Reconnect. Replenish. Restore.

A message from the Executive Dean of Theology and Philosophy Professor Dermot Nestor: Applications are now open for ACU’s new Staff Mission Program: Reconnect. Replenish. Restore.

Charlie Kaufmann’s most recent offering to Netflix is simultaneously an emotional portrayal of a dread-filled existence and a dreamlike commentary on connections – social, emotional, and existential. Caught in a moving car that seemingly goes nowhere, the central characters relentlessly mine a theme that has exercised both engineers and philosophers: the relationship between the whole and its constituent parts.

Catholicity (καθολικός according to the whole) is a distinct, time-honoured, and infinitely more hopeful variant of this effort to harmonise parts and wholes, individuals and institutions, futures and traditions. This concern with fullness (πλήρωμα) is not to be mistaken for universality or uniformity but rather is to be read as unity-in-difference (1 Corinthians 12: 12-26). Understood fundamentally as a quality of God, fullness is the way in which the ‘whole’ holds together and is constituted by multifarious differences and diversities. It is an orientation and a disposition that transcends cosy consensus and stimulates dialogue.

A collaboration between the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy and the Mission and Identity Directorate, the ACU Staff Mission Program provides all ACU staff with an open, inclusive, and supportive space to reflect on and articulate the values that animate their roles within the context of ACU’s distinctive mission as a Catholic and publicly-funded university. The Staff Mission Program is thus an inclusive forum. It provides the necessary space for collective exploration of the what, the how and the why of the mission commitment that grounds individual effort and which collectively defines our university community.

Applications are now being sought from all staff who would like to participate in the pilot, which will commence on 18 July 2022.

As one of several initiatives designed to support the recently announced Vice-Chancellor Priority, the Staff Mission Program complements a major project to be led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Ethics that deepens our understanding of the unique character and identity of a Catholic university. Informed by world-leading research and based on a learning design that is open to emerging questions, the Staff Mission Program is structured around a series of online engagements that ensures participants can connect with colleagues across the entire university and thereby strengthen community bonds.

What you can expect
  • up to 75 hours of participation across three months
  • no assessments required (optional for those who would like credit towards an award program)
  • supervisor approval (through Staff Connect)
  • a workload allocation of 25 hours for academic staff (professional staff are encouraged to discuss the requirements of their participation with their nominated supervisor).
How to apply

Academic and professional staff members can now apply to participate in the pilot offering of ACU’s Mission Program through Staff Connect.

Applications close: Close of business, 27 June 2022

More information

A series of FAQs have been developed to help answer any questions you may have. In the first instance, you may wish to review these on the Mission Program webpage.

Alternatively, if you require further information, please contact Reverend Associate Professor Jamie Calder SJ MAPS at

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