The history of the American University of Madaba (AUM) began with a decision by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem to establish a university in Madaba, Jordan. He envisioned this new university as “a stepping stone for personal and community advancement” and as a place “where ethics, values and moral integrity are pursued at the same time as knowledge and scientific skills are acquired.” These concepts led to the adoption of the AUM motto – Sapientia et Scientia (Wisdom and Knowledge).
A license to establish a new university was granted by the Higher Education Council of Jordan in 2005 and the cornerstone of the university was blessed by HH Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. In his blessing the pope confirmed the role of AUM as “a place of understanding and dialogue”. He added that students, while assimilating their own culture, “will be led to a deeper knowledge of human culture achievements, will be enriched by other viewpoints, and [will be] formed in comprehension, tolerance and peace.”
Curriculum development, faculty and staff hiring, and construction had proceeded sufficiently that students could enter for the school year 2011/2012. In recognition of the highly successful beginning of the university, HM King Abdullah II completed the preliminary phase of AUM’s history by formally inaugurating the university on 30 May 2013.
The university began offering classes to its first-year students, all freshmen, and then realized tremendous growth (tripling in size) the second year. The growth rate continued through the third year of operation.
AUM currently offers bachelor’s degrees in the following Faculties (colleges): Engineering, Science, Health Sciences, Information Technology, Art and Design, Business and Finance, Languages and Communication.
Faculty members have been recruited from throughout the Middle East, Europe and North America. Approximately two-thirds of the faculty members have degrees from US and European universities and classroom instruction is exclusively in English.
AUM is a traditional American-style four-year university located on a stand-alone campus (larger than 100 acres) approximately 5 miles from the city of Madaba, a historic region in the country of Jordan. On the campus 11 buildings are currently in operation. Construction for phase two is expected to begin in 2015 and phase three about a year after the completion of phase two.
AUM is a private, non-profit university that draws upon religious, Jordanian, and American values, cultures and education systems to promote, ethical responsibility, social cohesion, mutual respect, hospitality, democracy, and peace.