultural heritage through research, teaching and various services offered to the local, national and international communities. It ensures that institutional autonomy is necessary to perform its functions effectively and guarantees its members academic freedom, as long as the rights of the individual person and of the community are preserved within the confines of the truth and the common good. DWU has been and continues to be a catalyst for improvement of higher education in the country. The University is committed to working with the government towards positive development of PNG. As stated in the mission statement, DWU is committed to "continuous dialogue and partnership with all levels of community, business, government and cultures in the life and work of the University;" a mission to which DWU is true.

The University is comprised of five faculties that offer full time and soon-to-be-offered online programs, supported by the Flexible Learning Centre that facilitates the delivery of flexible, part time, and blended learning programs. The five faculties are:


Areas of study have been selected for their long-term benefit to Papua New Guinea and where there is strong industry demand. Students work with industry and business throughout their training and are encouraged to develop and participate in programs that help build community resources and social capital.

Christian ethical values and individual growth are integral to the courses and graduates are trained as competent professionals who will make a personal positive contribution to the growth of a nation.

DWU serves the goals of the nation. Emphasis is placed on work, self-reliance and service. The University is ready to offer special training programs for the country or the Church as needed.

DWU is governed by a Council of no more than 13 members, including the University's President, and is headed by a Chairperson. The Council meets at least three times a year to set policy, monitor performance and ensure objectives are being met.

The main objective of Divine Word University is to become a vibrant Christian intellectual community and to continue developing into a first rate university. The University shares with all institutions of higher education a triple mission:

  • • the acquisition of knowledge, which is the mission of research
  • • the transmission of knowledge, which is the mission of teaching
  • • and the application of knowledge, which is the mission of public service


Divine Word University's search for excellence is guided by its motto “Sic currite ut comprehendatis” – “Run to Win”, not in a ruthless competitive way, but as an honest effort to achieve one's full potential. DWU's philosophy integrates total human development and it is expressed in self-reliance and community service.

With this belief, DWU aims to turn out students equipped with skills required for the national development as well as high-level professionals who will provide Christian leadership for the nation.


Historical Background

Divine Word University (DWU) began in 1958 with two Divine Word Missionaries, Archbishop Adolf Noser and Fr Paul McVinney, wanting to carry on the Society's traditional involvement in tertiary education in areas to which its members were assigned.

In 1964, a 99 year lease was secured on an old rubber plantation and negotiations for funding began with the Government. Failure to secure government assistance for a university project forced the SVD planners into a reassessment of their commitment and led to the development of a Catholic coeducational high school.

Fr Kenneth Feehan, SVD, became the director of the project in 1967. As headmaster for the next 14 years, he shaped the schools development and philosophy. The high school, with an enrolment of almost 600, emphasised academic excellence and self-reliance and consistently ranked in the top 10% of PNG high schools.

The Society undertook a feasibility study in 1977 to look into the possibility of returning to its original idea of tertiary education. The encouraging results of this study led to the phasing out of the high school and the gradual development of a tertiary level University.

In 1979 students began enrolling in four-year diploma programs in Business and Communication under the Divine Word Institute. The first class of pioneer students graduated in 1982.

Early in November 1980, Fr Kenneth Feehan SVD, who had been appointed President of the Institute until the end of 1981; when the High School would finish, asked to be relieved of the office at the end of 1980, so that a permanent president could be appointed. His resignation was accepted and Fr Paul McVinney SVD was named his successor and the second President of Divine Word Institute. Fr Paul McVinney SVD, took office in November 1981 till 1983.

In November of 1983, Fr Kees van der Geest, SVD was appointed as the third President of Divine Word Institute. He was the President till 1992.

In November of 1992, Fr Jurgen Ommerborn, SVD was appointed as the fourth President of Divine Word Institute till November 1995.

On the 13th of November 1995, Fr Jan Czuba, SVD became the fifth President of Divine Word Institute and the founding President of Divine Word University in 1996.

DWU was a recognized partner university in the development of higher education in PNG under National Executive Council (NEC) Decision No: 134/96 of 21st August 1996. It was established by an Act of Parliament as a University in 1999. Divine Word University was recognized as an Agency of Higher Education in Papua New Guinea by the National Executive Council on the 6th of November 2003 (National Executive Council Decision No: 221/2003) and meeting No. 49/2003.


Information about DWU