ACAS was originally incorporated in December 1994, as the Australian Centre for Cross-cultural Studies Inc, a not-for-profit organisation with income-tax-exempt charitable status. It gained Deductible Gift Recipient status in 2011.
It was originally founded specifically to support students and related organisations in East Java. During the mid 1990s, it offered units toward a Master of Arts in Cross-cultural Studies through a consortium agreement.
In 1999, it became a Registered Training Organisation in Western Australia with its own accredited Graduate Diploma in Cross-cultural Studies.
In 2000, it changed its name, direction, and structure:
- It became the Australian Centre for Advanced Studies.
- It adopted a “member college” structure like that of the University of London.
- It broadened to include Christian liberal arts and courses for the general public.
- It spread its geographic scope more widely in Australia.
ACAS has since grown rapidly. Its programs presently run at various locations across Australia, with many more high schools also offering ACAS qualifications and various groups of distance education students with local tutorial support. Instead of being only a graduate school, it grew to offer many programs ranging down to the lower certificates, and now has over 2000 students spread across its range of programs.
In 2014, ACAS was a founding partner in Worldwide University, which is incorporated in the USA.
Besides spreading geographically, ACAS offered a wider variety of study areas, and specific courses vary from year to year.