The purpose of Herbert W. Armstrong College is fourfold:

First, to provide an institution of higher learning for a small number of students interested in living a positive way of life. AC presents a balanced education that emphasizes character development and right culture. This goes far beyond developing intellect alone—it means developing the whole personality.

Second, AC helps properly prepare pastors for local congregations of the Philadelphia Church of God. However, as Herbert W. Armstrong often said, no man can choose for himself to become a minister. Jesus Christ is the one who selects individuals for His Work. But God certainly can cause those few who are selected for the ministry to be among the AC students. As led by Christ, Church leaders can, over time, recognize the fruits of one called for such an office. Meanwhile, the college renders to all other students a wonderful education, preparing them to be strong pillars in local congregations.

Third, AC provides entry-level training in selected vocational and technical fields. Students also receive specialized training through a work study program.

Fourth, AC provides God's Work with a pool of employees to fill numerous entry-level positions. This occurs with each graduating class, but through the work study program, students contribute to the Church and college long before they graduate.

When learning in the classroom and specialized on-the-job training combine with social campus life—and these benefits are based on the foundation of God's truth—the result is a well-rounded, balanced education.