The DWU Charter, written in 1977, which establishes the education philosophy of this University.
Assembled in Chapter, the members of the Papua New Guinea province of the Society of the Divine Word in partnership with the missionary Sisters, Servants of the Holy Spirit declare the following:
Let there be established an institute of higher learning. This institute will have as its objective the conservation, extension and diffusion of knowledge by means of its schools, faculties and other resources, thereby promoting primarily the development of students as creative, intellectual persons in a religious environment.
Let the institute cultivate attitudes to achieve: freedom of inquiry as indispensable for attaining truth; acquisition of values and discovery of truth leading to full development of personality and active membership in the community of man; respect for truth as the primary concern of the academic community.
In order to achieve these goals let the institute provide: a faculty of competent scholars and educators to direct the process of student development; a curriculum that presents the content and methods for career guidance and training; a religiously orientated and socially conscious environment as the setting for the learning experience.
As a matter of principle, let the institute welcome to its community all persons regardless of race, creed, colour or sex who share its vision and respect its purpose.
Furthermore, let those who govern this institute and those who live and work in the institute abide by the following mandate.
The institute shall be a Christian community based on love for all men for each other, because each is a child of God. Let the community of the institution, therefore, be an authentic model for national unity in Papua New Guinea because the Christian philosophy that all men are equal as sons and daughters of God is, perhaps, the only philosophy which can unite the diverse cultures of Papua New Guinea.
As a Christian institution, it shall serve national objectives simultaneously with Church purposes. The Church's broad philosophy of education, based on its broad view of the nature of man, causes the Church's expectations of the institution to cater to the total human development of every individual involved with the institute. No conflict is seen between national goals and church expectations. For this purpose, therefore, let the institute be so incorporated into the State of Papua New Guinea as to become a legally recognized identity in the country.
The courses of study should be constructed as to allow graduates a maximum opportunity for career advancement as well as providing every opportunity for maximum intellectual and spiritual growth and development according to each individual's needs and ability.
Wherever possible, the planning of the institute should harmonize with national planning and avoid reduplication, except where matters of religious principles and the freedom of choice is involved.
The institute is characterized by authentic freedom. Real freedom must be distinguished from licence to do whatever one pleases. Real freedom involves the weighing of the moral values of a situation and freely opting for the behaviour which the inner value of conscience indicates to be correct. The atmosphere of authentic freedom in the institute brings the students to the realization that their true dignity consists in freedom which makes them, and only them, responsible before God for their behaviour. It follows that there can be no place for indoctrination in the institution.
Freedom of belief is sacred in the institute. There will be authority in the institution, but there will not be authoritarianism. Authority is the wise guidance provided by the mature person to assist the immature person to grow towards his true fulfilment as a human being. In the institution, therefore, let the young citizens of Papua New Guinea learn what real freedom is, and the responsibilities that follow along with real freedom. Let them learn to respect the beliefs and values of their fellow students who also enjoy real freedom.
Let the institution be an open institute. It is open to all who have an interest in what it is doing. It is open to government officials as well as church officials, to parents of the students, to local community leaders. It is open to cultural values and to national values. It is open to Papua New Guinea cultures. The institute will be open to and include in its curriculum all those aspects of Papua New Guinea culture which Christ Himself would value, support and enrich. Because the institution is open, it will be very adaptable to the needs of the people. It will serve the country through its relevance.
Because Christianity respects women, let the institute have a special interest in providing educational opportunities for women. Parents must favour the institution as a place where their daughters can grow and mature in peace, safety and respect. Let the institute encourage women to take an active part in national life and in improving the status of women in society.
The Christian way of life puts emphasis on the value of work, on self-reliance and on service. These values will, therefore, find expression in the institute and will flow out from the institution into Papua New Guinea society as students graduate.
Papua New Guinea is a pluralistic society. It has many sub-cultures, a variety of races and a variety of religions. A pluralistic society requires a pluralism in its educational institutions, if it is to survive. Let this institute serve the nation by providing such pluralism. Furthermore, a healthy professional competition results in improved standards, and provides avenues for innovation and experimentation which also produce greater quality in education.
Preserving simplicity and beauty in form and design, let the buildings of the institute reflect both the functional and frugal characteristics of the founders and the legitimate aspirations and resources of Papua New Guinea people.
Let this institute be dedicated to the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity - the Divine Word.